Are Tennis Players More Delusional About Their Abilities Than Other People?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

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    I never took a lesson until I saw a video of myself and realized how awkward my stroke looked. (about 3 years ago)

    it's much better now but had I never seen myself play I would just know that I can get the ball back over the net..but that's all i was doing..no spin/direction/offense
     
    #51
  2. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

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    I am a professional musician/music teacher, avid chess player, and weekend tennis hack. I KNOW that in all these fields, the winner is the person who sucked the least. I have no delusions. If I win it's because I sucked slightly less than my opponent. If I lose it is because I sucked more. Does it really matter how much?


    EDIT: embrace the suck. It's eye opening.
     
    #52
  3. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    It's Dunning-Kruger: incompetent people are ignorant of their incompetence. http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/2187-incompetent-people-ignorant.html

    It's one reason I highly suggest occasionally playing against someone much stronger than you (or asking your pro to go all out in a practice set). You don't realize where you're really at and how much work there is to be done until you see someone competing directly against you at a much higher level.
     
    #53
  4. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    In our minds, we think we are bad-***. Sometimes our mental projections of our playing is legendary. One of my teammates played a singles match this weekend (male, 3.0). He won, but barely. In the end the opponent shook his hand and thanked him for playing. As his opponent was leaving the courts, I overheard him in the parking lot, whispers of things like "he resorted to pushing in the end," and "just kept hitting everything back right at me, no variation, not even trying to win the point."

    Yet from my observation, both players had brief periods of all-out slug-fests, really wailing at the ball. Other times, they were so tired that they just junk-balled each other.

    Both were guilty of playing really well for their level, and pushing at the same time. If they could only watch a video of their match, they would see. But unfortunately its not like that. It's always someone else's fault.

    I used to play, coach and referee soccer. I didn't observe this behavior there. My best friend plays ice and roller hockey, he says he doesn't see that either. When their opponents are beaten, they all go back to the same locker room together and drink beer. No hard feelings.

    But not in tennis.
     
    #54
  5. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Some thoughts on this...

    - You're citing one instance (although I agree that what you saw and heard is not uncommon). Maybe it is a plague, maybe not.

    - You said "Her own take on how well/poorly she was playing bore little resemblance to the truth as I saw it, and her take on what was wrong and how to fix it was way off the mark." Your perceptions are usually pretty accurate, but I'm just curious...what did she actually say? Especially since she apparently didn't think her play was all roses and she had a plan to fix the problems. If you don't agree with her fix-up plan, that's fine but that's a different story. It doesn't automatically make her delusional about her tennis.

    - I agree that NTRP can be a way to put on rose colored glasses re one's perceived game vs. reality. As in "I'm a solid 4.0, and the only reason I lost that match was (pick one or more of the following) (a) I have a new string job (b) I have an old string job (c) the wind was blowing (d) the sun was in my eyes (e) the dog ate my homework," etc., etc., etc. My rule used to be "You're only as good as your last match", now it's "You're only as good as your next match."

    - So I dunno if NTRPers are delusional as much as they come off as being whiners when they lose but incredible self-promoters when they win. As a contrast, take a look at Masters alpine ski racing. Last week at the Nationals at Big Sky, we had a week of tough, cold, snowy weather. The course crew did a great job of getting the courses in the best shape possible, but they couldn't do much about the visibility, which was less than ideal most days. The visibility was not good for the downhill, where I crashed doing about 65 and banged up my knee, but the vis was the same for everybody, and it was adequate to run the race...I agree with the TD on that one. I don't have any complaints, it was just operator error on my part, and the best skier won. I'm just glad it's only a badly sprained knee, no surgery required, and I'll be back on skis again this week. There are other races, and I aim to win them.

    If you win a race, you don't have to blow your own horn. Your friends and competitors will shake your hand and congratulate you at the finish line. If you ski out, crash, or have a bad day, you don't have to do any "woulda, coulda, shoulda"s. The other racers will tell you it's a drag, but they've all been there, and there's another race tomorrow. When I was hobbling around on crutches at the finish line for the last two days of racing, every racer in the field, no exceptions, came up to me, asked how my knee was, and said he or she was happy I dodged the big bullet, and wouldn't have to go under the knife. Just different sports and different players, I guess...
     
    #55
  6. bukaeast

    bukaeast Rookie

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    Wait a minute here.

