What kind of "demeanor" do you cultivate on the court?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Surecatch, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Surecatch

    Surecatch Semi-Pro

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    I mean, how do you conduct yourself during a match? Do you talk? Do you compliment your opponent on good shots? Do you laugh it up on change overs?

    I don't say s***. If I get a compliment on a shot from my opponent, I will acknowledge with a nod or a quite "thanks," and then walk back to my position. But I don't give out compliments in the heat of battle. I don't talk during changeovers either unless I'm spoken to first...that is to say, I'm not going to be rude or boorish, but I'm not initiating any small talk either. I separate from my opponent while toweling off and getting water during changeovers and turn away. It's not a gamesmanship thing...I just have to keep my head in what I'm trying to do, and I can't if I'm distracted. It might not mean a lot to some players, but I think it makes a difference for me.

    I also refuse to hustle too much to retrieve balls between points. I'll walk swiftly to get them, but I will not jog or anything. I do enough running during points. If I take what they feel is too long, they'll have to wait, or they can bring their own ball boys. haha. I also will not go into my second serve if the first serve was netted and it has trickled back into my own service box. I've sprained ankles on tennis balls in the court before.......not doing it again. Fortunately, I find this to be very routine with players, so it doesn't bother them when I take an extra fifteen seconds to clear the ball away before my second serve.

    I'm interested in other processes and what you think of my own. TIA.
     
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  2. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    I keep my mouth shut for the most part. I'm polite but not chatty. I try and remain relaxed and probably give off the impression that I"m quite a casual player. Which I probably am, to be honest. I try not to get to worked up, win or lose.
     
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  3. Surecatch

    Surecatch Semi-Pro

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    That's a pretty good (shorter) way of putting my own demeanor. I probably come off as a little more intense than you do. I try hard to block everything else out.
     
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  4. GlennK

    GlennK Rookie

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    It depends on the type of match. If it's just a casual match, I act much different then when playing a league match. For casual matches, I am much more verbal and do compliment my/our opponents often. During a league match, I will compliment a special shot and do talk a little bit during the changeovers, but not nearly to the level of casual play.

    I try not to take it too seriously either way, but it's my competitive nature taking over during league play. And if I notice my opponent not wanting to talk, I respect their wishes.

    Glenn
     
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  5. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

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    Chat on the warm-up
    Compliment good plays/serves
    Racket Clap a great winner.
    Laugh at the end of a funny exchange.
    Chat on change overs...mostly about work.
    I have been part of the design
    team for most of our local medical facilities along with plant work that 50% of the time I am playing someone who works in a building I helped build and often come away with some great future job contacts.

    If it's someone I know well I will throw in the basic joking smack talk. like "Oh someone went out and got a big boy serve?" after getting aced.

    and Amoung my team mates during practice we will do impressions of each others service ritual just to mess with each other.

    I have had a few silent opponents...and I don't push the conversation on them...but I play for fun.

    as far as game play - I am quick to give first serves for delayed time because of the next court knocking balls into ours etc.

    I feel I am probably to fair on calls (often hitting out balls back into play)

    I'll hold a 3rd ball for the server in my pocket so he doesn't have to chase one down.

    I'll keep up with the score board on change overs.

    and I typically carry extra water/salt tablets/ibprofin/band aids etc in case opponent (or doubles partner) needs so medical help.

    I have had an opponent that turned his ankle and had to retire..but before he left (we gave him water/ibprofin and an ankle brace) and my doubles partner who is a doctor checked it out for him and made some suggestions.

    Had another opponent cramp so bad I actually carried him off court to the tournament recovery area where they gave him water salt..and the medic worked on massaging the knots out.

    and my favorite thing to do (I speak a few different languages and when I run into others that speak them as a native I really like to get some practice in and possibly learn some new stuff)

    probably what i like about tennis most is the culture of the people you meet from indians/asians/europeans/Latin etc..
     
