So how do you deal with performance anxiety in matches...

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
what's your way of dealing with strong nerves and anxiety during a match?

i've been affected by match nerves more and more often during the past weeks for unexplainable reasons and it's having a big impact in my matches

i've blown easy leads and made some REALLY bad decisions because i was so tense playing

i'm re-reading "The Inner Game of Tennis" and that's kind of helping but is there anything else i can do?

thank you
 

sp1derman

Semi-Pro
In the same boat. Trying to read "inner game." I've gotten other books as well. Not much help... I try to stay loose lately with positive self-talk and talking to myself about using each shot as a learning experience, not getting mad about the error but what I can do next time instead. Good Luck!
 

user92626

Legend
Same here, to an extent. This topic is on my mind lately. I got quite a few guys who like to challenge me in games with stakes and the anxiety, nerve has some effect on me.

I will figure out how to have a steely mindset. :)
 

dlk

Hall of Fame
Never get nervous in tennis; but I don't consider USTA Leagues as high stakes, but I could see where one would have anxiety in more serious tennis. I have competed in other sports where I would get the butterflies before the match/event, and I enjoyed the "nerves" and used them to my advantage; if I can relate, if I had a big lead, I would just maintain my same strategy & not think about the score or situation (positive imagery has been a nice tool too).
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
hmmm i will say this much

my nerves seem to be about beating certain players

in a way it's more accurate to call them "grudge nerves"

like when i play against certain players, my mind judges them to be "below me" in terms of level so there is much pressure to beat them and win over them

if this does not happen, there is a lot of panic and fear because "oh ****, i'm not winning matches i'm supposed to be winning"

it's like fear of not performing at the standard that i know i can perform
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
Yes I am nervous as hell, too!!!
Only natural for most people.
You have to learn to accept it and control it.
 
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eaglesburg

Guest
Take time between and especially between change overs. Sit down and just close your eyes and relax and think about what you want to do.

In the points themselves bounce hit works fairly well as does keeping eyes at contact. Another thing is to promise yourself that you won't go down without going for your shots. I personally hate losing much more when I am too scared to actually hit the ball.
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
Take time between and especially between change overs. Sit down and just close your eyes and relax and think about what you want to do.

In the points themselves bounce hit works fairly well as does keeping eyes at contact. Another thing is to promise yourself that you won't go down without going for your shots. I personally hate losing much more when I am too scared to actually hit the ball.
and that's how i've been losing my matches since a few weeks ago

going out like a chump, basically
 

user92626

Legend
Borge,
Try this technique:

-Be really humble. Think nothing of your skills and abilities.

-Have no expectation coming into a match. Think you're lucky to get a few balls in. You're an underdog.

No pressure, no nothing. Be free to do whatever, including losing.

Then winning will come.
 
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eaglesburg

Guest
Sometimes what works for me is simply believing. Have full faith that your shots will go where you want them to, even if they don't. Keeping your head and eyes down at contact helps with this. I know it is harder than it sounds, but just give it a shot and see how it goes.
 

Ash_Smith

Legend
You have to learn to accept it and control it.
Best sentence written here so far.

Elite psychology is simply being able to accept your current thoughts/emotions and maintain focus on the task at hand. Where many athletes go wrong is to believe that they shouldn't have negative thoughts and then when they do they beat themselves up about it, which leads to further negative thoughts/emotions and the spiral continues - each time taking them further away from the important time - the now.

From what you've said @Legend of Borg, your focus shifts to the the future (example - "oh ****, i'm not winning matches i'm supposed to be winning"), so you need to find away to accept that thought and then park it so you can get back to the now. There are 2 ways you could do this, which are quite simple to practice and implement.

The first is to devise an intervention to bring you back to the now - something physical works well, like running your hand down the back fence or squeezing your grip, but simply being conscious of and counting your breathing is great too. Whatever you choose to do, you must be very present with it, give it your full attention - if you touch something - notice what it feels like; is it hot, cold, smooth, rough, soft, sticky etc etc.