    Tennis is a mental game. It's all about self belief, self confidence. (Self delusion if you will at lower levels.) If you don't think you are going out there and win convincingly, you will lose.

    That cannot be turned on and off. Can it?

    I wallow in my disbelief and my record shows it.
     
    #56
  7. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    I used to be delusional until one day I realized I was just better than everyone else.
     
    #57
  8. maggmaster

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    Competitive sports require a certain amount of doublethink. In order to perform optimally you need to convince yourself that you will win, even when the odds are against you. Then once you have lost or won, you must be able to look at your game objectively to fix any issues that became apparent in the previous match, while preparing for your next bout of delusional self assurance via self motivation. It is apparent at all levels of sport, not just club levels.
     
    #58
  9. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Confidence is one thing (and a good thing). But delusion is something else entirely.
     
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  10. Clive Walker

    Clive Walker Rookie

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    Tennis is the eaisiest game in the world to watch from the side (esp at club level) and see exactly what players do wrong, why they miss certain shots and how to put it right.
     
    #60
  11. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I have been surprised reading this as well as I don't think I have ever seen a 4.0 (or even the majority 4.5) players hit any type of a kick at all. This is a relatively easy serve if you learn it as a kid, but not as an adult. Getting it at shoulder height is relatively easy, but hitting the back fence is not or at least I don't think it is. I am going to give it a try today.
     
    #61
  12. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    I am a self-rated A player and can hit a tremendous kick-serve, much better than most USTA rated 4.0s and many 4.5 players. My self-rating standard is much tougher than the USTA standard, though.
     
    #62
  13. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    I am a 4.0 and I struggle to get my kick serve out of peoples's strike zone. Sometimes, when I am hitting it well, it moves enough to be damaging but mostly it just goes in and is fairly easy to control.
     
    #63
  14. jdubbs

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    It's tough to estimate, because you have crafty 4.0's with no real weapons that run down everything and win a lot at that level, who will get destroyed at 4.5. But they get bumped up because they win so much.

    I went through a lot of losing until I finally figured out how to beat the pushers/counterpunchers and moved up to 4.5 where most guys know how to hit the ball with some pace. But it's only when you play 5.0's or above where guys are really consistent and playing what looks like a recognizable semi-pro game.
    4.5 is just the best of the hackers, so really 3.5-4.5 is just hackerville, generally. Just have fun with it all.
     
    #64
  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I have a kick (topspin) serve.

    My kick serve sucks.

    It might get up to a woman's shoulders if she is short *and* we are playing on clay.

    Still, I keep hitting it. For some reason, some players will try to hit down on it. Probably because it looks like a giant grapefruit. They will miss. So it's worth having for those players.
     
    #65
  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Can someone tell me which is correct (below)? I have gone over the adverb placement with my son many times, and we are still unable to figure it out. We read a complex article on the subject, but it didn't help.

    Still, I keep hitting it.

    I still keep hitting it.
     
    #66
  17. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    You haven't played enough 50+ former open-level players who are 4.0 because they can barely walk - doesn't mean they can't serve. There are a few around here.
     
    #67
  18. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I am in the 40+ version of that category and can still hit a decent kick on occasion. I have seen some very solid 4.0 50/60+ players who still can play awesome doubles, but they seemed to hit slice serves rather than kicks. My guess is it is back related which I can completely understand.
     
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  19. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Still [meaning nevertheless], I keep hitting it.

    I still [meaning continually or relentlessly or persistently ] keep hitting it.

    That's my take on it.
     
    #69
  20. Mauvaise

    Mauvaise Rookie

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    I would consider them both grammatically correct but meaning two entirely different things as Cindy mentioned in her post above.



    Cindy, you'll be amused to know I hear it from 3.0 players! Women at that! I say to them: That's 3.0 ladies tennis.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
    #70
  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Bad example on my part. Here is one from a previous post:

    I am in the 40+ version of that category and can still hit a decent kick on occasion.

    vs

    I am in the 40+ version of that category and still can hit a decent kick on occasion.
     
    #71
  22. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Writer's prerogative...? Both seem to say the same thing to me. Where's Strunk and White when we need them?
     
    #72
  23. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    That's just smart play though. If people don't deal with it well, keep hitting that shot!