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  6. Surecatch

    Surecatch Semi-Pro

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    Very cool. Just to clarify, I'm very friendly, and afterwards have been known to ask for advice. Once the match ends, I go back to being friendly and sociable. For me, I've just noticed that when I do too much of that in a match, it's harder for me to find deeper concentration. I suppose I shouldn't say that I say nothing....sometimes I'll acknowledge a very good shot. I'm just not very demonstrative, preferring instead to stay focused.
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Negative Nellie here, an eternal pessimist.
    I can hit the greatest winners (for my level) and only stare at my strings.
    I can hit really dumb losers, and get discouraged, droop my shoulders, and start to look around.
    I don't mind losing. I hate to play badly.
     
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  8. Surecatch

    Surecatch Semi-Pro

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    You? Negative? ;)

    I get discouraged when things are going badly, but I try not to show it. That's not always easy, but it does seem to bring me positive results later. My goal is just to remain as even keel as I can. I probably didn't mention...I don't yell or pump fists or do the "come on!" thing when I hit a good winner. I just turn around and walk away. There isn't much point....my matches don't draw spectators yet. ;)
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Well, after a few years of tournament play, I find historionics do nothing for my game, and celebrating does nothing positive for my game, so I do try to maintain an outside looking even keel.
    I do like everyone on the court to play well, so I always compliment good shots, whether it's against us or if my partner hits well.
    Me, I expect to hit well, so a compliment of myself is just unneeded.
    Naturally, me, myself, I seldom hit well
     
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  10. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I prefer winning to losing (controversial, I know...) by quite a bit, actually. Therefore I do whatever it takes to maximize my chance of winning. For most matches, playing an Iceman, Borglike demeanor is the way to go. In doubles, which I play much more often than singles, this is a disaster. In doubles, having the demeanor that maximizes your partner's efforts is the best demeanor and that is going to vary from partner to partner, but almost no one likes playing with an Iceman.
     
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  11. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I'm pretty much the same way. Obviously I prefer winning, but I'm not going to get too worked up either way. I play for recreation, not to pay the bills... if it gets to the point where it's stressful rather than enjoyable, then I might as well have stayed in the office and gotten paid for it :)
     
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  12. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I conduct myself just like everyone else does :-|
     
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  13. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I completely agree with your personal outlook, but I would add that those who break racquets and otherwise throw a tantrum are not making their tennis (not yours) less enjoyable, they are actually soothing the immature IMO, attitude that they are just too high quality of a player to miss that shot. So, emotionally they feel better, of course their quality of play suffers (unless their last name is MacEnroe, Connors or Nastase). But I disagree that they are all stressed out about it. They would be under much more stress to come to the adult realization that, yes, they are totally capable of missing that shot.
     
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  14. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

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    the more light hearted I keep things the looser I stay = the better I play

    deeper concentration = I think about the score to much...get tight...double fault at dumb times.
     
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  15. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    This sounds like me in a competitive match. Try to not let them see any emotion.

    The moment the match ends, I'm quick to offer a beer or accept the offer of one. We ain't pros so we may as well be friends.
     
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  16. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    One of the best compliments ever given to me (by a crowd of on-lookers at a relatively important and well-played match) was that....short of looking at the scoreboard, they couldn't tell the score just by looking at me. That regardless of if I was winning or losing, my on-court demeanor & energy was mostly the same. Positive, polite and full of the pleasure of playing the game.

    In that regard, I hope I'm much like Alchemy-Z. I take pride in matching my approach to the situation and the opponent.

    Quick story on offering up a first serve: was playing on line #2 against a well-regarded opponent with an excellent first serve...but a rather wimpy second one which often deteriorated into a DF. She jumped out to a quick lead and served for the (pro) set at 7*-2. She tightened up and I broke...and that's when the adjacent courts' balls started rolling our way. And it really screwed with her rhythm. Over the run of the set, I probably offered at least a half dozen first serves (when it's rare to have even one or two per match). I did prevail and count it as one of my better wins at singles.

    But the kicker is, months later...when we ended up on the same team...she admitted she counted that loss as one of her more memorable ones too. AND....said that me giving her so many "chances" on her serves is part of what screwed her up...that she'd liked to think her 1st serve was intimidating...and that because I "gave" her so many...I (obviously) wasn't. She ended up pressed on her first and, admittedly, choking on her second serves.