The other option is to simply tell yourself the alternative story of events - if you notice yourself thinking "I should be beating this guy easily" (note, should is the most dangerous word psychologically - there is no should in sport, only could), accept it and then tell yourself a different story - "I could beat this guy easily if I focus on..."

Most often the story you tell yourself is the story you believe - change it :)

Hope that helps.
 

Javier92

New User
I think I've tried to help on other topics related to this.

here for instance : http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/how-to-mentally-prepare.542621/#post-9601364

and on other places, I'll have a look.

I think what's the most important is to be able to "filter" your emotions. Once again, I'll take the (very good, imho) image of buddhism. That helped me alot to deal with anxiety, and not only in tennis !

If you're a pragmatic person like me, think about this : your thinking affects your feelings, which then affects your behaviour. It's almost a mathematical (formal) relation of implication.

Your brain reacts to emotions, think about it : you lost someone, you're thinking about the person you miss, you're in pain, thus your behaviour changes (you're sad, not smiling, maybe not talking that much).

Your sadness directly comes from your thinking. But here, it comes from a real/known fact... Unfortunately.

But your brain can't be sure, at some point, if your emotion comes from a real or an imaginary fact.
And that's where the problem of many anxious person relies (in my very humble opinion). We're doing "projections" of "what could happen if...". You're telling us about "performance anxiety", that sounds to me exactly like a projection of your mind.

You're letting your mind "go away" and think about what's gonna happen if you win, or loose, or if someone is judgnig you, or what your opponent thinks of you, or thinking about what you're gonna have for dinner, if you're gonna be late home, etc.

The key to focus in this f*cking game (because that's a fantastic f*cking game) is to rely on FACTS you know for sure. Either positive facts about your game (you've hit 3 aces in the past set) or harmless (with no negative impact) facts. Like if your shoes are weel tied, how the fence is looking, how birds are singing. Or just facts like "i know that I should always make small adjustment steps" "that my FH must be loose to be efficient" or thinking about the feeling you have when your kinectic chain works fine => positive, real facts.

The key, (also in everyday's life) is to BRING BACK your mind to what's actually happening. What are you doing, right now ? You're walking on a tennis court, enjoying playing your favorite game, no matter what the score is, or what your opponent is doing or thinking, or whatever happens outside the court. You're just lucky to be here, 2 arms, 2 legs, walking, running, hitting the ball and playing a game (with, I'm pretty sure, a very decent technique). Everything else is secondary, it's just "noise" in your mind, treat it like it should be treated : as pure noise : ignore it.

hth
 
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Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
Borge,
Try this technique:

-Be really humble. Think nothing of your skills and abilities.

-Have no expectation coming into a match. Think you're lucky to get a few balls in. You're an underdog.

No pressure, no nothing. Be free to do whatever, including losing.

Then winning will come.
ah, the Hafa approach

"i am the underdog, no?"

nice one that's a good tip
 

GuyClinch

Legend
16 second cure is the best for the mental game... I don't believe thinking 'nothing of your skills and abilities' is a good approach..<g> you would start lobbing everything back if you really believed that.
 

shindemac

Hall of Fame
Ash and Javier have already written good posts, so I don't want to rehash the same thing again. I'm gonna come in from a different angle this time because that's the way I like it.

Confidence. Confident people don't have doubt in their mind, and if they do, they don't dwell on it. They have belief in their abilities. The most obvious example is playing someone you've beaten 10 times in a row. The next time you play them, you'll probably feel confident against them, and play your best. So what if you don't have a punching bag that you're playing? Well, developing confidence is really the same process, except you start noticing that you're good at something whether it be your forehand, or serve or retrieving abilities, etc. Once you start to notice your strengths, you'll become confident over time.

If you can develop enough confidence in yourself (which is just the same process), then a lot of the issues disappear. Things like self-doubt, anxiety, and nerves will go away. You won't win every match, but it doesn't matter because you're confident about winning the next one.
 