    Example: I hit a forehand slice maybe once every 500 forehands, as it isn't a shot I like to hit, or rely on. Today I realized my opponent didn't like them at all. It isn't a great shot on my part since I rarely use it, but it gave him a lot more trouble then I would have expected, so I used it! It causes more errors then it should have. :razz:

    Use whatever works, no one is getting extra points based on style!

    -Fuji
     
    #73
  24. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

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    Yes, tennis players have a sense of grandeur about their abilities and think they look and perform so much better than they actually do. Being around various courts in multiple cities, I've observed this phenomenon first hand. I don't think I've ever encountered a recreational player I probably couldn't beat.
     
    #74
  25. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    #75
  26. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    Weeee internet tough guys are awesome...
     
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  27. spot

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    Sounds about right.
     
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  28. Clive Walker

    Clive Walker Rookie

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    I don't think I've ever watched a recreational player and secretly thought, "I've got the game to beat them."

    It's a different story when you face them. The delusions of the club player are there for all to see- I guess I just know I'm a bit deluded
     
    #78
  29. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Slight tangent...
    Is it delusional for club hacks to use poly?
     
    #79
  30. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Most of the time, IMO, Yes.

    -Fuji
     
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  31. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I get a kick out of watching 4.0 USTA doubles leagues with the guys staring at their rackets in amazement after hitting into the net, drinking custom blends of sports drinks, and hi-fiveing each other after every point. I would just like to point out that half of their serves are foot faults, and then go from there. There are guys who even start with their feet on the line. It is so pathetic watching how these guys try to behave like the pros.
     
    #81
  32. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I'm probably at the club hack level, and I really wish this was the case for me as I am spending 60$+ per week on strings and my arm is in constant slight pain. The playability I get from this is something I don't think I could give up though.

    I don't understand some of the guys I play with who hit relatively flat and don't break strings. I would guess a gut string would be better for them.
     
    #82
  33. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Well, I look like I play much better tennis than I actually do.
     
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  34. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Uh oh.

    Is it delusional for a club hack 4.0 50+ woman to use a gut/poly hybrid?

    'Cause I like my string job. :(
     
    #84
  35. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Almost certainly. I don't think that the average club player really has the racket head speed to truly benefit from poly.
     
    #85
  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Does it feel better? Does it perform better?
     
    #86
  37. Costagirl

    Costagirl Banned

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    It's funny, I do find tennis players to be a a bit delusional about their actual level of play. As a teaching pro I hear all the time how great they are...the reason for their loss is never due to their lack of strategy or skill but their bad back, ankle, to hot, the wind etc. It's super annoying...losses can be terrible on the ego. But hey that's life... my problem teaching people is that if you don't take accountability for all the errors, lack of skill etc. you will never understand how to practice to get better. Reality is greatly lacking in tennis.
     
    #87
  38. goober

    goober Legend

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    It's called living the dream:)

    Who are you to wake them up to reality?
     
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  39. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Moreover, when I am on the court, someone is saying the same things about me :) So it all evens out.
     
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  40. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    It's called living the dream.
    Like that 5.0 guy JonnyBlaze going for it in 7.0 tourney's.
    If you base your live solely on reality, life is barely worth living.
    You gotta dream, set some goals, and live live with HOPE !!
     
    #90
  41. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    All true...

    ...I've always been a fan of what they say in the U. S. Air Force, which is "Aim High." But to actually get to where you're looking, the first thing you have to do is Eat Reality Sandwiches and be honest with yourself about where you are now. Then, you can put together a plan to close the gap...
     
    #91
  42. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Don't you think he is higher than 5.0? I have no idea actually.
     
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  43. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    In 1983, somehow I qualified to enter the SaturdayQ of the OaklandSupercross. Winning a few pro events at the stadium courses (District 36, NorCal) helped, of course, as I never could win any regular outdoors MX pro race.
    My buds said I was wasting my time. I knew I might finish next to last, of the non crasher's. I was really hoping for a mid pack start, then fade to beat ONE guy. Nope, I crashed hard on the 3rd turn, didn't make the Sunday finals. Reality bites!
    In 1969, somehow got stuck in a surfing 4A heat with JoeyThomas, CorkyCarol, RogerAdams, and my hero, TomOverlin. It was 6-8' second reef SteamerLane, I had a chance to beat them all (in my mind, and because the surf was big for a contest). I came in 6th. But, a big BUT, had I not rode my 6th, 7th, and 8th waves, I would have come in possibly 3rd. They automatically count any wave past #5, and the latter waves were my worst!
    Of course, had I not taken off on 6-8th, someone else would have, and probably would have relegated me back to water's level anyways...:shock::cry::cry:
    You gotta dream, that's what makes life worth living.
     
