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View Full Version : Where can I get some confidence?


FH2FH
05-18-2006, 11:02 AM
I think I lost mine last season and can't seem to find it? Has anyone here seen it? I am tired of playing with a losing score in my head against better players. I remember when I could play freely without the fear of losing, but now can't stop thinking about losing the match even when I know I should beat my opponent. Even the matches when every game goes to duece I can somehow still walk away with a bagle. What's up with that? I'm TIGHT!!! :(

SFrazeur
05-18-2006, 11:03 AM
removed---

Woodstock_Tennis
05-18-2006, 11:21 AM
Shot of daniels always does the trick.

FH2FH
05-18-2006, 11:43 AM
In a recent close match, the bagle with all dueces, I thought before: "Don't go for too much and minimize the errors." I hit about 50-60% pace and just tried to keep the ball in unless I had a duck. I was keeping the ball deep and side to side, but my opponent did not miss and eventually came up with a good shot or I made an easy error from being tight or not intense enough. ??

This seems ironic because I usually play better at full intensity, though I blow a few ambitious forehands or volleys. Maybe that's the perfectionist in me that gets down if I think I was too aggressive? Early in the match, I'm tight and often aggressive. I nearly always play a better second set, but this allows my opponent to gain confidence in the first set and continue the momentum. I struggle to find a balance of intensity, rythym, etc. I also struggle when my opponent gives me no pace. Maybe my mindset there is, "Ok, I have to come up with a better shot to create the openings b/c all they're doing is defending and getting back into a good position." I've learned to sneak in and volley, which has helped, but I frequently make an error from the baseline trying to set up the point or hit a good approach.

Maybe I just haven't been playing enough or got enough match experience. I've only been competitive about 15 months, but I can play great tennis without any pressure. In doubles, I'm very relaxed because the pressure much less because I have a partner. The points are also short and the court is much wider. I also have less time to think. I usually play very well unless I'm playing with a very weak partner. In singles I just create a lot of unnecessary pressure and get caught up in negative thinking. I wish it was the opposite. How can I apply that to singles?

Freedom
05-18-2006, 11:49 AM
Don't accept the pressure. Just go for your shots. Don't play like you're trying to 'not lose'. Play with the mindset that you're in the driver's seat, and you control the action. Fight for every point. You'll be getting momentum and confidence in droves when you pull off an awesome point, or edge out a close match. Eventually, that momentum and confidence will lead you to handing out bagels yourself.

FH2FH
05-18-2006, 12:27 PM
Don't accept the pressure. Just go for your shots.

You're right. I guess I just need more match experience and to let go. It doesn't really matter as long as I improve. It's difficult not to think about the score though or feel pressure when you're expecting the results to come.

Bungalo Bill
05-18-2006, 12:29 PM
I think I lost mine last season and can't seem to find it? Has anyone here seen it? I am tired of playing with a losing score in my head against better players. I remember when I could play freely without the fear of losing, but now can't stop thinking about losing the match even when I know I should beat my opponent. Even the matches when every game goes to duece I can somehow still walk away with a bagle. What's up with that? I'm TIGHT!!! :(

Someone got in your head. Someone said something that caused some adrenilin to flow. Now, you are afraid to lose to anyone. Nothing wrong with the fear of losing, unless it causes you to lose.

What you need is courage. Someone once said that "courage is not the absence of fear... it is the ability to forge ahead, in spite of fear."

Mark Twain said "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear."

So basically, it is natural to have a fear of losing in the match. It is also knowing that you will sometimes LOSE a match. At times, losing is few and far between and other times it seems you're always losing or losing more than you are winning.

All competitors face this and all competitors will lose. Losing is not fun, but it is one of the best opportunities to learn and grow from.

Next time, don't be so afraid of losing because you really never can predict the outcome of a match. Be most afraid of losing and not getting anything out of the match. Be most afraid of losing and walking away with NOTHING to practice. :)

Freedom
05-18-2006, 12:29 PM
You can't expect results to just fall into your lap. Why do you think Nadal is owning the ATP right now (well, at least to #2)? It's because he works hard and fights for every point. He doesn't just expect to walk out, hit a couple balls, and win the match. He fights!

WARNING: I am not a Federer/Nadal fanboy/hater. I don't want trouble. It was just an example. :D

shindemac
05-18-2006, 06:11 PM
Where can you get some confidence? Where can you get some courage? Why, from the wizard -- the wizard of Oz! Just follow the yellow brick road.

atac
05-18-2006, 06:20 PM
If you're not already doing this, you need to play a lot of tournaments. Play matches where you are feeling pressure. And try to play people who are more expericenced than you. After a while your best tennis will begin to come out.