Javier92

New User
I don't believe thinking 'nothing of your skills and abilities' is a good approach..
I agree. And to be crystal clear, that's not what I meant :)

The topic is not really "how to win a game". If so, yes, you have to rely on your abilities, know what your strengths and weaknesses are, and rely on the strokes you're confident with. The topic is "how to get rid of anxiety". And in order to get rid of anxiety, focusing on the present, and thinking "nothing of your skills and abilities" can help.

Once you're no longer anxious, just relaxed and confident you'll be able to analyze your game properly, with no "danger" of getting nervous. But still on relying on things you know for facts. Not imaginary. For example : you know your FH is a strong weapon when you're in a good rythm, because you know for a fact that you've been hitting good forehands in the past.

Stil, rely on POSITIVE and REAL facts :)
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
this is something that used to help me in the past which i had completely forgotten

switching to a so called "learner's mindset"

findings things to work on during a match and treating it like a lesson in becoming a better player rather than another opportunity to get an inflated ego

that always got me out of those ridiculous match nerves because the focus was on execution and clean hitting over winning the match

the latter came easier when the focus was off of it

the harder i chased the win the harder it became to actually win
 
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eaglesburg

Guest
Sometimes what works for me is simply believing. Have full faith that your shots will go where you want them to, even if they don't. Keeping your head and eyes down at contact helps with this. I know it is harder than it sounds, but just give it a shot and see how it goes.
I feel like I need to be clearer so...

Believing isn't simply blindly flailing at the ball as hard as you can and hoping that it goes on.

It is belief in your abilities, not in playing out of the world.
It is believing that the ball will do what you want it to do, something you have done so many times in practice.
It is believing that your body will hit the shot to the best of its ability, not 200 mph.
It is realizing that your body can't be perfect, and it is acknowledging that your body is playing to the best of its capabilities, even if you missed the shot.
It is believing in yourself.

So take the leap of faith and believe in yourself. Pick your target, visualize the trajectory and speed and spin, and fire away. Don't doubt or hesitate; just go for it. Like I said before, better to down with your guns blazing than like a meek mouse. Again, bounce hit and keeping your eyes down are helpful here.
By believing in yourself, you are putting your body in the best position to succeed, and chances are, your body will reward you.
After a while, it seems like your mind automatically silences itself, and you sometimes forget about all external objectives and just focus on what you need it to. It feels like it just happens automatically during points.
 
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shindemac

Hall of Fame
The topic is "how to get rid of anxiety". And in order to get rid of anxiety, focusing on the present, and thinking "nothing of your skills and abilities" can help.

Once you're no longer anxious, just relaxed and confident you'll be able to analyze your game properly, with no "danger" of getting nervous.
There are subtle differences between the techniques you and Ash have written. I think you're beginning to mix them with what I wrote, but that's ok. A lot of these techniques rely on being mindful and non-judgemental. The best way to describe it is like taking a stroll in the park. No matter what happens on the outside, your mind is serene and tranquil watching the leaves fall and waves ripple. Good or bad, it's still the same to you. Buildings could be falling down around you. Or you could have won the lottery. But others looking at you won't be able to tell.

Small aside, but there's a subtle difference between what previous poster said about believing in yourself and confidence. If you believe in yourself blindly, deep down inside there might be doubts in your subconscious. Unfortunately, your brain has different thoughts and you can't control what it really thinks. So on one level, believing in yourself can work and get rid of the negative thoughts in your head. So it's the same, right? Or almost the same? No, it'll make sense in a little bit.

Going back to the techniques Ash has written about. It can be easy to confuse them with confidence since they both seem similar and have similar results. They are both powerful techniques. What's the opposite of positive? Most will think negative. So what's the opposite of negative? .... Uhmm, what about nothing? If you reread Ash's posts and others, you'll notice that the thought patterns are very neutral. "squeezing your grip, counting your breath, focus on the process, etc." It's almost like a vignette and you're at the park watching the seasons change. This is great because it allows you to play tennis at your best! No doubt, worries, or anxieties. You'll play pretty much like the way you practice, which most would be happy with. But is this really your best?

