Tantrums - The guy who scolds himself loudly

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by John55, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. John55

    John55 New User

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    To me it's hilarious to see someone cursing LOUDLY at every bad shot he does and every "getable" shot missed.

    "GOD, Come on! GET THAT!" followed by some F-bombs
    "JESUS, FOCUS FOCUS!"

    I understand pumping yourself up once in a while and having a competitive spirit, but come on, every single bad shot? Even during practice hit-arounds?

    Personally, I think all the cussing and yelling is poor etiquette on the courts. Let's reserve the tantrums to the 12-year olds and under.
     
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  2. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    I agree, I've heard that guy too. Oddly, there seem to be quite a few of them, and it's weird. Some of them seem to be normal enough when they're not playing tennis. Could you imagine some guy at his desk all day, "You idiot, can't you even type your name right! Way to go, moron, you broke another pencil point..."
     
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  3. Vyse

    Vyse Semi-Pro

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    Yep that sounds like me. I can control it for awhile but than if my badness prolongs, I get pretty angry with myself and I start going off. I am pretty sure I look angry all the time while I am playing.
     
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  4. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Yah, partnered with a self-scolder recently, he was a nice enough guy but continuously berated himself through the whole match. Took some of the fun out of it for the rest of us. No matter what I said to him trying to boost him up, it didn't help. He was in his own little world, too bad. Seems he would be better off quieting down and reflecting on fixing his stokes so he wouldn't miss next time. It's like they are telling the world, "No that isn't me who just missed that shot!"--oh yes it is!
     
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  5. 1stVolley

    1stVolley Rookie

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    Not to excuse that stuff, but have you noticed that tennis is an emotional sport? In golf, field and track, even in basketball, you see a lot less of emotional outbursts.

    Tennis is the model gladiatorial contest--mano a mano--and the old ego doesn't like it when it sees the other guy imposing his will on it.
     
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  6. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    If they're loud and doing it on every miss then that's excessive. I do it once or twice if I'm having a real bad day - and doubt it's loud enough for my opponent to hear what I say.
     
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  7. Ken Honecker

    Ken Honecker Rookie

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    I don't see it like that. I feel it is more of a monkey see, monkey do deal starting with Johnny Mac people thought it was OK to look an ass on the courts and now we are stuck with it. Isn't it funny how tennis and golf are the only games I can think of where they don't call the wagons with the guys in white coats when you start screaming and cussing and breaking your equipment. I sure don't recall seeing too many hockey players breaking their sticks if they miss a shot. Can you imagine it during a pool tourneyment?
     
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  8. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Every time I play with a new doubles partner I have to warn them that I will constantly be talking to myself and that even though it will sound like I am frustrated I really am not. I know that I have an exceptionally auditory memory and without a coach there I'll coach myself. And I am someone who prefers hearing what I did wrong rather than what I did right. So every time I miss I'll talk to myself about what I did or what I want to do on the next point. Hell- even after I hit a great shot I'll often talk to myself about other things in the point I did wrong. But the criticism can get pretty severe if I did something particularly dumb. And yes I'll do it even in practice- thats when I need coaching the most.
     
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  9. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Hockey players break their sticks all the time when the other team scores on them. There are famous shots of baseball players breaking bats on their knee after striking out.
     
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  10. Taxvictim

    Taxvictim Semi-Pro

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    Give the guy a copy of The Code. It specifically says players should not conduct loud "postmortems" after lost points.
     
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  11. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I admit I'm guilty of this. I don't consider it a tantrum though. I might have an outburst (God!, Comeon!, Sh--!, etc.) when I miss a routine shot, but I move on from it quickly. I try to replace offensive words with cleaner words when I can, but when I'm really sucking they slip out alot more.

    Thats different than the person who is banging their racquet against the wall/court or moping around the court in between games in a bad mood. Thats really awkward. Once I played a guy in a challenge ladder who completely flipped out during the changeover after I won a set in a tiebreaker against him. I almost defaulted and said if he wants to win that bad, he can just take the win.
     
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  12. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    I played a guy one time that would do this... but only with his back to me. I would hear him yell, curse, etc, etc, and then he would turn around and say "sorry" with a smile and be the nicest guy on the changeovers. It was like playing 2 people, only singles! It was weird at first, but then kinda funny.
     
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  13. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Do you have kids? I have found that having little kids around every day has taught me to control my mouth better than anything. No one wants to be the father of the potty mouthed 4 year old.