Rickson
05-18-2006, 07:32 PM
I think I lost mine last season and can't seem to find it? Has anyone here seen it?
Have you tried the western grip store? I heard they sell confidence at discount prices.

Andres
05-18-2006, 08:09 PM
Have you tried the western grip store? I heard they sell confidence at discount prices.
DAMN YOU RICKSON!!! :mad:
I WAS THINKING ABOUT THAT REPLY (ON SELLING CONFIDENCE), SINCE I READED THE TITLE.... EVERYTHING WAS GREAT SO FAR BUT NOOOOO, THE LAAAAST POST HAS TO SPOIL EVERYTHING FOR ME!!!

:mrgreen:

Freedom
05-18-2006, 08:12 PM
Lol Western Grip Store. I had forgotten about that.

FH2FH
05-19-2006, 09:43 AM
If you're not already doing this, you need to play a lot of tournaments. Play matches where you are feeling pressure.

This seems like good advice. I probably have not played competitively long enough to get a real sense of what pressure is and how to deal with it. So my confidence rises/falls after the few pressure matches I play.

Bungalo Bill, you are right that someone got in my head. I have a losing record to someone and that stays in my mind every time I play him. I think it affects me in other matches as well. I feel like if I could break that pattern I could continue to progress.

Lol Western Grip Store. I had forgotten about that.

The thread they're referring to is here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=68661 It's pretty funny.:)

Bungalo Bill
05-19-2006, 10:26 AM
Bungalo Bill, you are right that someone got in my head. I have a losing record to someone and that stays in my mind every time I play him. I think it affects me in other matches as well. I feel like if I could break that pattern I could continue to progress.

I knew it! But I am afraid to say it doesn't happen that way.

This "pattern" is a thought pattern not a playing pattern. It is in your head.

If you are not playing this person then why are you still losing? If he affects your strokes when he is NOT playing you, then why would you wait to play him to finally rid yourself of your demons?

Each one of us has a closet of demons that each one of us has learned to handle or not handle. Every human being has faced their demons. Why is it that this one person has given you a host of them? Why?

What makes him so special that you just have to beat him in order to raise your self-esteem? Is your view of your self-worth and self-importance really that screwed up? You can only have confidence in yourself if you beat one person? This will make your life better?

If this is all it takes for you to whither away (some nut beating you), you shouldl be ashamed of yourself. Whether you believe in God or not, you my friend are highly valued. You were given unique gifts that no one else has. You have been given gifts to improve with and improve upon.

Never let another human being who also has their own demons, faults, stupidity, and crap tell you, show you, imply to you, or ridicule you as inferior to them. In this case, tennis is just a game. It is not something you place your self-importance or self-worth into.

You will only beat the people you should be beating whe you seperate WHO YOU ARE with WHAT YOU DO.

If my self-worth was rapped up in this site, I would have coward away when my little bashers said "booo" to me. You're a tennis player and you love this sport as a gamewin or lose. Your self-worth is not in this sport but yet you play because you enjoy it. you want to compete. So, learn from your losses and your wins.

You have just been informed of one of the most valuable lessons to learn in your ENTIRE life because you lost to this one person. Winning or losing should NEVER affect WHO YOU ARE AND HOW VALUABLE YOU ARE TO YOURSELF AND TO OTHERS. Most importantly, if you believe in God, he proved how valuable you are. Keep that in mind, win or lose, and play your heart out.

FH2FH
05-19-2006, 01:26 PM
I guess I should have started the thread with, "Hi, I'm ____ and I'm a perfectionist." because that is what this is about. I know it's mental and it really comes out in a match, more in the matches against the person I have a loosing record to (eg, Roddick v Hewitt, Federer v Nadal, etc). I believe in my abilities, but I set certain goals rather high.

On the court, if the errors begin to pile up or my opponent gains an advantage, negative thoughts set in and I feel that is the reason I lose matches I could/should win. I think this is normal and necessary to make me stronger. I'll get there... How much torture I want to go through is totally up to me. :) If I can't do it, I'll live with it, but I'm defintely not ready to give up.

I posted this thread to get some comments on building confidence. I could go out and beat up on lower players, but what I need is mental toughness during those critical points or matches. I guess that doesn't come without doing it.

Bungalo Bill
05-19-2006, 05:29 PM
I guess I should have started the thread with, "Hi, I'm ____ and I'm a perfectionist." because that is what this is about. I know it's mental and it really comes out in a match, more in the matches against the person I have a loosing record to (eg, Roddick v Hewitt, Federer v Nadal, etc). I believe in my abilities, but I set certain goals rather high.