    #93
  44. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Agree. I'm always amazed at the amount of foot faulting at the rec/club levels. Don't they know there's a rule. Big pet peeve.

    If the issue is spin, some say that full gut only has a teensy weensy, itsy bitsy little less spin than a gut/poly setup. If it's the dead feel of poly you like, then um... I dunno, maybe the guys in the string forum can help. :)
     
    #94
  45. RoddickAce

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    I think it depends on your playing style rather than your level. I am not a high-level player, and I know quite a few friends at a similar level.

    We all use poly. I've tried multi's before and mult+poly hybrids before and they last less than 1 week.
     
    #95
  46. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Way cool...

    ...I had a similar experience last week the U. S. Masters Alpine Championships in Big Sky, Montana. I crashed in the first DH training run, got a clean but too round, not aero enough run on the second day...but I had fast skis, and I figured if I could just clean up a few things, I could podium.

    Didn't work out that way. Race day was cold, grey, and snowing, couldn't see past the first gate. No big deal...I know the course...Powder River, let 'em buck. In the middle of a very fast but seriously out of control run, I ran off the track at about 65 mph and went into about 10 inches of fresh powder. Boom, down. I threw both shoes and went into the B-net. So I didn't win, but the good news is I only put a bad bone bruise into my right knee, and if the MRI looks good tomorrow, I'm back on skis and racing this weekend.

    Speaking of surfing...like every kid in upstate New York who had ever been alive and had heard "Surfin' USA" at least a thousand times, I always wanted to surf. Four years ago, I was out in Cali for a tennis clinic with my former coach, Dave Hodge, then Men's Assistant at Stanford. I had plenty of slack in the schedule, though, so I rented a road bike and rode from Stanford up into the hills, also from Golden Gate Bridge down to SF harbor and back up again. Unbelievable...

    I also learned to surf at Adventure Out in Pacifica. Okay, all I can do is get up and stay up on 4 foot beginner waves, but, hey, I'm a surfer now! And the next time...just like the next time on skis, the next time on the road bike, or the next time on a wave...I'll be even better...cowabunga, y'all...
     
    #96
  47. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Ski's still scare me.
    There was this one day in the mid '70's where SquawValley decided to risk lawsuits and whot, and groomed Siberia from top to bottom...which was GoldCoast.
    SteveMcKinney was there, as were over 20 other speed skiers. Working at FTC sports, I borrowed a FischerC-4, all 225cms, and decided to scare myself silly.
    I actually was the competitor after McKinney on one run. He tucked the entire SiberiaBowl for equal 3rd or so, 90 mph.
    I didn't make 65, rising from my tuck about 1/3 down, scared sh.tless. OK, maybe 1/4 down. It's weird, but you pick up speed really quickly, then take foreever to make the final 1/4 bit of top speed.
     
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  48. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Oh, Pacifica.
    I'd been surfing at quite a decent level before....tib/fib, 6 pins, plate, wires, 13 months in casts, 5 months in a hip, the rest in shorties....
    So, 5 days after getting out of prison, I rode ONE wave at 6' OceanBeach. Second day, decided discretion the better part of valor, built a heel wedge for my foot (couldn't come close to walking, since atrophy and 13 months of not moving my ankle set it pretty solidly pointed), GeorgeOrbellion (author of EssentialSurfing and Surfer Mag board design editor) drove me to WanderInn on a 3' day and I rode over 30 rights....6 days after getting out of my casts, my leg the size of my arms, skin still palor yellow, crutch to shoreline.
    Couldn't do backside off the lips, but could roundhouse cutback and turn away from the curl.
     
    #98
  49. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Figurative prison or is there another LeeD story yet to be told?
     
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  50. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Both.
    Spent TWO stints at 6th floor, Hall of Justice, SanFrancisco. Not concurrent, but about a year apart.
    The head sheriff was JimButteroff, a surfing friend of mine.
    Did I say I was a saint?
     

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