What do you do when you're having a bad day on the courts?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by dknotty, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    Had a session today, tough conditions due to wind and I wasn't contacting the ball well at all. Got the feeling that the shots were over very quickly, not the most satisfying session at all.

    How do you try and bring yourself back to good form on these days?
     
    #1
  2. Roger Wawrinka

    Roger Wawrinka Professional

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    Shake it off and let it go, tomorrow's a new day.


    At least that's what I do.
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    1 part CocaCola, 2 parts Bacardi Rum.
     
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  4. Roger Wawrinka

    Roger Wawrinka Professional

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    :):):):) hahahaha
     
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  5. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    If it's practice, I go back to halfcourt hitting. Hitting session with wind, put extra effort on footwork and the small adjustment steps.

    If that doesn't work, LeeD's sugestion is spot on :D
     
    #5
  6. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

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    I try to turn it around on court. I lose a lot, and usually pretty close games. I need to focus on the positive and be constructive or I would probably give up tennis.
     
    #6
  7. easywin

    easywin Rookie

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    truth :)

    If its in a game though, I like to go out of my usual way and try everything I usually fail with so that I dont blame it on my form of the day ...
    If I come back to my playstyle it feels more natural and I got the feeling of playing better - I will propably still loose but feel better :lol:
     
    #7
  8. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    She's got a wicked sense of humor, can't believe what she says / She drinks Bacardi in the morning till it goes to her head / And all your clothes are on the floor and all your records are scratched / She's like a one way ticket and you can't come back....
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
    #8
  9. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

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    An array of 4 letter words. Not sure it helps but seems to come naturally.
     
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  10. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I'll blink a lot and use a good quality artificial tears product (NO redness-reliever). This helps to keep my eyes from drying out in the wind and also helps to keep me alert. Will chew some cinnamon gum (sugarless). Also helps with alertness. Keep the feet moving and perform some air/shadow swing -- kinda like Bartoli (but not quite as manic). When performing your air swings, be sure that you are not moving your head/eyes during your forward swing -- it might be that your bad day is due to excessive head movement during your strokes.

    Jumping rope on changeovers sometimes helps. During rallies, try the BOUNCE-HIT mantra.
     
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  11. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Break every racquet in my bag.
     
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  12. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Honestly, I almost never have a bad day on the courts. I used to have a bad day at least once per week or so, but then learned a couple of good warmup habits that really did the trick.

    In the warm up, I focus on 2 main things....position on the ball for a good contact point and keeping the head still/eye on the ball...

    My swing is pretty solid, so most of the technique stuff is not usually a problem. Really seems that if I make that habit of getting a good look a the ball in warm up, then that really carries over to the match quite well. Any framing or mishits are a cue that my focus is slipping and to step it up.

    This has worked like a dream for me for years.
     
    #12
  13. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Eat a big bowl of alfredo pasta with garlic and all kinds of cheeses.
     
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  14. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    #14
  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    2 liters of HaagenDaz marble fudge ice cream, the whole tub, right after the coke and run.
    YUMMMMMMM, life is good again.
     
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  16. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Nonsense, you havent lived until you've had fried cheese on top of your cheese.

    I'm Asian, God gifted us with an unlimited supply of metabolism to make up for the lack of height.
     
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  17. gatorbait

    gatorbait New User

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    Go back to the basics and try to focus on your footwork. Try to keep your thoughts simple and think about key items you want to do vs items you don't want to do.
     
    #17
  18. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

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    define bad day? were the balls landing out? balls hitting the net? then hit with more margin.

    if the opponent is better than u that day and all the strategies in ur tool chest is not working out, learn from it for the next match.
     
    #18
  19. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    Cheeseception, I can never enjoy cheese because of my damn intolerance to lactose. :(
     
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  20. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    there is truth in Leeds' words, it is a drug like anything else and with the correct amount can produce positive effects on the body. even better would be red wine, but that will have way more calories.

    one minute ice cold shower helps to. as it get the blood flowing and your body will be trying to heat itself back up for the next hour or so. releases feel good chemicals.
     
    #20
  21. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    A good warm-up routine really helps. Unlike 5263 I have to start with the swing mechanics. There are a couple of things I consistently do incorrectly if I don't emphasize them first. I first focus on hitting my set-up positions and creating the proper swing path. I just groove that at very slow pace against the wall from about half court. I practice fh, 2hbh, 1hbh slice.

