Mindset before competitive matches

davced1

Hall of Fame
I started this a while ago and it seems to work well for me. Before the match I think that my opponent has spent money to play, put time into practice and spends time to play the match. Therefore I owe it to him to give my full effort and give him a good competitive match. This helps me relax because as long as I feel I did my best effort I will be satisfied in a way even if I lose because I lived up to the expectations I believe my opponent had before the match. If I win even better of course.
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
I like what you wrote. That’s a very Zen approach to take into a match. I think we’re all individuals and we have to do what works best for us mentally. For me, I start thinking about my match the day before and what I want to accomplish. I also have a small notebook (with my own coaching tips to myself) I keep in my bag, during he changeovers I look it over. It’s extremely motivational and reminds me of what I should be doing during a match. Of course a lot can change during the course of match and you have to be able to make adjustments. One of the biggest things I do before a match is write the word ‘focus’ on my over grip. It’s literally a reminder every time I look down at my racquet.
 

WhiteOut

Semi-Pro
I started this a while ago and it seems to work well for me. Before the match I think that my opponent has spent money to play, put time into practice and spends time to play the match. Therefore I owe it to him to give my full effort and give him a good competitive match. This helps me relax because as long as I feel I did my best effort I will be satisfied in a way even if I lose because I lived up to the expectations I believe my opponent had before the match. If I win even better of course.
As a captain I approach the whole league experience with this mindset. Speaking on behalf of other non-deranged/sandbagging caps, if we could bottle you up and bring you to every match, and everyone takes a swig before we start, it would make for a whole different tennis experience...
 

SaltyDDDog

New User
I have a tennis coach who focuses just as much on the mental game, as much as the physical (is there really a difference)? For example, I go into a match knowing come Monday morning, I report back to my day job - so HAVE FUN! There is a small book I could write, but I'll be brief with the one thing that keeps me "in the game": You can't predict, or even control what is going to happen during the course of a match. Whether I'm having a bad day, my opponent has three eyes, or the weather is especially challenging. So it's not about what happens, its about how I react, and control the situation going forward. Really a deep thought, but I summarized it best to one of my teammates last weekend when I said, "I watched you miss that easy put away shot (that happens), but I saw that one shot cost you the next three points in the tiebreak". He immediately understood; move along, quickly, and keep positive.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
My mindset is "this is way less stressful than running a "Code Blue," so why get worked up". Play hard and let the chips fall where they may.

I think my favorite matches are the ones where plan A isn't working and I have to think my way around an opponent. It's like attacking a good puzzle.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I always talked about keeping a competitive mindset over a winning mindset. You can control being comeptitive, but you cannot control winning necessarily. That helped me. Unfortuantely, lately it has just been, "Don't f up again. Don't f up again...you got this, so don't f up again." Need to get my mind and focus back. It does help when a team is looking to have everyone improve over worrying about winning as much.
 

SaltyDDDog

New User
Although I'm a self-admitted newbie to USTA teams (3 years, first-year captain), I can say that the influence a captain has over the team is TREMENDOUS. For example, we put our our "B" team last weekend knowing it would be a battle (3.5M 18+). I reached out to my strongest players " and had a 1:1 conversation about how I only want to keep things positive and not ruin the chemistry on the court, "can I count on you?". This did two things; (1) I empowered the stronger player to take a leadership role on the court with their partner, and (2) ensured that the focus of the day is fun/chemistry over level of play (accountable to the captain). Admittedly we got lucky, but we won all 3 doubles courts (winter league). My point is, results can happen even without putting the better team on the courts.
 
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Pitti

Rookie
"Look at this guy! He paid for losing a match against me!" :cool:

Jokes aside, I tend to think that I'm there for pure enjoyment and I just try to focus on doing things the best I can on each point. That's enough for me.
 
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