Separating life from tennis

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by !<-_->!, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. !<-_->!

    !<-_->! Professional

    Feb 21, 2004
    To start off, I've never been the most mellow person. That is to say, I've got a short fuse from time to time. But more often than not, a lot of it stems from the stresses and frustration of daily life and not so much the tennis itself. Tennis is tennis. I am no professional so this is merely recreation and not profession. With that said, I've lost my mind completely lately and have acted quite poorly while on the court. Details shall be spared. Thus, do others who seem to suffer from these symptoms have any remedies or advice as to cure, or at the very least, curb such eruptions of emotion and negativity.

  2. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

    Sep 2, 2009
    I am just the opposite... in the past I have always used tennis as my sanctuary a place to get away from everything. When things start to go wrong on the court... I always pause and think to myself, would I rather be here or...?

    A bad day on the tennis court is still better than a good day at a lot of other places.

    I don't get to play as much as I would like anymore... so everytime I am on the court now I try to remember to enjoy every ball I hit, EVERY BALL!!!

    So as you walk through the gate... leave it all behind you. It might not be easy at first but with practice it becomes a way of life. And if you slip up... man up and apologize to your opponents, we all have bad days.
  3. halalula1234

    halalula1234 Professional

    Sep 14, 2008
    i was playing badly due to my migrane headache one mixed doubles match in our club so this guy who was on the opposite doubles games kept requesting not to play with me even thought hes not better than me at my normal level and kept giving me the evils and telling me to hit hard and blah blah. I was feeling really down and angry. The best thing i did is forget about him and use the anger in other games when i need to be focus and remember that i was having a headache during that match and how nice the other 2 girls were and not looking down at me.

    I remembered this because it was just a social match and normally when some of us isnt at their best we dont go around giving them evils and useless advices. We just accept the situation but this guys was the first one i've encountered so i imagine hitting the ball at his face occasionally when i need to hit hard.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  4. jazzyfunkybluesy

    jazzyfunkybluesy Banned

    Oct 20, 2009
    Let me know when you figure it out.
  5. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

    Apr 4, 2008
    hopefully you can tell yourself a bad day of tennis (being outdoors, getting exercise, in reality it doesnt matter win or lose, etc) is better than a good day at work. just chill out
  6. dozu

    dozu Banned

    Feb 19, 2004
    yup - use tennis as a motivator to solve other issues in life.
  7. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

    Nov 24, 2008
    Tennis is a tough sport this way. Aggression is good, but too much can be bad. It's a tough sport to balance this, especially when things go wrong. I play a lot of basketball, and when my shot is off, I take out my aggression on defense and rebounding, which are productive. In tennis, this doesn't work.

    Ripper's advice is great. Try and enjoy every shot, good or bad, because it's not going to last forever.
  8. SlapChop

    SlapChop Semi-Pro

    Oct 12, 2009
    Tennis is my favorite part of the week. I really just forget about everything and just play. I try to play my best and make improvements but if my game isn't going right I just don't worry about it I play as best I can.

    I've had the same thing you are thinking though only with fishing. I was fishing a tournament and was in a good spot. I hook up on a good fish, I'm working on bringing him to the boat I get him close and he peels off a bunch of line. I am fighting him for a good 15 minutes. I have already seen the fish 3 or 4 times, it was a good one possibly in the money. The fish makes another hard run and slack line he some how broke off. Well I am upset but whatever it is just one fish. I get rigged back up and a couple cast boom another good one. I fought that one like 3 minutes had him around the boat a couple of times saw the fish once and bam broke off again. I was heated this has never happened. Then the unthinkable a third fish same situation. I lost it after that I threw the rod and reel over board along with a lot of other stuff. I threw a complete fit Threw stuff all over my boat cussing and just being mad. Then I slowly calmed down pulled up my anchor and head back to the tournament HQ. I sat around talking to some friends getting my mind off of it. While talking to them we all agreed it is just fishing and it is supposed to be fun. Looked around at the water and and just being outside and slowly I forgot about all the mishaps and just laughed at myself for acting like a 2 year old. That is the last time I got upset about something that I really enjoy. Not to say I don;t get frustrated from time to time when things like that happen I just don;t let it ruin what I am doing for fun and relaxation.
  9. dbusiness

    dbusiness Rookie

    May 20, 2009
    Tennis is a great outlook on who people are and how they live there lives.