So how can you play better than the way you practice? It sounds stupid and impossible! There is a way to play better, and it's similar to going to Super Saiyan God mode. An extra level that you weren't aware existed.
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
ye what Ash wrote is pretty on the money in terms of how one "should" handle anxiety properly

anxiety feeds on more fear and usually what happens (for me anyhow) is that i get anxious about being anxious which is the most vicious of all cycles and doesn't just go away

the way out is to be grounded
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
Also make sure you are well rested and that you have a good set of strings.
Time you stringing to your tournament so at least that is one less thing to worry about.
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
my nutrition is probably one of the main culprits behind anxiety

i often play when i'm starved or have just eated like a couple pieces of bread for the whole day

how you gonna have energy to play if you don't eat...
 

user92626

Legend
16 second cure is the best for the mental game... I don't believe thinking 'nothing of your skills and abilities' is a good approach..<g> you would start lobbing everything back if you really believed that.
You don't get it. Like Javier has said, it's about the psychology of getting rid of anxiety instead of anything else.

Between giving yourself pressure from a lofty expectation and allowing yourself to act freely, I'd choose the latter anytime.

Besides, what you do in a match, lobbing, etc., should NOT be from conscious "thinking" that you get or can do at the moment. IMO, advanced playing comes from practicing that more or less has become a sort of instinct.
 
my nutrition is probably one of the main culprits behind anxiety

i often play when i'm starved or have just eated like a couple pieces of bread for the whole day

how you gonna have energy to play if you don't eat...
I imagine that is true of many of us. I know myself I eat almost next to nothing on big match days possibly adding to the nervous anxiety experience.
Just as a by the way I also notice if my matchs are scheduled for a morning start its bad news for me. I'm just not a morning kind of person, evening and late evening starts suit me much better as I seem far more relaxed.
I find concentrating on play patterns and full body unit turns works quite well. Focus on getting the shoulders right around prevents arming strokes which is the the likely consequence of anxiousness.
Sometimes I reflect on how lucky I am to be playing tennis again after a long lay off.
Actually another point and one which was also mentioned earlier is reading the inner game. I often wonder how many times do I have to read this for it to finally stick in my mind.
I seem to be constantly drawn to it as it provides many mental answers for me but the questions just keep coming :)
Anyway good luck with it. Everyone on this site is well familiar with the issues discussed. The is no finite answer but it is possible to work on and very satisfying when a good working level of mental awareness on court is achieved.
Good luck.
 

user92626

Legend
We're doing "projections" of "what could happen if...". You're telling us about "performance anxiety", that sounds to me exactly like a projection of your mind.



You're just lucky to be here, 2 arms, 2 legs, walking, running, hitting the ball and playing a game (with, I'm pretty sure, a very decent technique). Everything else is secondary, it's just "noise" in your mind, treat it like it should be treated : as pure noise : ignore it.

hth

This is more or less exactly what I meant by "think nothing of your skills" so you wouldn't have any issue with performance. There's no performance standard to meet. You just do what you have done/practiced before, and you can't ask for more.

Appreciating the mundane aligns with being humble and in a way having a low expectation.
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
whoa what a day!

followed the advice in this thread and won 3 straight sets

the cool part?

i wasted 4 matchpoints on my own serve serving 5-4 then we ended up winning in the tiebreak by a large margin

second set i actuall saved a matchpoint and ended up winning in the breaker!

third set was a formality won it 6-2

literally just played to see how cleanly i could hit the ball and just tried to stay as loose as possible so i could swing freely

nerves got to me a few times during the sets, i did end up losing a service game to love just because i got tight but then i reminded myself to just focus on the ball and try to stay loose and swing free

what a day to practice some inner game skills on the court!
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
Close your eyes and imagine targets on the ground on the other side of the net. Hit the targets. Don't even imagine the opponent being there. In your mind, it's just ball machine target practice. You hit the or not. But you dictate, don't react.
 

