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View Full Version : What to do with frustration


cadfael_tex
12-12-2005, 03:43 PM
Because I am frustrated. As you may know from numerous previous posts, I started playing two months ago after a 19 year hiatus. I've made some strides but I am not consitent. I can see in my head what to do and when I'm hitting with a coach (which I've done once) I can hit that way. In matches, however, I can't move my feet and I, well, just really suck. I get very tenative in matches and just can't seem to get out of it. I was to the point today of just packing it in but I won't bother you folks with another whiny "should I quit" thread looking for pity and/or encouragement - but if you want to show me a little pity or encouragement I won't turn it down.

So what do I do to get over this?!?!?!?

goober
12-12-2005, 04:05 PM
I was in a similar situation as you with the long hiatus. First of all tennis should be fun. If you are playing better in practice than matches you are probably too tense and not relaxed or too concerned about the score. Tennis is one of the few sports you can do till you are very old so go out and enjoy it!

Here are some pointers I think are helpful

1) how good shape are you in? It may be high time to start a regular exercise program with cardio/weights.

2)play as many practice matches and real matches as you can. You will be less tentative and matchplay will be second nature.

3)worry less about the outcomes and focus more on the joy of playing- corny but true.

cadfael_tex
12-12-2005, 05:52 PM
Thanks goober.

Shape could probably be better but I was surprised that I didn't have a problem hitting constantly with the coach for 45 minutes.

I think i need to relax more but how to do that. I keep telling myself it's just for fun but I'm such a competetive fill in the blank that it isn't working yet. Anybody know how to tone down a competitive nature so that I can relax on the court.

FiveO
12-12-2005, 06:13 PM
3)worry less about the outcomes and focus more on the joy of playing- corny but true.

I agree with this. From a lay persons interpretation of books and CD's focussing on the subject, remove all expectation from your practice and play. Get lost in relaxed application of the fundamentals your body is aware of and become a third party observer to the results. Kind of watch what happens good and bad and after each say okay and allow the adjustment to come. Don't be so invested in results right now, practice and play for the sake of improvement and the future, rather than trying to force that improvement or actively attempting to prevent the rust from showing.

I suck at chess, but when I watch two other players involved in a chess match everything is much clearer to me. I have concluded this is because I'm not invested in the match and my thought processes are not effected by cause/result, being judgemental or second guessing myself. Try to apply that same detachment to your tennis.

Keep your nrg up, flow, watch and allow the adjustments to come. Also allow yourself to end on a good note each session don't play past fatigue setting in and let that negatively impact an otherwise productive session.

Good luck.

FedererUberAlles
12-12-2005, 06:14 PM
A) Buy used, crappy racquet
B) bring racquet to match
C) smash racquet to pieces when you get aggravated

RiosTheGenius
12-12-2005, 07:22 PM
curse baby, curse... spit, say profanities, it all helps man.

armand
12-12-2005, 08:16 PM
When you're on court and you don't have a care in the world, it's just you and the ball and it's bliss because you play so well. But it's about a billion times easier to do when neutral parties are officiating/keeping score!

ChicagoJack
12-12-2005, 10:40 PM
Hey Tex, just my two cents

I know where you are at. I left the game for a a while in pursuit of other sports and came back to the game just as you did. I really focused on my strokes for a few years and really did not play many matches initially, feeling that matches would interfere with what i wanted to do with my technique. there comes a point though, where just practicing alone does not do it for you. at some point you need the game situation to improve.

If you get feeling tentative in matches, the only way to get around that is to ...play matches. but do it in a planned sort of way that has you upping your stress level one rung at a time. a weekly league is the best way to develop a rythym. I can remember feeling jitters the whole day prior to playing even something as informal as a wednesday night round robin at my local club. Do this on a regular basis and that big wed nite match just becomes the typical wednesday night. I can remember feeling nervous the whole day, then only just before entering the club, then not until warm-ups, then finally not at all.

Once you feel comfortable with playing in the same gym on the same night, then join a traveling team. every club has them, or join a usta club team. this will have you playing different places, time of day, different opponents etc. lots of players just do this gig and get plenty of juice out of it. once that gets routine, you could then start entering weekend tournaments at a local level, then statewide, then at a regional level etc.. you get the idea. the key for me has been just to move on to the next plateau when you are winning enough matches to feel confident about your game. for some players that might mean winning 50% of the matches. for others, winning 2/3 would keep the confidence ball rolling.

I think you just need to find the right situation for your abilities and comfort level right now, hang out there until it gets mundane, then move yourself up the stress level one notch at a time. maybe you just need to back off the whole competition deal and hit with the ball machine 5 days a week for a few months, work on what you need to work on --I've done that too.

In terms of whato do btwn points: When you lose a point, focus on the adjustment to be made next time. This will have you surrounded by learning experiences, instead of opportunities for frustration. Get into routines, seriously. Bounce the ball the same way everytime before the serve etc. this has an enourmous calming effect for most people.

