I Have Never Gotten This Tight In My Life!!!

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by monkeyisland90, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. monkeyisland90

    monkeyisland90 Rookie

    Apr 3, 2007
    So more I play tennis the more I realize how difficult this sport is and how much i'm not as good as i thought I was. I will play this "perfect" tennis in the park with my rival (aka tennis buddy) then you put in me a usta setting with crowd watching and playing for yoursel and teammates and the ugly truth comes out. Anyhow I just played our playoffs and I have never felt so tight in my life. I was doing all these breathing excercises in the car and also visualizations and I was actually calm and focused.. Then I go inside the indoor facility where we were playing our sectional finals and I see there is whole bunch of people there (well probally like 30-35 people). I was prepare for that and blocked it out of my head but when I went downstairs to the courts, for some reason my mind just went blank and I felt like i was in some kind of dream. Just warming up with my other singles teammate, my arm was so stiff I just couldn't even get the ball over and was hitting the roof. First 2-3 minutes of warming up i actually was hitting fine.. but then something happened and BAM arm just felt soo tight and I went behind the curtains in the court and was telling myself to snap out of it and do some heavy breathing .. Then my match started... since i wasn't able to do my natural strokes.. only option was to dink the ball... but my backhand seem much more smoother but was also tight.. But here is the funny part and why winning ugly works... since everything wasn't working... i had to push the ball until i got my tightness out and back to flow.... First set i won 6-0! Second set, i started feeling my shots and going for it... but was still bit tight and lost 6-4. I had a major cramp towards end of second set (but i knew that i was still gonna lose the second set.. just didn't feel it) But the cramp was a full blown one and the ref came out and gave me 3 minutes to get back in playing or i will be DQ'd... I was nervous cause If I got dq'd my team had some pressure to fill cause singles went first... but my coach came out and gave me bunch of gatorade and i stretched it out a bit and was ready to go (with minor limping)....I started breathing really heavily and wanted this tiebreak really bad ( i was completely nervous but didn't want to overthink or analyze anything and just let it happen)... but ended up winning and i have no idea how that happened..

    All my usta matches this year were winning ugly while matches outside of usta were very stylish, smart and fun.. I really hope I don't get traumatized by this tightening up and my subconscious keeps whispering in my head cause I literally could not move my arm...

    So my point and question of this post is.... do you think this tightening up is a easy fix or that i might need to see a shrink cause i've tried every match preparation and i seem to always get tight in usta matches.. When i play in the park that is a local league with no one else knowing or watching, i play really well but in playoff, tournament, crowds etc.. i'm

  2. cellofaan

    cellofaan Semi-Pro

    Jul 13, 2009
    I sometimes tend to get the nerves too when people come watch my match. You just want to perform your absolute best and prettiest when people are watching, resulting in you getting tight and playing worse. Or sometimes it actually helps to step up my game.

    There's no good strategy to overcome that, other than just play a lot of those matches until you somehow manage to ignore everyone and fully focus on the tennis and stop caring about looking good.
  3. BethNJ

    BethNJ New User

    Jun 19, 2010
    When I started playing USTA tennis, I spoke with the Chiro where I work- he also does hypnosis. He treats a lot of people for sports anxiety.

    The advice he gave me was to get to the match early, and find a quiet place to do deep breathing. Take a deep breath in and exhale slowly for a few minutes. Also, he said to visualize myself playing in the match- playing out points in a calm, relaxed way, feeling confidant, etc.

    Now when I am playing, if I start to feel tight or anxious, I can rely on my breathing to help settle me. It is working- I am currently 13 and 1.
  4. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Jun 15, 2007

    Get a book by the renown NYU physician, Dr. John E. Sarno, and he will explain the mindbody process that is causing your cramping.
  5. BethNJ

    BethNJ New User

    Jun 19, 2010
    Forgive my previous post. Now I see you've tried the breathing and visualization beforehand. Have you considered hypnosis for sports anxiety?
  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Aug 31, 2006
    I tend to play better when I am being watched. It inspires me to be just a teensy bit less lazy.

    I have had some very good wins when I was the last match to finish and people were watching/cheering.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  7. mlktennis

    mlktennis Semi-Pro

    Feb 28, 2009
    It takes experience to play your capability on a 'big stage' Just keep on playing these matches and it will be fine after a while- just another match.
  8. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

    Jun 18, 2010
    i still get nervous during certain matches. i find a beer before a match helps settle me down.

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