    After that's happening then I make sure the still head, eyes on the cp thing is there. Last for me is the footwork and balance. By this point I'm all the way back hitting mostly at a moderate pace.

    If something breaks down I go back to the mini-tennis and fix it.

    I have lots of bad days still, but this routine seems to reduce them quite a bit.
     
    #21
  22. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    It's days like that when you find out how mentally tough you truly are. Conditions aren't favorable and you're not playing well. Your weapons don't seem to hurt your opponent and/or he's got an answer for whatever you're throwing at him. Some players will coast along to a loss are content to say it's just not their day. Other players will dig deep and fight even harder. Which kind of player do you want to be? Look, we've all had bad days, but the will to win can overcome adversity, and those who make it a habit to fight through it will find they'll have less and less bad days.
     
    #22
  23. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    ^true dat.

    OP, get some perspective. you are on the court playing tennis! it's not that bad c'mon.
     
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  24. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    My bad days have almost always been due to inadequate sleep the prior nite.
     
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  25. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    Mostly balls going out, but a few going into the net, particularly when starting a warm up rally. Nothing more irritating than hitting two into the net consecutively.

    Specifically, it comes down to not contacting the call well. I can hear the difference in sound when I contact the ball well and when I contact badly, yesterday there was a lot of the latter, resulting in balls going out and miss-hits. When I tried to slow the pace it felt forced and unnatural.

    It also felt like the shots were over very quickly.

    As I'm not contacting the ball properly I'd hazard a guess that I'm not swinging well. Any specific tips to help?
     
    #25
  26. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    I do some of the above things and also while I have "eyes on the cp" I try to relax my arm even more on the FH (maybe even do a bit of that snap-back)....

    Do't go for the lines anymore, send a few hard balls towards the center (or at least cc).

    Lastly, what helped me was playing for the first time indoor once Monday, where the conditions were ideal and my game just clicked. The next day, when I've struggled a bit more, once again playing outdoors, I remembered the good feeling from playing inside and didn't blame myself too much (but rather the conditions). Anyways after having hit the ball so clean indoors, it carried a bit outdoors as well...
     
    #26
  27. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

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    how often do u play a week? sometimes taking a short break resets all the mechanics or try something else to break ur routine? perhaps change racquets, change shirts or hat?
     
    #27
  28. Roger Wawrinka

    Roger Wawrinka Professional

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    That's awesome!! lol
     
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  29. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    At the moment not that often (2x a week or so), recovering from an injury so taking it quite gentle at the moment. While my mobility is reduced I don't think that's the cause as I last hit on Sunday and was hitting the ball much better.
     
    #29
  30. MisterP

    MisterP Semi-Pro

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    One of the things that works for me when I start playing badly is to change my swing from modern back to traditional and vice versa.

    Last night I was playing one of my regular rivals. I played my game in the first set with good penetrating, spinny shots to the corners and won 6-3. In the second set I lost a lot of feel and energy and he bageled me. I started the third set playing just like I did in the second set, playing awful. And I finally decided to change things up a bit. So I stopped trying to hit my big, spinny groundstrokes and started hitting more traditional flat balls, finishing nice and high. This changed the momentum. I started winning points. And gradually I got my feel back and was able to start hitting with pace and spin again.
     
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  31. jussumman

    jussumman Semi-Pro

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    If you are able to, keep tabs of the weather conditions and plan on days more optimal for playing/sessions. Rain is bad but wind is a pain, but so can be heat waves, I find that I enjoy my day more being productive in the coolness of my home than outside in such conditions, not fun. Unless you're a pro of course, that's another matter. Oh yeah if you do have such a bad day. Pizza, ice cream and foot massage always help.
     
    #31
  32. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    It was a real pain yesterday, my eyes were streaming in the wind and I couldn't see properly. Nightmare!
     
    #32
  33. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    I sometimes bounce my racket on the ground, throw it against the fence, but always in a way that i can keep on playing with it. I'm not outrageous enough to go for the whole racket smashing thing. If I was rich enough, it would be a different story.
     