    If this were a one time event then I would brush it off but as you mentioned it's youthat is causing the problems. I have been frustrated with my game, physical condition, shot selection, weather conditions (windy) and other players (pushers, dinkers, and blockers).

    The remedy is your outlook on the events. If someone you should beat wins, will you be able to wake up tommorrow, be banned from the club, never play again, or be ridiculed for your performance? probably not.

    Something that can influence this also is a buildup of testosterone and may mean you just need to release some.
    You will have to explain or determine which areas of your game are causing the agitation and work on them. Everyone needs to seek help from a pro once in a while for tips on playing styles, strategy, fitness evaluation, and to work on strengthening your playing weaknesses.

    If like the last time this happened me you said something you didn't mean or acted like a fool then hopefully you were man enough to apologize to put this in the past.
  10. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

    Sep 2, 2009
    Slapchop brought something up I would rather forget...

    I grew up in the years of Nastase, Connors and McEnroe... and of course being a young man I wanted to emulate the best (as in best players). Well back in the day there used to be a lot of racket throwing. My main rackets at the time were a Head Comp II and a Head Professional (an aluminum frame).

    I remember clearly missing a shot and throwing my Comp II at the net.... it flew like a frisbee and floated over the net and skidded along the court on the other side. I just stood there in dumb shock... if you knew me you would know I like everything I have in prestine condition (there are times I will not dig a shot out of the court because I don't want to scratch my racket).

    There was one incident that changed everything for me, I was playing a match and I had a rather routine backhand pass down the line to make and it caught the tape... I was not upset about missing but I slammed my Head Professional racket edge first into the court... I guess I thought it would bounce like on tv and I would just catch it. Well it didn't... it hit the court and just layed there. When I picked it up... the whole frame had shifted an inch. It was the last time I ever threw a racket... being a teenager in the 70's you could not afford lunch let alone to replace $100 tennis racket.

    Awwwwwwwwwwww... the 70's I remember filling up my first car, a Fiat X19 for $5.00

    I guess my point is that what you are dealing with is learn behaviour, and can be corrected with a little retraining on your part.
  11. ThiTran

    ThiTran New User

    Jun 18, 2007
    I had a knee surgery a few years back and was out of the game for a few months. Now, sometimes, when I'm down on myself when not playing well, I refocus on the fact that I'm able to play the game. Focus on a bigger picture, keep learning, improving, and enjoy playing the game.

    I would recommend trying to reduce stress in your other part of life as well. Check out the book: Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up and The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance
  12. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

    Jun 24, 2009
    At Large
    Maybe have someone make a video of you playing so you can see how you look to other people when you act out.

    If the stresses of the outside world are affecting your game you need to learn to leave your baggage at the side of the court. When you take your racket out of your bag and walk over to take your side, take the physical act of leaving your racket bag at the net post as symbolism. Realize that once the ball is in play, all that matters is you and the ball. Worrying about anything else will not help your tennis and will only distract you. So you can choose to let it affect you and ruin what is supposed to be a fun activity, or live in the now and then pick up your worries again when your court time is up.
  13. My one semester of high school psychology says you are displacing.

    Displacement: "A psychological defense mechanism in which there is an unconscious shift of emotions, affect, or desires from the original object to a more acceptable or immediate substitute."

    A common example is a disgruntled worker who kicks his dog when he comes home. Another is playing Grand Theft Auto instead of actually shooting someone (I can't be the only one). Or shouting at your wife because your boss shouted at you.

    Try to remember WHY you play tennis. Because it's fun, good exercise, get together with friends, etc. You should be looking forward to playing tennis instead of dreading it.

    Remember the lesson from The Count of Monte Cristo (the book):

    "There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness."