    Hehe...I'll never admit to her that I was (still am) a bit intimidated by her first serve...but, truthfully, each situation had warranted the "let" calls. Just goes to show you how different people can take the same scenario and read something completely different into it.
     
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  17. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    Honestly, I don't think I have ever thought about it in such depth. Sheesh.
     
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  18. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    I don't usually initiate small talk on changeovers, but am not automatically opposed if someone else does. I guess for some people they feel like that could throw them off, but for me I feel like I should be able to focus fine once the points are starting, and that shouldn't have anything to do with whether I small talked a bit on a changeover. I just don't initiate much b/c I'm not an overly chatty person in everyday life.

    I have no problems complimenting an opponent's particularly good shots (sometimes verbally, sometimes with that raquet-hand clap thing). In doubles, I very often compliment my partner's good shots, just with a "nice!" or "great shot!"
     
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  19. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    I'm pretty intense. I get very upset, especially when I make a stupid or careless error. What pisses me off the most? Shots that I try to "keep in play" that dont go in play. I dont mind making an error trying to hit a winner. I HATE making errors on "rally balls".

    I also can get pretty goofy especially if I make a BS shot, or frame a winner or w/e.

    People have said to me before... its fun counting your lips for how many f-words to myself in a game or looking at my facial expressions when I make some redic shot or frame an overhead at some extreme angle or w/e.

    I carry a level of seriousness. But im also not "uptight" if that describes it.
     
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  20. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    well, up here in connecticut we play lots of indoors, and I play twice a week with two groups of guys on two 'season' courts. WE keep track of wins and losses. However, we do not make a point of a "not saying s***" to each other. We are friendly, and occasionally crack jokes between points, but more often chat during changeovers. So, even though it is competitve, we are friendly because it is our own season courts.

    I may act more like you do when I play USTA league tennis, which is more competitive imho.

     
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  21. Coach Chad

    Coach Chad Rookie

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    I am the same on the court as I am off the court...no "game face"...same ol same ol. I cannot help myself, when my opponent hits a winner that would make Federer proud, I tell him/her "great shot!" You see, I refuse to be controlled...tennis is my passion and my escape...it is the highlight of my day. I am trying to be a solid 4.0; and I will be someday...I am going to enjoy the journey; and not put on some fake display of serious demeanor along the way! In other words, I am not concerned whatsoever what anyone thinks of my courtside manor. Have fun, play hard; whatever way you choose to attack your game!!!
     
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  22. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    If I am winning I am excessively gracious to my opponents. I have a smile permanently etched on my face and display earnestness at every opportunity. The wives and GFs of my opponents say that I am such a nice guy to the other women.

    If I am loosing I must appear unhinged, I will take off my Harvard shirt and don a shirt from a CT taskforce I helped lead when downrange. I will talk about that time I was in" Fallujah with my men and it was real bad." When they assume I was in the military, I will say that I was not, I work in diplomacy and start talking about how the prettiest girls in the world are Tatar women.

    They know what I say is true and I say it with a calmness and politeness so that no complaint could ever be filed;if it was it would never be upheld. I know how to get under folks' skin but rob them of a reason to articulate why i am doing so.

    I did the full monty on a guy on Saturday and it did not work...maybe less mind games and more backhands....
     
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  23. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I would like to think I come off as cheerful and happy during matches, because I am cheerful and happy. I don't understand why people act like they are being asked to storm the beaches of Normandy.

    I have had partners tell me not to speak to our opponents, or to have my game face. Well, my game face is a big 'ol grin. Deal with it.
     
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  24. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    Depends on what kind of match I'm playing and whom I'm playing against.

    Ladder match - I'm polite but intense. I will acknowledge good shots and say thanks, but only till after the match is done will I become chatty. Unless I'm getting my butt kicked, then the jokes come out.

    I'm in this social doubles thing every week, we all know each other so I'm very comfortable in this setting, so I'm a total clown. It's competitive but very fun, so I'm pretty loud.....lots of Ric Flair "WOOO!!!", "Daaamn!!", etc....