    I remember in HS, I was playing this hot head kid in a match that would decide the league champion to get to play for the county championship. He was hitting a lot of netcords and getting angrier about it throughout the match. At one point after a particularly sailor-like outburst, his coach finally said that was enough and his next outburst would be a point penalty. Fast forward to him serving at 4-5 15-30 in the 3rd set. We were playing the last singles match, a win for our team would clinch the match before doubles (a win for them would give them a chance to take both doubles and win the match), and everyone from both teams and all of the spectators are lined up around our court watching us. He hit two serves that ticked off the netcord and bounced long, which led to a "God-damn motherf-ing net again" at the top of his voice. Of course, a point penalty here costs them the match and basically their whole season. I look over at their coach and he is looking away like he's not paying attention and didn't hear that. Yeah, right, buddy.

    Anyway, this kid is now ready to explode. On the next point, he absolutely hammers a first serve right into the body and follows it in (this was 20 years ago when S&V was not that uncommon...). I had to lunge out of the way to try to just get a racquet on the ball. Anyway, it floats off the frame and over his head and bounces about 4 inches from the base line. I was absolutely sure he was going to hook me (he was infamous around the county for his line calls), but to his credit, he just accepted it, shook my hand, and went off to cry somewhere. That is still one of my greatest tennis victories of my life.
     
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  14. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    There is one guy in our league who is either French or French-Canadian, and he talks to himself in both languages througout a match. It's like what he wants you to understand, he says in English and what he doesn't is in French.
     
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  15. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

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    I sometimes play with a really nice guy but self berates himself (loudly) it seems like eventually after every point. He doesn't get on his partner in doubles and in singles will 1st yell at himself and then compliment the opponent's shot, but is just relentless with himself. He does not smash racquets either...just loud verbal outbursts and self-correction.

    Its actually helped me by making me acutely aware what it looks like to others. I almost never do this anymore, though I'm certainly not perfect, and just move on to the next point. I think it has helped my play. I don't know if I ever took it to the level he does, but know I used to sometimes do it frequently in stretches. I do of course tell myself during a match things like, "turn shoulders early", "follow-through", "move your feet", etc. and analyze what's going on in the match. I just do it quietly to myself.

    I also realized it actually gives the other guy a boost...they realize he's getting himself into a tailspin, even though he thinks he's helping himself focus and correct what he's doing wrong. I've seen opponents actually softly chuckle to themselves, and I've seen partners get increasingly annoyed. I've seen him play well and I've seen him have bad days...but I've never seen the self-berating spark a big turnaround within a match.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
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  16. bharat

    bharat Rookie

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    I kind of shout out loud when I miss an easy shot. Not curse, but just yell. I've seen people cursing themselves, it kind of feels good to see them get frustrated.
    as long as he's not cursing me or breaking racket etc, I am good.
     
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  17. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    I also speak German and do this as well. If I want to "remind" myself aloud on certain strategies, I'll sometimes do it in German so I don't telegraph my next move. It also sometimes gets some looks and might get the other guy thinking.:D
     
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  18. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    Yes, all the other sports are team sports other then golf but in golf you don't miss your shot because someone is kicking you @#@!$ with the same ball you are playing...

    Same here.
     
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  19. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    That would drive me nuts...
     
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  20. Sakkijarvi

    Sakkijarvi Semi-Pro

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    I dunno, my approach since getting out of leagues is not to spend zero time with crazies on the court. In leagues I had to put up with all kinds of bad behavior, poor sportsmanship, dentists acting like they are at Wimbledon, all that jazz.

    They can mate with one another, do the angry thing, whatever. I just can't spend my recreation/exercise time, which is valuable ... with them.
     
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  21. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    Okay, cussing and yelling loudly may be a little too far. However, I routinely get annoyed everytime I miss a shot I could have gotten too or had time to setup for and I vocalize that annoyance. There is absolutely no excuse for the miss/bad shot. It's extrememly irritating and not acceptable to miss. Even if the shot was technically in but not hit where I wanted I still get annoyed and vocalize.
     
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  22. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    But for some of us we almost always follow up the bad shot with an equally good winner on the very next shot. *shrug*
     
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  23. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Can you tell us how you are setting up matches?
     
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  24. EKnee08

    EKnee08 Professional

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    Alot of good points already made:

    As stated by another poster, it probably started with Johnny Mac and guys imitating his behavior.

    You see it because its a one on one sport as opposed to a team sport and most of the guys that do it in doubles are really singles players. The problem is that when you play doubles many people wouldn't want to be your partner when they have to be your therapist on the court. One reason to stop.