And lastly, just remember you are not your backhand. you are not your volley. don't let your self worth be determined by something as ridiculous as hitting a fuzzy little yellow ball around. nobody here is trying to cure cancer, just lighten up and have fun. unless you are 12 years old, your family has just sold the home in small eastern euro country x, in order to send you to Bolletierri's, tennis ought to be utterly meaningless and unabashedly fun.

Best regards and take care,
that mini cooper of yours is looking mighty fine.
-Jack

sdslyout
12-12-2005, 11:15 PM
It IS all about FUN, remember that. Straight up . your being way to hard on yourself, back off. your not happy with the results of your tennis ? Focus on just hitting the ball right, take the time to remember what the coach explained
and apply it. There's no rush it's not a race just as if the coach was standing right there. Being high strung makes learning and remembering difficult. It's not all going to come together overnite. some people use tennis as a way to vent frustration(s)and moving around chasing a ball is good for you, and me. Some people go home and kick the dog, some people have different ways, like tennis
to get alot of that crap stress that builds up just from day to day living. and some never find a way to release stress and these poor people get sick and there through. Trying to force yourself isn't going to help, it'll make it more difficult. If you play like crap guess what ? yep play and play. The only way to get better is to play. play much better players then yourself and when the ball blows by you thats when the insperation hits you, " i want to be able to hit the ball like that " and then think about it and making adjustments along the way
you'll get it. If a person goes looking for something to **** themselves off they
never have to look very far, issues within hender progress and is undermining.
I don't know, break something and see how it feels but remember if breaking the object helped. You know Insanity is repeating mistakes and expecting different results.. Mello,, mello.

cadfael_tex
12-13-2005, 05:57 AM
Thanks for the response everybody. And thanks for letting me vent some too.

And C-Jack, thanks for noticing my Mini; it's my mid-life crisis car. Always wanted a covertible and was finally able to get one.

Docalex007
12-13-2005, 06:48 AM
A) Buy used, crappy racquet
B) bring racquet to match
C) smash racquet to pieces when you get aggravated


Haha, I am a proponent of this idea.

DJ Edwards
12-13-2005, 08:10 AM
Excessive intensity is a huge problem for me and I swear I could hit the ball with a pro the way I practice, but then I go out in matches and get pounded by hippie pushers who don't even belong on the same planet as me... (arrogance might be a problem too...)

MY KEY IS THIS-TELLING MYSELF THAT IT'S JUST A GAME, THE PAYCHECK IS THE SAME AT THE END, WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THE FRENCH OPEN FINAL, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TWO CLUB PLAYERS PLAYING PURELY FOR THE ENDORPHIN RUSH OF IT. IF THE HIPPIE WINS, MY BAD. IF I WIN, SO MUCH THE BETTER. EACH MATCH IS A CHALLENGE, BUT NOT LIFE OR DEATH

I really like the post about trying to view it as a neutral third party spectator. Sometimes on court I'm the viewer of the DJ Edwards show. When I do this, the hippies find me hard to handle.

One tip, you break far fewer racquets if you throw them up in the air when you're mad than when you throw them down

legolas
12-13-2005, 08:35 AM
u gotta concentrate more boy

bee
12-13-2005, 09:11 AM
I'll have to echo that about not taking it too seriously. Sounds like you're being overly hard on yourself. You've not been back at it very long and you had a very long hiatus. I used to be very (extremely) competitive about my matches, but I finally realized it was hurting me and alienating my friends. No I'm much more easygoing about it. I'm a middle aged professional and I'm not trying to win tournaments and all that. Just having fun and getting some exercise. It's not worth getting down on yourself.

max
12-13-2005, 09:24 AM
The way to do it is to play through it. Play more often. Just getting those hits in really counts.

PM_
12-13-2005, 10:20 AM
cadfael_tex, don't get down on yourself. Why did you get back into the sport in the first place, for enjoyment, health, all those goodies.

Let me tell you my story:

Haven't played since out of high school (15 years). Then I got a great job offer in a small town and there seemed nothing to do during the season but...you guessed it-play tennis. So I started up just last spring, joined a club, and my main hitting partner was my g/f!
I had dislocated my shoulder 3 times in the past 5 years snowboarding and never thought much of it. Many may know me to play left-handed but I'm a natural righty! The first time I tried to serve again, I popped that shoulder out and nearly separated it. It took me 3 weeks just to rid the pain, but thank goodness it could have been worse. Nonetheless I have to schedule an orthoscoptic operation to surgically repair it next year.
Knowing that tennis was the only sport I was interested playing in this small town and determined not to relent, I switched arms.
I'll tell you. It was extremely frustrating for about 3 months. I went out every day, alone or with my g/f, and practised. I would not be satisfied until I brought my game up to where I wanted it-at the time to a 3.0/3.5 level.
I'm a visual type of person and I go over and over in my head what style and goal it is that I want to achieve in tennis.
Now, after, what, 8 months, I can play competitively at the 4.0 level against club members. I can serve flat bombs (over 100mph) and slices. Impart heavy topspin off my forehand. Learning the 2HB off the right side was the easiest transition!
But I still experience some difficulties volleying-I guess one of my eyes is/was more dominant than the other and some times I miss easy at-net putaways altogether. But I'm working on that now.
But everyone that sees me play are dismayed when I tell them I am a natural right-hander.

