I am reading Allen Fox's book on the mental aspects of tennis and competition. He talks a lot about why tennis is stressful. He mentions that the stress can increase depending on how much is invested. Examples: 1. if you are playing low level and only practice 1 a week so you can go out for beers afterward, then you will have a lower level of stress. 2. if you take weekly lessons at $40 a pop and practice 3 days a week and play league matches 2 days a week, you will likely have a higher level of stress because you have invested a lot of time and money into improvement and some of your ego and self-esteem is tied into the results, 3. if you are a pro trying to make a living and scrambling for $ to remain on tour and compete, stress will be very high.
You get the gist. Even at rec levels, you will find high levels of stress depending on personalities and how much of themselves they have invested into tennis. I like to win and matches can get competitive and stressful, but I am in my mid-50s and balance that with 1. I am not getting paid, 2. as long as I compete well, losing is not the end all, and 3. I don't want to be an a**-hole on court. So, to me, balance is the key - compete hard to win but play fair and be nice and remember it is just a game for most of us.
The book is Winning the Mental Match - about 1/2 way through it and I like it. He discusses several ways to deal with stress, choking, ...
Last edited by TennisCJC; 02-04-2013 at 11:59 AM.