    Alot of the guys who do it happen to be good guys and what they do is more a matter of lack of self-esteem/self-respect on the tennis court. It is not meant to disrespect the opponent across the net. However, it might be perceived that way so another reason to not do it if you can control it.

    Funny and true comment that you don't see people freaking out at the office when they make a mistake, also because it is not acceptable and they could lose their job.

    When an opponent sees you doing it, it empowers him.

    One way to stop yourself is to imagine that there are young children watching you even if there aren't any there. Is this setting a good example?

    Also is this the way you want to be seen in social circles and among business acquaintances?

    This is a common problem that sports psychologists see in working with tennis players and there are books by Jim Loeb, Allen Fox, etc. on how to combat and control this.

    I myself wrestled with this at one time. Interestingly enough, it never happened in just hitting only in competition, not just tournaments and leagues but also in sometimes in drills where there was a score.
    Interestingly enough, it generally further lowers your level of play on the court since your mind is not quiet and focused. You become your behavior- poor level of play. By saying " I stink", you internalize the thought and your play will stink. It is much harder to get in the elusive zone when you are talking out loud to yourself as opposed to just internally. Mac was an exception.
    Once I was able to stop showing my internal debate externally, my general level of play improved. Even if I was playing poorly, eventually in a match, my game would come around. This external behavior does not allow you to do so. One way to control it is by the "30 second" ritual between points advocated by Loehr.

    Also, this behavior is a waste of energy, you need to conserve all the energy you can in a match.

    However, its easier said than done. It is a bad habit like anything else which takes some effort to break.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
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  25. penpal

    penpal Rookie

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    I used to be a horrible offender - yelled at myself often and loudly - but have since learned the error of my ways and now am very quiet on court.

    What did the trick for me was when my wife explained to me that my outbursts were not only embarrassing, but had the effect of making it seem I thought my opponent wasn't a good player. I knew I should be embarrassed, but frankly didn't really care what others thought. But I hadn't even considered how my actions might be perceived as a slight to my opponent and this realization caused me to change and change immediately.

    In my warped mind, I was just frustrated with myself and so berating myself was no big deal. As soon as it was made clear to me that this might make my opponent feel bad, or be perceived by others as saying something akin to, "I should be beating this guy," that was it.

    Even today though I have to consciously remind myself not to do it. My instinct is to berate myself when I'm frustrated (not just in tennis). I think I know what an alcoholic must feel like - I can't allow myself even one tiny outburst for if I do there is a real risk that the dam will come flooding down :)
     
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  26. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    I'm glad you're 'cured' - but don't agree with your wife's logic. If you were just ranting because of your own UEs that has nothing to do with your opponent, just you. The key is people won't want to play with you - your actions make many people uncomfortable. I played someone last year who would have been a good regular match; lived nearby, and had simliar open times. But his behavior was so bad (he had other issues besides yelling) I will never play him again - I couldn't tank the match fast enough and get off the court. As Sakkijarvi said, life's too short to deal with nut cases.
     
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  27. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    I'd bet she was just practicing marital psychology--need that "back-up" reason to help the guy see the error of his ways. Acting more or less like a maniac was probably reason enough.
     
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  28. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    You're funny. That's a great analogy - if we went around self-criticizing all day long, life would be a misery. I wish I didn't sometimes vocalize on the court like, "I was right there! how did I miss that!" or "Fed you that one like a practice coach!" I really try to keep my mouth shut, but sometimes these things slip out, hopefully not too obnoxious. Also, I normally laugh after I say something self-depreciating, and am quick to applaud my opponent's good shot, even if I "gave it to you".
     
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  29. orangettecoleman

    orangettecoleman Professional

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    I just laugh and wave my arms around, or make weird "blaaaaagh" noises. I would never swear audibly though, that's kind of lame. Never goes beyond mumbling to myself and waving my arms around though. One of the guys I know in the league defaulted a match by walking off the court because he was sick of hearing the other guy screaming obscenities every time he made an error, can't blame him. The second guy got kicked out of the league the next week anyway...
     
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  30. split-step

    split-step Professional

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    I play better after I berate myself.
    I just have to let it out and then I can start swinging freely again.

    I don't care who is bothered by it.
     
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  31. split-step

    split-step Professional

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    Totally does for me.
    But that's because I only self-berate when I KNOW I am playing like ass. It usually involves not moving my feet or playing too timidly.
    Self berating somehow psychologically loosens me up. I don't do pent up frustration; it needs to be released.

    Sometimes I hit myself with the racquet on my legs. The pain makes me lighter on my feet :)

    Once I do that, I will usually start hitting winners.
     
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