The moral of this story? Don't give up.
Practice makes perfect.

Viper
12-13-2005, 08:51 PM
This my friend

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a262/Viper_federer/The20Who.jpg


just let it out

Geezer Guy
12-14-2005, 08:05 AM
Because I am frustrated. As you may know from numerous previous posts, I started playing two months ago after a 19 year hiatus. I've made some strides but I am not consitent. I can see in my head what to do and when I'm hitting with a coach (which I've done once) I can hit that way. In matches, however, I can't move my feet and I, well, just really suck. I get very tenative in matches and just can't seem to get out of it. I was to the point today of just packing it in but I won't bother you folks with another whiny "should I quit" thread looking for pity and/or encouragement - but if you want to show me a little pity or encouragement I won't turn it down.

So what do I do to get over this?!?!?!?

WOW - You've been playing 2 months now, and you're STILL having problems? That's CRAZY man! Most of us were on the professional tour after just 1 month, made enough to retire comfortably, and now just lollygag around in our boxers. :rolleyes:

Dude - it's going to take a LONG time for you to be happy with your game. You may NEVER be happy with it. Why have such a sour-puss attitude?

You want pity or encouragment? How about growing a pair!

Geezer Guy
12-14-2005, 08:09 AM
Let me tell you my story:

Haven't played since out of high school (15 years). Then I got a great job offer in a small town and there seemed nothing to do during the season but...you guessed it-play tennis. So I started up just last spring, joined a club, and my main hitting partner was my g/f!
I had dislocated my shoulder 3 times in the past 5 years snowboarding and never thought much of it. Many may know me to play left-handed but I'm a natural righty! The first time I tried to serve again, I popped that shoulder out and nearly separated it. It took me 3 weeks just to rid the pain, but thank goodness it could have been worse. Nonetheless I have to schedule an orthoscoptic operation to surgically repair it next year.
Knowing that tennis was the only sport I was interested playing in this small town and determined not to relent, I switched arms.
I'll tell you. It was extremely frustrating for about 3 months. I went out every day, alone or with my g/f, and practised. I would not be satisfied until I brought my game up to where I wanted it-at the time to a 3.0/3.5 level.
I'm a visual type of person and I go over and over in my head what style and goal it is that I want to achieve in tennis.
Now, after, what, 8 months, I can play competitively at the 4.0 level against club members. I can serve flat bombs (over 100mph) and slices. Impart heavy topspin off my forehand. Learning the 2HB off the right side was the easiest transition!
But I still experience some difficulties volleying-I guess one of my eyes is/was more dominant than the other and some times I miss easy at-net putaways altogether. But I'm working on that now.
But everyone that sees me play are dismayed when I tell them I am a natural right-hander.


PM - Very inspiring. Way to go!

Just curious. I understand why you serve and take overheads lefthanded, and maybe even volley's. Couldn't you have played your groundstrokes righthanded? Or, did you just want a complete switch from right to left?

PM_
12-14-2005, 03:28 PM
Hi Geezer.
I thought about that many times before the big commitment but then I thought "what's the use". People will think I'm some sort of physical freak or something anyway.
It took a lot of guts, shadow tennis, and visualizing to take my new game to the courts and practice. A lot of people initially thought that I was a beginner but then they realized through fast progression that I was either gifted or getting back into the game from a break. But of course after I made their acquaintances I told them what happened. So to answer your question, I didn't want to let on that there was a physical failure (for new opponents) and the last thing I need is gamemanship from them ("wow that's amazing how do you do it?")

But I think the best lesson is just to observe people. If you're going through a plateau with your game, just go out the club, public courts, whereever and observe others play. Watch them. Entertain yourself. Realize why you started playing [again] in the first place and HAVE FUN!
Most of us are not trying to enter the pro circuit. We just want to get better, have fun, and win, right? And get a decent cardio workout from it.

Geezer Guy
12-15-2005, 07:55 AM
You want pity or encouragment? How about growing a pair!

Sorry, my internal editor must have got switched off.

cadfael_tex
12-15-2005, 08:40 AM
Sorry, my internal editor must have got switched off.

That's ok Geezer Guy. I probably shouldn't be whining so much. I don't think I'll grow another pair though; four would make my shorts look funny. Wife might like it though... hmmm.:cool:

sdslyout
12-16-2005, 02:33 AM
My hats off to you PM. thats either passion or grim determination. now focus on the one arm tied behind game for ***** and giggles.. like bobby riggs i think it was.