Losses outweigh the wins?

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by tennis5, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Does anyone else have a junior where a loss ( should have/could have won)
    seems to outweigh the good win ( beat someone much higher ranked than you).

    Sorry, not said eloquently, but you get the idea.

    Any wisdom?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
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  2. jcc309

    jcc309 New User

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    It is always going to be that way. I am 16, and let me just paint the picture from a couple of friends that train at the same academy as me. I have a friend today that was up 6-1 4-1 on a kid who is ranked top 30 nationally in the 14s (my friend is also 14). This would have been an enormous win. However, he let it slip away and lost in a 10 point tie-break. What do you think is going to be in his mind for weeks? Certainly not that he played an exceptional match and almost beat a kid so highly ranked. He is just going to remember the collapse.

    It works the same way match to match. There is nothing memorable about routine wins. Say you beat someone who is very good 6-4 6-4. You are not going to remember it. It is a routine match with a routine score. You get congratulations on a great win, but nothing more. Now if you lose to someone who you are supposed to beat by the same score, then you have friends making fun of you. People give you a hard time. It is just hard to live down.

    Losses will almost always outweigh wins. It is moving on from them that is important.
     
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  3. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Nice to hear the perspective from a junior. Thanks.
     
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  4. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    I'm about two decades removed from my junior days, but to this day I can still vividly remember the epic collapses and the wins that slipped away. The high you get from a good win is fleeting, the low you get from a disappointing loss you tend to carry with you. When I was in my early teens I would dwell on my losses and had a tendency to let it affect me adversely in the next match/tournament.

    On the court, get him trained to avoid negative thoughts and focus more on facts. You want to change his thought from 'I lost that game because I suck' to something more along the lines of 'I lost that game because I made a few errors and/or my opponent played well.' After a match, reinforce that how you performed yesterday doesn't have anything to do with how you will play tomorrow. Just like you mentally reset between points, you have to mentally reset between matches.

    Also, I think it's important to let your kid know that it's ok to feel disappointed. That's something I wish someone had told me when I was 14. Learning to be resilient is part of the maturing process.
     
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  5. TennisNinja

    TennisNinja Hall of Fame

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    I definitely agree with this. I don't care that I almost beat the top ranked player, I care about how I blew it, choked, and let the win slip away.

    And normal wins are just normal wins. You don't tend to dwell on them.
     
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  6. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Well, I am talking about a great win and a great loss....
    That somehow the great loss can overshadow the great win...
     
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  7. TennisNinja

    TennisNinja Hall of Fame

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    That's true too, because you're always left wondering about what could have been.
     
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  8. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Long term perspective is one of the toughest things in tennis - especially for juniors. I've seen kids (including my own) have a great tournament - by this I mean playing well, playing right, getting good solid wins - but not winning the tournament. That one loss seems to erase good progress made in the tournament. The key is to look long term and how you are progressing week to week, month to month, year to year. Easier said than done.
     
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  9. racket-e

    racket-e New User

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    I would actually disagree with this. I will always remember my best wins and the last few points and the satisfaction at the end. These are the matches I will talk about and think about when I am feeling down. I try not to think about my losses to worse players and usually just make a joke out of them when they are mentioned.
     
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  10. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    I think it is human nature to dwell on the negative. It's like the national anthem. Aside from Whitney Houston, it's tough to remember who sang it really well. But, it is pretty easy to recall that Roseanne, and now The Fray, just murdered it. Thousands have sung it, but the lowlights stick out more.

    From my junior days, only a couple matches stand out where I played awesome and came out on top. But, I can remember almost exactly what happened in several poor matches.

    Think about when the pros are asked about their most memorable win. They usually respond with an, "oh, geez, let me think about it". But when asked about a painful loss, they can immediately bring up multiple examples of them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
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  11. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Another thing is that we like to think of ourselves in high esteem, that we are better than what other people might think. So what might look to others like a surprising win against a better opponent, might internally be viewed as mere confirmation that you really are that good. A loss to an inferior opponent, on the other hand, conflicts with that belief and causes turmoil inside.

