Practicing when not feeling into it.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by SlapChop, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. SlapChop

    SlapChop Semi-Pro

    Oct 12, 2009
    I was out practicing my serve this afternoon it was windy and kind of cold. I could barely stay focused into practicing. I just felt completely off, like I was forcing everything. What do you do when you are having a day like that? I am playing tonight with my regular group and I am hoping to get over this slump I had.
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    OK, a general overview of sports, as seen by someone watching YOU.....
    First of all, you are judged by others ON YOUR WORST DAY!
    Second, they never see your good shots or your quickness, your anticipation, or your good days.
    Guaranteed, in an important match in your life, you will have injested something not agreeable, you'll have partied the night before, and your girlfriend is flirting with someone else. You don't feel like playing tennis.
    That is reality.
    So make your worst day as good as possible, keep a positive image, tell yourself you're actually having fun and it's worth the trouble, and your worst days become..... better than your spectators thought you were! ....:shock::shock:
  3. ttbrowne

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

    May 29, 2008
    Or just handle it as Safin does....If it's not your best day, to hell with it and look forward to the next match.
  4. myservenow

    myservenow Semi-Pro

    Sep 27, 2007
    What I do on my bad days of practice when nothing seems to be going right is to hit the reset button and start completely over. I tell myself to focus on one thing (whatever it may be for that day) and really try to concentrate on getting that one thing right.

    It could be something as simple as hitting volleys with the purpose of watching the ball off the strings. Forget everything but watching the ball off the strings.

    Or maybe hitting backhands and focusing exclusively on pushing through the shot with my off hand. Or hitting forehands and focusing exclusively on pushing off with my right foot. Whatever.

    Whenever you are distracted on the court, start over and limit yourself to one thing. I think at the end of the session you'll feel like you've accomplished something. Then again, sometimes it is time to call it a day and start again tomorrow.
  5. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    +1 Great advice!

    One other thing to consider is that you don't want to practice bad habits and get them ingrained into your technique - then you'll just have to eventually un-learn them. On some days when you just can't find it, perhaps with your serve, it can be smart to just leave it alone. I think that there's real wisdom in avoiding counterproductive practice.

    I'm not saying to just quit. It often takes some hard miles to make real improvements, but it's also smart to NOT make things harder on yourself. Keeping your time on the court positive is a serious priority, but we can sometimes torture ourselves with the "no pain - no gain" mentality, right? Even if you turn in a crappy match, one of the very best things you can do for yourself is to get back out on a court and have a good, easy (and successful) hit for only ten or fifteen minutes before you head home. It helps to make that day's loss less of a setback and can help you look forward to the next time you go to play instead of dreading it. I've actually tried this with a couple of the high school kids I've coached and it's worked great.
  6. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

    Feb 7, 2009
    Cardiff, UK
    First thing you need to find out is whether it's your body that's holding you back.

    For example, if you've got a dead leg & you have a loss of power in the legs, there's no point going through the motion & meeting your serve practise quota for the day.

    If on the other hand, you loss of form is due to wind or mental fatigue you should press on.
  7. Loco4Tennis

    Loco4Tennis Hall of Fame

    Jul 29, 2007
    Manassas, Virginia
    i would also consider fueling up before you go to practise, a piece of fruit and keeping a power bar or hard candy in your bag will aid to keep your energy up, i eat an apple on th eway to the courts, and have power bars in my bag when i need them

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