robok9

Semi-Pro
For me, the only time I get nervous is when I lose a few points or games to someone that I know is worse than me. Aside from that, the more tense the situation gets, the more casual I get. Usually, any kind of mistakes in either case boil down to my footwork or serve. For footwork, I just specifically make an effort to move my feet more than I feel is necessary, and for my serve... well... I have a hard time finding it if it's not there from the start. Two of my recent ladder matches, I was down 6-3 2-0 and 5-2 40-15 against people I felt like I should have easily beat, and somehow I won both of them.
 

shindemac

Hall of Fame
whoa what a day!

followed the advice in this thread and won 3 straight sets

the cool part?

i wasted 4 matchpoints on my own serve serving 5-4 then we ended up winning in the tiebreak by a large margin

second set i actuall saved a matchpoint and ended up winning in the breaker!

third set was a formality won it 6-2

literally just played to see how cleanly i could hit the ball and just tried to stay as loose as possible so i could swing freely

nerves got to me a few times during the sets, i did end up losing a service game to love just because i got tight but then i reminded myself to just focus on the ball and try to stay loose and swing free

what a day to practice some inner game skills on the court!
Glad things worked out for you. Like I said, these are really powerful techniques. The more you use them, the better things will be. At least for me, it might take you a few matches before you see the "full" effects. In a few months time, your opponents will wonder how you improved so fast in such a short period of time. While you may not be fully aware of how much things have changed for you.
 
Borge,
Try this technique:

-Be really humble. Think nothing of your skills and abilities.

-Have no expectation coming into a match. Think you're lucky to get a few balls in. You're an underdog.

No pressure, no nothing. Be free to do whatever, including losing.

Then winning will come.
Guys does this work? I feel like if I tried to think like an underdog, I'd start playing like a newb.
 

user92626

Legend
Guys does this work? I feel like if I tried to think like an underdog, I'd start playing like a newb.
The thinking is not designed to suddenly increase your skills, especially if you don't have it in the first place. :)

It's meant to remove performance anxiety. To win you still have to play your best.
 

shindemac

Hall of Fame
The thinking is not designed to suddenly increase your skills, especially if you don't have it in the first place. :)

It's meant to remove performance anxiety. To win you still have to play your best.
If you lack the skills and want to win, then follow winning ugly by gilbert.

These technqiues aren't about winning, but execution. Success is measured by execution. Sometimes it means you win. Sometimes you lose but you were still successful. Sometimes you even lose the point or double-fault, but that is considered successful. IOW, the results don't matter.
 
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If you lack the skills and want to win, then follow winning ugly by gilbert.

These technqiues aren't about winning, but execution. Success is measured by execution. Sometimes it means you win. Sometimes you lose but you were still successful. Sometimes you even lose the point or double-fault, but that is considered successful. IOW, the results don't matter.
Wow I just made everyone think I'm a newb haha.

I had a read of Winning Ugly and although I liked some tips like his preparation ones, some don't apply to me. For example, he lists 6 reasons to serve second. I have always liked to serve first because my serve is my strength and if you're down a break, the difference in score doesnt seem as bad as if you're down a break serving second.
 

shindemac

Hall of Fame
If I'm not mistake, Brad was a pro. He's also the coach of players like roddick and murray. I've read his book, but i don't follow his coaching philosophy. It's kinda strange to mix and match his style with an opposing style, so it's best to make another thread and ask other players who play like this and how it works for them.

Like I said, score doesn't matter (talking about this thread again, not gilbert style). Whether it's match point or not, it doesn't matter in the mind of the player. Yes, that means he could double-fault a match away. Like I said many times, the technique is successful in this instance.
 

user92626

Legend
If you lack the skills and want to win, then follow winning ugly by gilbert.