    Win against a better player: I knew I was that good!
    Loss against an inferior player: Maybe I'm not as good as I think I am...
     
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  12. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    totally agree
     
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  13. y12.pats

    y12.pats Rookie

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    Completely agree. Im 15 and a freshman at high school. I started out ranked 12 on the ladder and my coach had me play #9 in a challenge match (sophomore). I lost the first set 6-0 to a combination of nerves and bad decisions. But then quickly won the second 6-0 and took a 4-1 lead in the third. Somehow i managed to blow it and lost 5 games in a row 6-4. That feeling of low lasted me until I could go back onto the court and hit and play and still Im not completely over it. Wheras when I beat #8, the high only lasted for an hour or two.
     
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  14. jayoub95

    jayoub95 Semi-Pro

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    Well as my coach always tells me:

    "You learn nothing from winning, you only gain confidence. However you do learn much more from loosing"

    I'd say my coach is right because one of his older students who recently retired from the pro tour who reached a career high ATP ranking in singles of 352, was a top junior who beat Andy Roddick in the finals of a massive tournament in juniors. After this he thought he was the best because Roddick was the best junior at the time. So Andy Roddick worked harder and became world #1 and won a grand slam and this guy who beat Roddick only reached 352 because he stopped working hard and thought he was the best. After hearing this from my coach i always try to look on the good side of loosing and winning.

    Any ways my coach is giving me hits with this guy who is now 30 years old. Name is Sadik Kadir and he is teaching me a lot of things that he experienced as a junior and as a pro.

    So to answer your question.... loosing can be good and bad, just depends on how much you want to learn.
     
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  15. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Jayoub95, I am impressed that you took to that advice so well. What a great life example to learn from. Good luck!
     
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  16. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    It's a loss only if you don't learn anything from it.

    I think successful players in any sport are the ones who move on from the last missed point, the last missed pitch, the last missed free throw. Athletes who dwell on the last bad play often let that bad play lead to another.

    Its part of the game for a bad play to cost a point.......it's on the player if thinking about it costs a second point.

    I don't think........let's see if people post up to the contrary......that successful athletes (scholars, businessmen, investors, coaches) dwell on their losses or let them detract from their focus on achieving success.
     
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  17. tennisconsultcom

    tennisconsultcom Rookie

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    I continue to publish excerpts from Allen Fox new book “Tennis: Winning the Mental Match” http://www.tennisconsult.com/ There is a great book, very useful and informative. I hope you will find a lot of good advices from it.
     
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  18. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    You also learn a ton from winning. You learn what works! Your ideal match winning percentage is roughly 80%. You need to know what you do well, and how your game fits into the world. Losing has its obvious value, but way too many players lose often, and their habit is to show up and lose. Winning strategies and winning formulas for putting your game together come mostly from our successes.
     
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  19. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    Why do you say the ideal match winning percentage is roughly 80%?

    I checked the top ten nationally ranked junior girls on TRN (didn't do the seniors in case some senioritis might be affecting results). Only 2 out of the top 10 junior girls currently show a winning percentage of 80%. Stated another way, 80% of the top ten do not have a winning percentage of 80%.

    Are the top-ten junior girls on TRN a bad sample? Is your advice applicable to a different age group or a lesser skill set? Or to boys, not girls?

    EDIT: junior=class of 2013
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
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  20. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    If you add their local matches with high school tennis and local/regional tournaments you will be near that 80%. This is an ideal because it is very hard to do. You have to win to play more matches, and in a section like Southern California there are no backdraws so you can be one and done. Also, players need 80-100 matches per year to maximize their development, so the whole devleopment cycle is dependent on a lot of winning. If you play 20 tournaments and you win 80% you have an 80-20 record.
     
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  21. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the response. I didn't factor in that the top ten juniors per graduating class were playing high school tennis and local/regional tournaments that are not included in TRN rankings. This is new and surprising information for me.
     
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  22. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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  23. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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