    It's set to loud club music, so I'm frequently doing some silly dance moves a la moonwalking or Gangnam style stuff. Silly basically. Good way to let off some steam. Regulars get a kick out of my antics while the new people think I'm on crack. :shock:
     
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  25. fleabitten

    fleabitten Semi-Pro

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    This. In league and tournament I am very focused, but I must admit if I am losing by a bit, I will chat up my partner at changeovers, and try to relax myself and make it feel more like a just a casual match. Maybe this throws off some opponents but that is not the goal. Honest. :mrgreen:
     
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  26. spinorama

    spinorama Rookie

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    I like to keep it casual during changeovers even in tournament play. We aren't pro, we both want to win, nobody is gonna fail to pay the mortgage if you lose, so might as well enjoy it and just play your best.
     
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  27. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Geesh, people need to lighten up. It is REC sport, for FUN.

    I just don't get "if I am not winning I am not having fun" crowd. I am happy to be out there playing a game that I like very much. If you are playing people of same level, you are going to lose about half your matches. It seems it would be pretty crappy to not enjoy half your matches. And it is why people sandbag.

    Life is too short to take things WAY too seriously. This is supposed to be fun. Smile a little. Your opponent is there to have fun, not to watch you have a root canal.
     
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  28. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    ^^^ Well said.

    Tennis is a sport that has a very high number of weird people who are wound way too tight.
     
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  29. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

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    I am the Tony G of rec tennis.

    I offer (un)soliticed critiques of my opponent's strokes and strategy. I celebrate raucously upon each win, and smash at least one racquet per loss (I usually bring a Wal-Mart spare solely for smashing purposes). I amplify my profanity when there's children around so that when the parents complain to me I feed off their anger and my annoyance.
     
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  30. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Usually I am friendly .... offering frequent "good shots" when warranted. I am firm and clear when I think a call is in doubt or a if a rule has been violated, but generally sociable.

    However, the only real attempt at gamesmanship I ever made was in a match against a far superior doubles team. I was overly complimentary and extremely chatty and friendly to our opponents. My partner later questioned me as to why I would do this and I was honest when I said I was trying to disarm them with kindness.

    Unfortunately, like usual, the best team won ... but it was a really close match and I think my "gamesmanship" did end up helping to keep it close.
     
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  31. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Usually, I am thinking about the forthcoming lunch/dinner when playing, so I am always in a "finish it up" mood.
     
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  32. vegasgt3

    vegasgt3 Rookie

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    I try to keep things light. I give close calls and compliments when deserved. I'm here to have fun and when I have fun, I usually win. I'm not a professional, but I am still serious. I am also serious about having fun when I play.

    I don't need a game face to do well because I let my racquet do the talking. I think its harder to beat a nice, friendly guy than a jerk. So, why not be extra nice?

    My role model would be John Newcombe or Roy Emerson for competitive spirit. Play hard, but fair.
     
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  33. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

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    I had one partner that was blaming every error on me one time and barking orders of where to stand etc...

    at about 4-3 in the 2nd set on the change over i walked over with the opponents and stood in the other service box and got into ready position...

    they looked at me and said " are you joining are team or something?"

    i said " well he doesn't want me so why not" this was followed by laughs...

    his was pretty much silent for the rest of the match.

    and later he requested the captain never pair us again...thankfully he only stayed with us one season as by the end of it no one wanted to play doubles with him either.
     
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  34. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Easygoing off the court, all-business once the ball is in play. Real contrast to what I was like when I was younger. I used to be very showy when I was winning and prone to tantrums and pouting when things weren't going my way.
     
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  35. Legend of Borg

    Legend of Borg Legend

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    Intense.

    I'm hyper competetitve but I don't like it.

    I want to be more casual and relaxed about the score, but I take it too seriously.
     
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  36. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    Same here exactly. Depends on the league situation too - if the match outcomes matter at all or not, as sometimes at the end of season it doesn't.
     
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  37. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Mopey dopey, not having a great time, expect to hit unreal winners, and sulk and play with my strings when I don't.s
    I sulk a lot.
     
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