On the court, if the errors begin to pile up or my opponent gains an advantage, negative thoughts set in and I feel that is the reason I lose matches I could/should win. I think this is normal and necessary to make me stronger. I'll get there... How much torture I want to go through is totally up to me. :) If I can't do it, I'll live with it, but I'm defintely not ready to give up.

I posted this thread to get some comments on building confidence. I could go out and beat up on lower players, but what I need is mental toughness during those critical points or matches. I guess that doesn't come without doing it.

Well you can't let one person screw you up. You can't let a loss spill into another match.

If you are a perfectionist then focus on being perfect with your match goals win or lose. But instead of taking a "pass or fail" point of view, take the view of getting better as a process.

The process being that you set high standards and you practice to one day be at that standard. But along the way, enjoy the journey - win or lose.

FH2FH
05-21-2006, 08:58 PM
Bungalo Bill, I have good news and I didn't save a lot on my car insurance by switching to Gieco, ha.

I beat that player this weekend 1 & 1 and it felt great. Straight set victories against him have been few and far between. I realized after the match what a waste of time I spent obsessing over the past. I have improved greatly, I just ignored it and spent more energy fighting myself during a match than the other person on the court.

I believe I had a revelation. I don't think I've ever played with so few errors. I was inspired the day before watching an ex-college player, some say a 5.0, hit so cleanly. His power was effortless, and his placement & depth, precise. I just focused on hitting a clean ball and actually played the entire match with a one handed backhand, which I haven't used in about six months. Nice, huh?

I plan to work on that now, more or less s-l-o-w-i-n-g down and hitting a clean ball with minimal effort. If I need to step up and crack a forehand as I did in that match, I'll have the energy to do so and my confidence won't be shaken from fighting the racquet and my body to overpower my opponent, since with that come errors. I've been so drained mentally and physically it's no wonder I lost the important matches.

Thanks for the advice!

Bungalo Bill
05-22-2006, 07:43 AM
Bungalo Bill, I have good news and I didn't save a lot on my car insurance by switching to Gieco, ha.

Are you sure you didn't spend the night at a Holday Inn?

I beat that player this weekend 1 & 1 and it felt great. Straight set victories against him have been few and far between. I realized after the match what a waste of time I spent obsessing over the past. I have improved greatly, I just ignored it and spent more energy fighting myself during a match than the other person on the court.

Awesome. There will always be setbacks in your game. It is part of the process and everyone goes through them. Just ask Bottle, he is some darn confused he doesn't know what to do. He is resorting to poetry now. :p

I believe I had a revelation. I don't think I've ever played with so few errors. I was inspired the day before watching an ex-college player, some say a 5.0, hit so cleanly. His power was effortless, and his placement & depth, precise. I just focused on hitting a clean ball and actually played the entire match with a one handed backhand, which I haven't used in about six months. Nice, huh?

Well that is a new concept we haven't heard here. Hit cleanly? ;) Making clean contact is the single most important thing for players to do when they are developing their stroke, lost confidence in their stroke, or they simply want to hit effortlessly as you saw that 5.0 player do. He learned that a long time ago.

Now that you learned an important lesson in a win, you need to make sure you engrain it over the next 22 days. It takes about 22 days to make a habit. Don't fall into the trap "thinking you got it". It has not develop into habit yet. So in your practices, hit through the ball fluidly and hit cleanly for three weeks. Hit NO putaway balls unless you use the same clean and smooth stroke.

I plan to work on that now, more or less s-l-o-w-i-n-g down and hitting a clean ball with minimal effort. If I need to step up and crack a forehand as I did in that match, I'll have the energy to do so and my confidence won't be shaken from fighting the racquet and my body to overpower my opponent, since with that come errors.

Haha, you are way ahead of me. Maybe you did sleep at the Holiday Inn.

I've been so drained mentally and physically it's no wonder I lost the important matches.

Yeah, you can put that thinking to bed now and go on with your game. Remember, enjoy the ups and downs, find things to learn and enjoy growing. :cool:

Woodstock_Tennis
05-22-2006, 10:16 AM
Life lesson:

Always focus on the present.

This goes into tennis, you can't dwell on the past or think about the future. Just focus on the moment: the serve, fh, and bh at hand.

wyutani
05-22-2006, 10:33 AM
confidence can come from cheerleaders wearing short skirt screaming ur name...

Bungalo Bill
05-22-2006, 10:40 AM
confidence can come from cheerleaders wearing short skirt screaming ur name...

I think this would fall on the above "focus on the present". But of course it would depend on HOW they are calling your name. :)