These technqiues aren't about winning, but execution. Success is measured by execution. Sometimes it means you win. Sometimes you lose but you were still successful. Sometimes you even lose the point or double-fault, but that is considered successful. IOW, the results don't matter.

I read the book a long time ago and I can't remember what he teaches that would let you win without the skills. At best he emphasizes preparation that would likely increase your chance. But, win without the necessary skills?
 

shindemac

Hall of Fame
No method can gaurantee wins. That's just a shorthand. Like I said, i don't follow his (brad) philosophy. But I wanted to point him (poster who wanted to win) towards a way that emphasizes winning more. Like I said many times, for match point the techniques talked about in this thread don't maximize your chances, and you have to accept losing or not care about winning. That's my main point aboutt he differences in styles.
 

kiteboard

Banned
what's your way of dealing with strong nerves and anxiety during a match?

i've been affected by match nerves more and more often during the past weeks for unexplainable reasons and it's having a big impact in my matches

i've blown easy leads and made some REALLY bad decisions because i was so tense playing

i'm re-reading "The Inner Game of Tennis" and that's kind of helping but is there anything else i can do?

thank you

Confidence is paid for. Lots of practice, not only strokes, but mind sets. The right equipment: that fits your personality, hitting style, attacking style, defending style, match style. Practice as if you are playing a match, and: develop mantras in your mind:"First serve in.", Make your return. No unforced errors.


Most people are a whole level higher in practice. Why? Nerves. Fear of failing/embarrassment, loss of self currency, diminishment, bad feelings upon playing/feeling badly. They will come every time you deserve them. So don't deserve them, and they will come less often. You are only as good as you practice to become. All the moping, and racquet abuse you see from weak characters upon losing/points/matches, is all a lie and a telling affect of bad character. If you lost, and missed, you do suck. You are only as good as your last shot.
 

Ash_Smith

Legend
Like I said, score doesn't matter . Whether it's match point or not, it doesn't matter in the mind of the player. Yes, that means he could double-fault a match away. Like I said many times, the technique is successful in this instance.
Going to disagree with this a little. Score absolutely does matter - that's why we play the game. The skill is being able to accept that the score does matter and then move past it and perform anyway - hence where interventions like those discussed above become very useful.

Unless I have misunderstood your post?
 
Ever tried your higher levelled opponent despise you so much that he let go off the gas just clowning around? Man that kind of match is so hard to play because it's counter-intuitive and you're always consciously aware that something bad is gonna happen after each shot you hit: unless you can win the point.

You'd just hope he destroys you and lose gloriously under his A game than clowning around and schooling you in your own game. It just looks stupid when your opponent can win a point hitting a winner but tries to do a controlled slice and forcing you to reply exactly to where he wants next and you're like a mad dog chasing after balls.
 

Minion

Hall of Fame
I really don't mind league matches, competitions etc... but when there are people watching.....I hate that. I really want to tell them to turn around and mind their own business:D. That gets me, not the actual match play, but the people watching....oh the horror.
 

Ash_Smith

Legend
It matters not in the sense that something terrible will happen should we win or lose - there are no lives on the line in sport, but it does matter on many levels to many people.

You are right when you say "if you can be rational about it all and realise that it wont make you a better or worse person", but that is easier said than done for the majority of people who spend their lives, as Peter Sage would put it, swimming in GOOP - The Good Opinion Of Others, your own example of peer expectation is a perfect example of seeking GOOP.

Again, we come back to the simple concept - in sport the outcome matters, on some level (to the guys I work with it matters because it pays the bills and wins you Gold medals and world titles), so we have to accept that and move beyond it. For me anyone who says "forget the outcome, it doesn't matter (I hear that a lot from sports psychs) is being disingenuous - outcome matters, so accept it and find a way to perform regardless.