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  34. jakeytennis

    jakeytennis Rookie

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    there's no such thing as a "bad" or "off" day. you control your concentration and effort. so just tell yourself to shut up and focus
     
    #34
  35. Silent

    Silent Semi-Pro

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    Everyone has off days.

    Just tell to yourself the worst day on the court beats the best day at work.
     
    #35
  36. HoyaPride

    HoyaPride Semi-Pro

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    Depends on how "bad" these days are? My "bad" days aren't as bad as they were last year because my game is much more consistent. I've set the bar higher for myself so I don't feel that I have too many days that are outright awful. It's more that I have days that weren't as good as the day before perhaps.

    That said, if I'm framing an inordinate number of backhands, I just stop because there's clearly something off with my technique (assuming we're talking about a practice session here, not a match). If one thing seems off, I always assume it's a technical problem, and I just work at that one thing for a little while. Sometimes it's good to just stop playing all together so that you have time to reflect on what you're doing. More practice can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing if you're practicing something over and over incorrectly.
     
    #36
  37. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Go home :)

    I know when my game just isn't working
     
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  38. DashForever

    DashForever New User

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    Just concentrate on how I'm timing everything, since that's usually where my game falls apart.
     
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  39. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    No offense, but that sounds like tanking to me. If I had ever quit on a practice because I was having a bad day my coach would have told me to never to come back. We all have our ups and downs, but if you want to improve as a player, when you're having a bad day you have to be able to fix it on the fly and/or adjust your game plan and figure out how to work with what else you've got. If you're drilling, you focus on the right things until you get it right. If your backhand is gone in competitive play you need to either need to hit all slices on that side or use tactics to protect that side. You play until your time is up or the match is decided. Finish what you started.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
    #39
  40. winstonlim8

    winstonlim8 Semi-Pro

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    I think the most important thing is to understand what went wrong on bad days. That's how I found out that not only does a drop in my blood sugar levels (hereditary problem) affect everything but also a drop in my electrolyte levels affects my reflexes, timing and coordination, too.

    So now I try to drink sports drinks with glucose on odd game. Hange-overs, but I also make sure to eat a meal with lots of complex carbohydrates 2 hours before I play.

    I still have bad days but now it's because I play stupid without realising it, e.g. hitting a 3/4 court forehand and then running to the net AND mot doing a split step to prepare for the return either.
     
    #40
  41. winstonlim8

    winstonlim8 Semi-Pro

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    Sorry. "change-overs" not "hange-overs". A small iphone keypad isn't good for fat fingers like mine.
     
    #41
  42. HoyaPride

    HoyaPride Semi-Pro

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    I never knew you could tank a practice.:?

    I believe in practicing hard because at the end of the day you will play the way you practice. But sometimes you need to step away from the court to reflect on your game or simply decompress. I don't see how bad practice really helps your form.

    I think it's similar to writing a paper in school. Sometimes you just need to step away from the keyboard, relax a little bit, and then come back at it fresh.
     
    #42
  43. Silent

    Silent Semi-Pro

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    It's not the bad practice that's good per se, it's how you deal with it mentally. How you do the drill without having your best stuff is important because no player is always on his best day. You have to have different options to win consistently and that is developed through practice. Reflection can come after the practice. I don't think abandoning a practice helps.
     
    #43
  44. watungga

    watungga Semi-Pro

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    No. Break every racquet in your opponent's bag.
     
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  45. HoyaPride

    HoyaPride Semi-Pro

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    There's a difference, in my mind, between playing a practice set and doing drills. If I'm playing a set, I obviously can't say "That's enough for the day" when I'm down a break. Being able to get through tough patches in a set bears directly on the mental aspect of the game and is something you need to experience in practice.

    But just hitting balls? If the day is going that lousy, then sure, I'd just stop playing and move on to something like basketball. Especially if I'm hitting every day anyway. Sometimes I need to step away from the game. It may not work for everyone, but it works for me.
     
    #45
  46. eaglesburg

    eaglesburg Professional

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    What do you mean by position on the ball?
     
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  47. eaglesburg

    eaglesburg Professional

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    One possible cause IMO is that u get right and then u swing slower but not only that u bring the racket too close into your body because u want to control. Then u lose the fluid mess and its downhill from there.
     
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