    Tennis should be fun compared to real life.
  14. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Jun 2, 2006
    The Great NW

    Was this is matchplay or just hitting around, or both?
  15. Rambler124

    Rambler124 Rookie

    Jul 26, 2008
    Not that this solves the problem but a good piece of advice or just a statement:

    "You don't need an outlet for your outlet"
  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Oct 1, 2005
    Every moment of life is life. There is nothing like a separate life. Every moment that passes is your life. So if you are playing tennis or loading the washing machine or posting here, it is part of your life.
  17. BillH

    BillH Rookie

    Feb 23, 2004
    In the past 6 years I have had 2 acl reconstructions (both left and right knees) two years apart - both required 6 months extensive rehab with no tennis, then another 4-6 months before I could really feel comfortable on the court. During the times I could not play tennis, I realized how much the game means to me - the recreational and social aspects. Now, when I start taking myself or the game too seriously, I remember what its like to not be able to play and I make it a point to enjoy the activity. You're going to have good days and better days on the court, but there's no such thing as a bad day playing tennis.
  18. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

    Jul 13, 2004
    This is a subject that many players have to address. Having a "short fuse" on the tennis court can have a negative effect on a lot of things including the very real possibly of hurting your own game but more importantly injuring someone because you threw a racquet or whacked a ball because "something" upset you.

    I recently ended up in the emergency room because my opponent, after double faulting, decided to slap the ball as hard as he could and it caught me just below the ear - never saw it coming, game was over and I was only about 12 - 14 feet away. The ball hit so hard, it knocked me out but I don't even remember going down - I also had trouble breathing/just trying to catch my breath. Fortunately, there were others around and they quickly got me to the side bench area and applied ice to the wound - I guess it was not a pretty site. After a few minutes I started throwing up and my blood pressure just soared over 200. Although I quickly came to my eyesight had been effected (saw three of everything), had loud ringing in my ears and was just dazed until after they ran a Cat Scan (?). I really didn't know at first what had hit me but it seemed bad - the ball had caught me solid and did not apparently glance off my head.

    The bottom line is that I'm going to be ok but have had headaches and neck aches since although they seem to be getting better daily. My version had returned to normal along with my blood pressure.

    But it seems so stupid just because someone was "apparently" ticked because they were either having a bad day or were losing. One of the doctors at the hospital said that if my head had been turned just a spec more the blow could very easily have been fatal - really made me very good if things wern't bad enough.

    So maybe if you have a short fuse, next time your about to lose it, think of me.
  19. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

    Oct 30, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    Focus on the positives in your life. Try cross-training more. Sleep better and improve your diet. Stay away from negative people and surround yourself with optimists. Be nice to others and help them whenever possible and you'll be surprised at how "what goes around comes around" so to speak. How about your educational opportunities? Career/job change? Sometimes a change of scenery and direction in your life works wonders. Also, try prayer/meditation/stretching/yoga (1 of these or some combination thereof).

    All the best to you, I'm sure you'll improve as to your on court behavior, because you ALREADY recognize that it is a problem.

    JISTUINS New User

    Nov 6, 2009
    I grew up admiring the aggressive player as well when I was younger, and had a short fuse. But now that I'm older, things have changed. The one big thing that has changed is being a high school coach, which means having to be a role model for kids. Plus, a lot of it has to do with improving your own personal character in life, especially in problem-solving attitude. Having said that, I still "lose it" inside, if not outwardly, which results in less concentration and not-so-smart shot selection during match play. Forever something to work on, that inner zen.

    We have kids who have a short fuse, too. What we do is stop the practice or match. Send the kids for a lap or two around the school. It's a punishment, but also alone time to cool off both physically and mentally. And then a long chat with one of the coaches. Usually, blowing up for kids is a quick expression to blow off steam... but we let them know that if they do that, it results in a long, drawn out process which they could have avoided, and so, could be enjoying some good tennis points if they hadn't blown up.
  21. XLes paulO

    XLes paulO New User

    Jul 6, 2009
    I had that problem where when life is good tennis is good and i play care free. But when in tougher times i can really see my game take a impact since sometimes it is definilty harder to focus purley on the point at hand
  22. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

    Jul 14, 2008
    If you think you're an accident waiting to happen go see a shrink.

    Nuff said.

  23. ttbrowne

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

    May 29, 2008
    It reduces your stress but creates stress in other peoples life! My son subscribes to this book...he says Yes to everything and then....never follows thru.
    You wanna fill in for our foursome? Yes. Then he never shows up.
    Can you help me move a few items in the garage? Yes. Then "forgets".
    You wanna meet us for dinner? Yes. Then stands us up.
    He's one rude dude but he always says Yes!

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