Getting more susceptible to match nerves with the years...

#1
so OK long story short something happened today which had never happened

i got so affected by match nerves that we lost the set after having 5 match points

now it's not that i've never lost a match when ahead or even the first time that i've lost a match when having match points

what makes this really really disturbing for me is the manner in which the match was lost

super confident strong and loose hitting from me to get to 40-15 on my serve and get double MP

then the most pathethic, tight, ***** style playing you could ever imagine on a tennis court

could not swing the racket and my forehand turned into a floaty lob than just barely cleared the net

i've gotten affected by nerves before so the experience is nothing new, however i've never been affected THIS HARD BY NERVES EVER BEFORE to the point where it literally costs me the match

i feel like i've become more and more fragile to nerves as the years have gone by

i used to care less and swing more and be more un-inhibited 5-6 years ago

i mean if i choked this match, what's to say i can never again play in tight or really close matches ever again?

how will i compete?

what has happened to my mind and game over these years, has anyone experienced anything similar and do you have any advice?

thanks

PS: i'm gonna re-read "Playing the Inner Game of Tennis" after posting this just to get some of dat inner game vibe goin
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
#2
Were you possibly thinking about winning or the outcome? Whenever I think ahead of myself in tennis things never go well.

Also, I do think confidence is harder to hold onto now than a few years ago. It's much more streaky.
 
#3
You're overthinking it. Take deep breaths and remind yourself to keep doing what got you the match points. You were probably thinking about winning the match rather than just the next point. I stop thinking about matches a long time ago. I now concentrate on just winning points or minimizing errors. The Hell with matches since if you win enough points, the match will take care of itself. :D
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
#4
Yeah, maybe you just got to thinking too much, put too much pressure to win on yourself, instead of embracing the game of match play tennis.
Experience can be a good teacher, but it can also jade your expectations in one direction or the other.
 
#5
Confidence comes from physical and technical preparation for tennis (not from sports psychology)
1} if you are getting older you will lose confidence in your body
2} if you haven't kept up your fitness and technique or continued to strive to improve (just to stay at the same level)
Another alternative: drop down a level; eventually it happens to everyone
 

steve s

Professional
#6
So I guess you lost 50 grand by getting too tight. No big deal. You need to get back on that horse and get more experience in closing a match. We have all been there before. You need to relax and play tennis.
 
#7
comeback,
I don't agree. You can be very technically and physically fit and still get very nervous and choke. So, this "nerve" thing may have nothing to do with being physical and technical prepared.
 
#8
2 days after the meltdown

another mini-meltdown

was 5-3 and serving for the set 30-30, lost next 3 points with UEs on the forehand side after having over 15 FH winner before that to get to this point

see now the issue for me isn't that i'm actually "choking" per say

the issue is that i'm becoming AFRAID of the choking which is in many times worse because it keeps you hyper-vigilant

it keeps you anxious and nervy as to when your next "choking episode" will come around

i'm aware that i'm overthinking this but at the same time something feels different, like i've fully believed the idea that i am now a choker as a kind of self-identity that i've taken on
 
#9
2 days after the meltdown

another mini-meltdown

was 5-3 and serving for the set 30-30, lost next 3 points with UEs on the forehand side after having over 15 FH winner before that to get to this point

see now the issue for me isn't that i'm actually "choking" per say

the issue is that i'm becoming AFRAID of the choking which is in many times worse because it keeps you hyper-vigilant

it keeps you anxious and nervy as to when your next "choking episode" will come around

i'm aware that i'm overthinking this but at the same time something feels different, like i've fully believed the idea that i am now a choker as a kind of self-identity that i've taken on
As you get older and experience real tragedy and misfortune... you'll have no problem with playing matches and will treat them with the exact level of seriousness they deserve. At some point in your life, you'll show up for a match feeling truly fortunate that you have a few hours of extra time to even be there... and that you are healthy enough to play... and that the weather is nice enough. Winning or losing won't count for much. The outcome of the match won't really matter.

But it takes more life experience to get to that point.
 
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