How to relax under pressure

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Essential Tennis, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Essential Tennis

    Essential Tennis Rookie

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    #1
  2. phoenicks

    phoenicks Professional

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  3. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    As always, great article Ian. I also enjoyed your playing tennis is a privilege post. You make an excellent point that often goes overlooked.
     
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  4. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Solid article. Focusing on strategy and revisiting my plan at the outset of each individual point is the best thing for helping me to avoid being overwhelmed by the weight of a situation.

    Pressure is only something that we all manufacture in the space between our ears and I think that tension sneaks in for a lot of us if we decide to be distracted by the "pressure" of a "big point". I think that one of the worst things that one doubles partner can say to the other is something to the effect of, "Okay, we need this point!" The response that plays in my head is something like, "Gee, thanks chucklehead! Why don't you blindfold me and put 20 lb. weights on my ankles while you're at it!" Really now, just what point don't you need?

    When I put my attention to the only thing that matters - the point I have to play right now - it doesn't matter if I'm down break point or two points away from winning a big match. The only thing that's riding on any given point is nothing more than that point. The rest becomes almost irrelevant, but this is definitely a routine that I need to rehearse. Switching to this mode of thinking can easily be practiced during a hitting session by stopping and playing a quick tiebreaker.
     
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  5. CHOcobo

    CHOcobo Professional

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    take many deep breaths and try to clear your mind.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Cho...
    Mfill at 56 lbs.???
    How can you hit a first serve or hard forehand? Doesn't the string absorb lots of power, shift all over, and feel slightly mishit?
    I use Mfill 200 18x20. Strung with the heaviest 15 gauge poly, right around 62 minimum to control the serves and harder strokes....hard forehands or heavily sliced backhands.
    First tried 60, just pure torture with non solid shots.
    For my second serves, 62 might be too soft, as I can double hit even with decent contact after 30 years of the same grip and swing.
     
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  7. Element54

    Element54 Semi-Pro

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    Great stuff!!
     
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  8. Essential Tennis

    Essential Tennis Rookie

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    Thanks a lot for the feedback guys
     
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  9. CHOcobo

    CHOcobo Professional

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    to be honest im not that much in to details. i just don't like it when my elbow gets all the impact that's y go soft. plus im still learning a lot of things. and im hitting it fine with hard forehand.
     
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  10. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Nice stuff Ian. I would respectively add one more thing to the list, and that is controlling grip pressure. Too many club level players, hold the racquet like a blacksmith pounding a piece of iron. This is mechanically inefficient and exhausting. It robs the arm of both speed and mobility (the ability to make minute racquet face to ball alignment adjustments) which are essential elements in good ball striking.

    Understanding that grip pressure should be apllied with the bottom three fingers is central to this theme. when done correctly the tension is eased in the forearm, and the feel of where the racquet head is improved.


    In competition, and under pressure, the tendency to apply too much grip pressure is an issue we all have experienced, but it would be near the top of my checklist when in that situation.
     
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  11. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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  12. certifiedjatt

    certifiedjatt Banned

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    Hi Ian:
    i read that you're an MRT with "...superior product knowledge" in racket sports. I thought you'd be a good person to ask a question:

    When you and other MRTs recommend tensions or string types (and other equipment modifications), are the suggestions based on scientific, unbiased evidence or what players have been saying for generations??? The reason I ask is that there is a lot of discrepancy between science and general tennis knowledge regarding tensions, string types, and other things.

    Thoughts??

    thanks!
     
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  13. 3lowdown

    3lowdown Rookie

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    Great article. thanks
     
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  14. Essential Tennis

    Essential Tennis Rookie

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    I apologize I just saw this!

    I completely agree, the vast majority of club players carry way too much physical tension in general, and the hand and forearm definitely isn't an exception.

    Not only does it cause technique to suffer, but its a huge cause of injuries such as tennis elbow as well.

    Thanks a lot for the input, cheers
     
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  15. Essential Tennis

    Essential Tennis Rookie

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    Greetings, thanks for the post.

    I need to change the set up of how the Gear Reviews are posted. I'm not the MRT, Jeremy is as it says on the top of the Gear Reviews blog page. Jeremy posts here at TW as well under StringGuru, often times in the Rackets and Strings forums.

    I'm sure he'd be happy to answer your question. I'll ask him if he'd rather post it here or somewhere else.

    -Ian
     
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  16. Essential Tennis

    Essential Tennis Rookie

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    Thanks for the feedback SteveI and 3lowdown, I'll keep posting once in a while.
     
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  17. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Yea thanks,

    Just looked over your website a little. What a great concept with the podcast---and the fact your offering it for free---well, good for you Ian. I'll mention it to my clients.. Keep up the good work!
     
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  18. String|Guru

    String|Guru Banned

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    I actually am the MRT on the Essential Tennis site and would like to answer your questions. When I make a recommendation it is based partly on the specs that are put out by the manufacturers and the research other outside companies (like tennis warehouse, USRSA) publish. In addition, any string that I carry in my shop I make sure to playtest, and when possible have other players do the same and give me feedback. The same is also true of the demo racquets that I carry. 9 times out of 10 I am the first person to hit with any new demos that come into the shop. I feel that this is the only way to make a good recommendation to my customers.

    I hope that answers your questions!
     
    #18
  19. Captain Tezuka

    Captain Tezuka Rookie

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    Quote:
    Great article Ian makes me think about all the tense times I had. :lol: Yeah seriously I don't know why we don't concertrate on the ball or strategy instead of the pressure and I'm going to adopt the last suggestion embrace the pressure and win. BTW thanks for writing the article.
     
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  20. Shahar26

    Shahar26 Rookie

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    I find a shot of Vodka to be a very good relaxer....
     
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  21. MrCLEAN

    MrCLEAN Rookie

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    I had a doubles partner once where we would kind of do a reverse psyc job on each other, but it made us laugh and actually kind of worked. Whenever we would reach a big point, the non serving/receiving player would come over and drop a quote from Caddyshack..."don't worry about this one, if you miss it, we lose".

    It usually loosened us up and was a good tension breaker.
     
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