The Bump Slump

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Gads. The Winter season hasn't even started, and already I'm in a slump. My volleys are landing short of the net. I'm double-faulting multiple times per service game. I'm sometimes missing the ball entirely on groundstrokes or volleys; if I keep it up I'm going to start whiffing my serves. I find myself calling out "Yours!" on balls I once would have considered mine. My overheads are tentative.

    See, I frequently find myself in situations where I am now the weakest player on the court. Today I partnered with a lady who would be an ideal partner for me, except I stank so badly that I think she'd do anything to get away from me. We had the same playing style, only her volleys were good and mine were bad.

    And I'm starting to get Pity Praise for rather ordinary play. You know Pity Praise, right? When the weak link finally doesn't dump her sixth straight volley into the net so everyone says, "Oh, great shot!" when we all know it wasn't. Or when the most that can be said for her failed attempt to retrieve a dropshot is "Great hustle!"

    What the heck? Some of this is just from playing against tougher opponents, but not all of it. League play starts on Wednesday. This is a really poor time to start playing badly. Any advice on pulling out of this tailspin, like, right now?
     
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  2. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    I'm in the midst of a 7 match losing streak, so I can't offer much. Let me know what works for you - I'm down to hoping for weaker opponents!
     
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  3. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    You need to relax - I think you sound anxious about the jump in competition. Have fun. And don't think about the last ball you miss. Take in a breath before every shot and focus on the next shot. I like to whisper "hit" as am am hitting the ball. Good luck.
     
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  4. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    If you're the weakest player on the court, you're going to cop more than your fair share of balls, and certainly more than your fair share of tougher balls, so proportionally, you'll feel worse than you are.

    My advice is boring, simple & corny: Let go of the things you can't control. No point worrying about being the worst player on court, you can't change who else is on court. No point worrying about the praise you get, unlikely to change that either. No point worrying about the score either, for that matter.

    Focus on the silly yellow fuzzy thing, 100% of the time. It makes the game so much simpler (and less stressful!).
     
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  5. DrewRafter8

    DrewRafter8 Professional

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    Is it cold there? My game makes a slight turn for the worse during the cold months. It's not been very cold here this year which has been fantastic for my game. I've played fairly well with temps in the 70's.
     
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  6. fe6250

    fe6250 Semi-Pro

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    I agree with Nellie. Sometimes the subtle self-imposed pressure of playing at a higher level can cause one to take tentative shots and to play 'below level'. This typically wears off as one adjusts mentally to 'belonging' at the new level. Hang in there and stay positive! From other posts, it sounds like you belong at this new level - now just accept it and keep positive and the slump will be over in no time. :)
     
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  7. tfm1973

    tfm1973 Semi-Pro

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    i think you're putting way too much pressure on yourself. nobody plays their best when they're trying too hard.

    you really are a 3.5 player. you used to be top of the rung 3.0 and now you're a freshman in the 3.5 school - suck it up. the girls are all more experienced and in the case of doubles - they will home in on the weaker player - which means you will get a ton of balls hit in your direction.

    for me when i'm the weakest player on the court (which is more than i would like) - i focus on not doing too much. just solid tennis. no low percentage shots. no aiming for the lines. nothing flashy. just bread and butter tennis. make them earn points by forcing errors/hitting winners rather than me handing them points on a platter.

    oh and when you play these better ladies -- ask them afterwards "if you were me, what would you work on first?" they will tell you what you are weakest in.
     
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  8. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Sounds like your lacking confidence in your own abilities which usually leads to poor strokes and execution which then leads into more doubt and so on. Its a vicious cycle.

    I tend to pull myself out of this by saying 'Oh f_ck it!' and ripping a few balls. By ripping a few I help force myself to take full swings through the ball without decelerrating my racquet head. My first few rips sail long but if I persist they start landing in and I get back in the habit of taking proper strokes.

    Remember, if your opponents know you lack confidence they will exploit it (especially if they know your new to 3.5) so go out there and demand their respect by nailing a few shots with authority. This will help you gain confidence and possibly put a thought/doubt or two in your opponents mind.
     
