Too much intensity and diminishing returns

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by BMC9670, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    There seems to be a growing chorus of grunting, screaming, fist pumping and c'mons in the juniors these days. While I think they are simply emulating the intensity of their favorite pro, they may not realize too much of it can backfire in a match and leave them emotionally spent.

    I observed a good example of this in my sons 12U match this last weekend. My son is competitive, but fairly stoic on the court. I've had to teach him it's good to let some intensity out at strategic times in a match - when he needs an emotional pick-up, on a key point, end of a set, etc. In this particular match, he played an uber-intense kid that screamed on every shot and yelled c'mon and fist pumped on every point won (including my son's UEs and DFs - not cool in my book). On one point at 2-2 in the first set, my son hit a second serve into the net and the kid yells "Yeah! Double-fault, I'm up 30-15, C'mon!" at the top of his lungs.

    Well, this went on for a while and my son wins the first set. Second set starts out the same, except, as my son pulled away, this kid had no where to go emotionally.... except down. And he went down hard. By the end of a pretty competitive match, he was a wreck. I think he could just not sustain that intensity over the course of a 2 hour match. It's like a sugar high that comes to hard crash.

    Often overlooked, I think coaches and parents should teach court behavior as a part of strategy. Players, especially young ones, need to learn to use their intensity and emotions to their advantage over the course of a match with ups, downs, and momentum changes. Thoughts?
     
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  2. SStrikerR

    SStrikerR Hall of Fame

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    I once was playing on a court next to a U14 match that had just entered a 3rd set TB. No matter who won the point, one kid was screaming come on while the other was throwing their racquet. Whenever possible I make it a point to say to someone near their parents, "wow, is be embarrasses if I were their parents."

    Seriously, in the past 4 years of playing I think I've yelled maybe 10 times tops.
     
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  3. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    When I play guys who do this I get p1ssed off and become quite a lot more aggressive (and tend to win more points).
     
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  4. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    With some exceptions parents have abdicated their parental responsibility when it comes to junior tennis. At the very least they tolerate junior's racket throwing, bullying, and bad line calling. In many cases they tell junior to use "make up calls", fake injuries, etc. It is a disgrace and can have nothing but bad consequences, long term.
     
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  5. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Many won't learn the right things from their parents.

    You ask these parents and you hear that McEnroe or Nastase are their heroes and they complain that current players are too nice to the opponent, umpire and linesmen.

    So go figure!
     
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  6. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    While I agree there is bad behavior, my post was about the right amount of intensity in a match. My son's opponent did not behave badly. He was just so intense on every point, that I felt when he needed to reach for some emotional reserve, it wasn't there. No where to go but down. I think it's a strategic mistake.

    I actually have to coach my son to let some emotions out to help him at critical points. If his opponent was my son, I'd coach him to tone it down so he would have some emotional reserves in a long, tough match.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013
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  7. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I agree you need to regulate your emotions to best stay relaxed and focused. Read Dr Allen Fox's book The Mental Game or similar title. Fox talks about staying calm and showing no emotion between points. He also talks about staying focused and building intensity on key points. Federer is probably the role model for Fox's book as he mostly stays calm but shows some emotion at key moments to pump himself up a bit.

    I don't think you can pump yourself up after each and every point with a fist pump and a yell, or you will end up drained and likely make your opponent want to beat you more than they already want to beat you.
     
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  8. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Agreed. I asked my son how he felt about it after the match and he said he thought it was kind of funny at first, but after a while it motivated him to just beat him and get off the court.
     
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  9. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    yea i think its okay to do cmons under your breath. i silently get myself pumped before each point so i dont lose focus, but screaming on every point like that sounds like a recipe for a downward spiral like you mentioned. the pros only get like that on BIG points such as when they break to serve for the set or something, and there is a reason for that, they would get mentally drained if they did that on every point
    sounds like your son has a good head and hopefully the opponents ruckus won't distract him
     
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