5 Tips to Improve Federer’s Mental Game

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by vtmike, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. vtmike

    vtmike Banned

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    Interesting article from Sports psychology for Tennis:

    Here’s my mental game of tennis summary outlining why Nadal beat Federer:

    - Federer has had a tough history with Nadal during the last year and it plays on his mind.
    - Federer thinks he has a big disadvantage against Nadal’s lefty serve. Translation: I can’t break him when I really need to get a break.
    - Federer thinks the best player does not always win if it goes to five sets. Translation: Even if I’m a better tennis player, there’s a chance I can’t win this.
    - Others expect Federer to beat Nadal. Translation: This causes more pressure for Federer.
    - Federer thought (assumption on my part) he had to hit every first serve perfectly and score aces. This resulted in a first serve percentage of only 51% and six double-faults just at the wrong times. Translation: Going for winners on the first serve caused him to lose service games.

    I do think Federer beat himself, especially in the final set. But I don’t want to take anything away from Nadal’s heroic performance. He played a great tactical and mentally tough match. Nadal could have folded earlier in the match when Federer had all the momentum, but he held strong.

    How can Federer improve his mindset or mental game for future success against Nadal?

    1. Focus on the future and not the past. Nadal leads Federer 13-6 head to head from 2004 to 2009. From 2008 to present, Nadal has won all five meetings. The last match Federer won was the semifinals of the 2007 Tennis Masters Cup. Federer has it in his head that he can’t beat Nadal no matter how good he plays. He must approach each match without the history being a monkey on his back.

    2. Practice more against lefty players. Federer thinks he has a big disadvantage against lefty players when it comes to his return of serve. He need to practice more with lefty players if that’s the case and find a way to turn this disadvantage into an advantage in his mind.

    3. Play a functional match instead of a perfect looking match. Federer has perfect-looking, flowing groundstrokes, but perfect stokes does not win matches. Good (functional) strokes, good tactics, and mental toughness wins matches. He should play the shots that get the job done in the match rather than stick to what he thinks looks pretty or feels perfect to him.

    4. Stop worrying about what others expect. Players sometimes adopt others expectations as their own and then feel pressure to play up to others expectations. This may be the case with Federer. I think he worries too much about what the public expects of him because of his number one status for several years.

    5. Win with your best shots, not winners on every serve. This concept is similar to playing functional tennis instead of perfect tennis. When players think they must hit winners on every serve (be perfect) to win matches, this causes them to tighten up and over control their performance. I think a better goal for Federer would be to improve his first serve percentage against Nadal instead or try to hit aces every service.

    Source: http://www.sportspsychologytennis.com/?p=1366
     
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  2. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    one tip. buy a gun with 3 bullets.
     
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  3. vtmike

    vtmike Banned

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    LOL why 3?
     
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  4. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    One for Nadal
    for Murray
    and one for the person who replaces them.
     
    #4
  5. rubberduckies

    rubberduckies Professional

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    1. This is important, but very difficult to do. Like Safin said, the only reason Nadal has gotten into Fed's head is that he has beaten him so many times.
    2. He has practiced with soooooooooo many lefites over the years.
    3. He does not do this! Only deluded Fedfans could possibly think he does this.
    4. He handled expectations of his success very well. He is the type to revels in the adulation of others.
    5. When you have one of the best serves on tour, you need to use it.
     
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  6. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    "Federer thinks the best player doesn't always win". He's wrong! The best player has beaten him 5 times in a row now.
     
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  7. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    When his kid turns 2, Fed will show him how to win a calendar slam. That will be his motivating factor I think.
     
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  8. bladepdb

    bladepdb Professional

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    Easier said than done.

    Way to take things out of context and troll. It was specifically in regards to 5-setters.
     
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  9. rubberduckies

    rubberduckies Professional

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    So Fed is gonna introduce him to Nadal?
     
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  10. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    How lame...he's said that about himself too.Dont take things out of context.
     
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  11. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Fed's right about 1 thing. The best players don't always win, like when Nadal busted his knee tendon while he was dominating the Wimbledon 07 final.
     
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  12. vtmike

    vtmike Banned

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    Now you guys are just showing your hate for no reason...You know very well that the statement was just aimed towards the AO final and not ALL the matches he has played with Nadal! and in a way he did throw away his match in the 5th set no matter how hard you find this to believe...I mean it was pretty obvious he chocked in the fifth! but on the other hand he shoud've just kept it to himself and not said that out loud in public...
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
    #12
  13. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    Oh it's a *******s party and I'm not invited? Ha ha.

    You guys are unbelievable.

    The Natural: You're right, the best players don't always win, like when Federer choked 2 match points in Rome 2006, choked a set point leading 5-1 at Hamburg 2008, and completely choked the 1st and 3rd sets in the AO 2009 final.
    If anyone should consider himself lucky, it's Nadal for playing against the most mentally weak #1 ever. If Federer wasn't also the most talented player in history, he wouldn't be #1 at all.
     
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  14. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    It is not only Federer's mind against Nadal.
    Generally his game has declined. His forehand and backhand are no longer as good as they used to be. I think he got bored, and is too used to winning easily and got lazy. He wants to rely on his serve to win easily. when his serve doesn't click or when against the top players, he can't win. Just compare any of his recent matches(even those he won) against a 2004-2006 match, u can see the big difference.

    Now a no-confidence + worse skills = average Federer.
     
    #14
  15. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    LMAO busted his tendon? You fool he would have been out for months if that had happened.

    LOL.
     
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  16. ksbh

    ksbh Banned

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    At least one Federer fan has the balls to admit that fact about Federer (bolded part). If someone else had said that, some Federer fanatics would have been all over the place.

     
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  17. theduh

    theduh Semi-Pro

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    I think he's being sarcastic.
     
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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Fed's mental game is a consequence of his physical game, which is impaired by an unstable backhand and unsuitable racquet.
     
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  19. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    That is only because the sun was in Federer's eye, and he was exhausted.
     
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  20. ksbh

    ksbh Banned

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    Cr*p! The wait continues then :)

     
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  21. tonyg11

    tonyg11 Rookie

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    I was watching the 09 Aus open final and Pat McEnroe's analysis of Federer's game was often correct. Federer needs realize that being as good as he is doesn’t mean he knows everything. His lack of a full time coach and mentor is becoming painfully obvious against someone like Nadal who has stepped up to challenge his game.
     
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  22. BkK_b0y14

    BkK_b0y14 Semi-Pro

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    And then after Fed loses a couple more times to Rafa...Rafa will become baby-Fed's godfather and teach him his successful ways...
     
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  23. Gen

    Gen Banned

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    Which means that Federer is not "the best players". Nobody in his right mind would call a choker "a great player / sportsman". Neither is he the most talented player in the history. You have seen Pancho Gonzales, John Newcombe, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Bjorn Borg to say that Federer is better than anyone of them?
     
    #23
  24. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Laver has said multiple times that he's surprised to be considered in the same league as federer...

    so yeah, i have.

    why do you guys always have to ruin a good thread with your trolling?
     
    #24
  25. tahiti

    tahiti Professional

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    I agree with this analysis completely. Nicely done.
     
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