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  9. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yep, that's it. You miss a few, and you start getting conservative (slower racket head speed, no weight transfer), which makes you miss more.

    Ugh. I'm playing again tonight. Maybe I'll try to forget winning and losing and just swing away.

    TFM (would you mind if I called you "T"?), I dunno about asking my teammates what ails me. My errant shots are 90% footwork errors and 25% ball watching errors (which add up to over 100% because sometimes I do both!). How often do my teammates see the problem as footwork? Zero percent. They may have just beaten me in a set of tennis, but most of them don't know much about how to analyze and correct someone else's tennis strokes.
     
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  10. tfm1973

    tfm1973 Semi-Pro

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    maybe you can call me t-bone or t-rex or something. if it's just footwork and not keeping your head still - um - i think you know how to fix that stuff. i read on another thread that you should drink a shot before you play. maybe that'll loosen you up?
     
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  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    "Just" footwork? "Just?"

    Man, footwork is the whole ball of wax, the whole kettle of fish, the whole enchilada, the whole kit 'n caboodle . . . well, you get the idea! :)

    Funny, I got killed when I moved from 2.5 to 3.0, but the difference is now I *know* why I'm messing up. That makes it even more frustrating.
     
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  12. cak

    cak Professional

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    You just go out and play. The year I was bumped to 3.5 I lost all confidence. But you know what, I went out there and played and eventually started winning, and didn't end the season with a winning record, but no where near bad enough to get bumped back down. (And I found having a losing season does NOT always get you bumped back down.) And now, I'm back above .500 in league play.
     
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  13. fe6250

    fe6250 Semi-Pro

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    So - is the slump over? If so - what made the difference?
     
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  14. Vermillion

    Vermillion Banned

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    what do you mean, "what made the difference?"
    It's Talk Tennis Forum that made the difference. Always.
     
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  15. fe6250

    fe6250 Semi-Pro

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    Of course it is! I actually was interested in specifically what advice she took from TTF that made the difference ;-)
     
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  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Hard to say, FE62250. I won a close 6.5 combo match but lost a close 3.5 match. I play a mixed match tomorrow. Ugh.

    I haven't been getting on the court enough, and I can't practice much until the weather warms. So I can't even say I'm still in a slump. Ugh.
     
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  17. Vermillion

    Vermillion Banned

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    Cindy, what's with that attitude? Where's your spirit!?

    Matches are all about the SPIRIT with the belief that your hard work in practice will always support you.

    Damn, I'm good.
     
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  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I can't remember when I last hit a serve.

    Confidence has to be based on something. Right now, I have to hope muscle memory will see me through.

    Man, I feel fat too . . . .
     
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  19. HowardH

    HowardH New User

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    My game really stinks right now. I can't win anything either. I've been trying out and practicing with 3.5 team. Last week I played pretty good. Today I was slapped around like a little old lady. My volleys missed completly. I lost all of my practice matches in doubles, then our captain asked if anyone wanted to play singles since we only had 6 players left.

    Me, "yeah, I'll play singles, thats more my a game anyway" Another doubles guy said he would volunteer to play singles also. He poked those balls everywhere I wasn't. I felt like a 1.5 player.

    May not make the team after today's performance.

    Just can't seem to play good two times in a row.

    Feel your pain!
     
    #19
  20. fe6250

    fe6250 Semi-Pro

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    Has the 'bump slump' turned into the 'after the Holidays blues'? Sorry - but that made me laugh....thanks!
     
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  21. saram

    saram Legend

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    I'm thinking you need a sports psychologist, cardio trainer, and a positive attitude for the new year. So much negative talk only leads to negative and terrible play...

    Try thinking positive as a starting point....:)
     
    #21
  22. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    OK, I'll be positive, starting right now. How's this?

    Lots of guys like fat chicks!!!!!!!
     
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  23. Vermillion

    Vermillion Banned

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    Federer loves big juicy women.
     
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  24. saram

    saram Legend

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    I didn't mean it that way! :)

    I meant that I continually see you talking down about yourself instead of being positive and such. You sound as though you really care about your game--and that is a great starting point.
     
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  25. saram

    saram Legend

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    This is true...
     
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