For years Rafa has struggled with major anxiety issues, but he found a way to accept his thoughts, park them and refocus to perform regardless - recently he has been less able to do this it seems.
 

shindemac

Hall of Fame
But it doesnt really matter does it, if you can be rational about it all and realise that it wont make you a better or worse person or even a better or worse tennis player if you win or lose. Imo most nerves relate back to expectations or what you think the expectations are, the expectations of peers is the hardest one for me to get over, for some its coaches, others its family or their own expectations.

Yes the score matters in the winning and losing of the game, but the game doesnt matter. The coach where I play is trying to help us with finding the balance between caring less and being careless. If you make the game matter too little (and therefor the score and the shot) being played then you end up with people spraying and not trying or playing percentages. If you care too much then you dont play the smart percentages either and you end up bunting deep, playing junior tennis, not playing your patterns and not taking chances to set up those patterns because youre so scared of the outcome.
Yes, on the grand scheme of things, it's just a game. But that's not the answer you're looking for. Okay, you're right on some levels. But asking players to accept the score and move on is a really tough skill to acquire. There are a lot of different philosophies, and I'm asking players to avoid it entirely so the negative emotions don't come up in the first place. It's really hard to fool the brain if deep down, you care too much about winning. It's kinda like the example above about faking confidence and blindly believing in yourself. It's just not the same as having real confidence. When players practice, there is no score, no winning, no losing. Ergo no emotions generated. When you get past the score and winning, then you can play your best during a match.

And yes, this is the technqique I use. It works for me. If your method works on your students, then that's great. I'm only recommending to others what I know works for me, and I'm sure there's many other ways to get the same results.
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
I constantly remind myself that, "I don't do this for a living, and that it's supposed to be fun, so just hit the ball".
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
nah, saying the outcome matters or not is not the right way to phrase it

i think the following analogy works better in this case

a play where the actors are so lost in it they don't even realize it's a play (AKA an act) however the audience knows what's up the entire time

they enjoy the play and go along with it but at no point do they mistake if for being real

when someone says "outcome doesn't matter" i think maybe more accurate advice would be to be less attached to the final outcome

obsession with goals and outcomes tends to backfire when it comes to things like sports and relationships i find
 

shindemac

Hall of Fame
There's a lot of minor differences between what I have read and believe about mental techniques vs what others say, so when i post, i will post what i know. I won't try to parrot someone else and align 100% with them. IOW, there are different philosophies and they are all valid. The main point is to try and help people overcome their fear and doubts on this tennis forum, and not argue philosophy. I only try to provide an introduction on what it can do, and if any forum members become interested, they can go research more on their own.
 

Devil_dog

Hall of Fame
hmmm i will say this much

my nerves seem to be about beating certain players

in a way it's more accurate to call them "grudge nerves"

like when i play against certain players, my mind judges them to be "below me" in terms of level so there is much pressure to beat them and win over them

if this does not happen, there is a lot of panic and fear because "oh ****, i'm not winning matches i'm supposed to be winning"

it's like fear of not performing at the standard that i know i can perform
I've come across this in several of my last few matches (I've won them all, though). From a technical standpoint, I was stronger but yet I had butterflies in my stomach because I felt the pressure was upon me to crush them. But what I told myself was to "relax" and just play solid percentage tennis. Don't over hit which is the tendency for me to do against weaker opponents. And when I followed my own advice, I stopped focusing on my anxieties and started playing solid ball. This philosophy has worked for me so far. Good luck and hope you find your own way to win despite the nerves.
 

Javier92

New User
There's a lot of minor differences between what I have read and believe about mental techniques vs what others say, so when i post, i will post what i know. I won't try to parrot someone else and align 100% with them. IOW, there are different philosophies and they are all valid. The main point is to try and help people overcome their fear and doubts on this tennis forum, and not argue philosophy. I only try to provide an introduction on what it can do, and if any forum members become interested, they can go research more on their own.
I agree :)

I like this post though, I'm still looking for "techniques" to play at the same level in matches than I do in practice. And the "debate" around "accepting the score" is interesting.

I agree it's the final goal, I'm still not sure what's the "mental path" to achieve it. Imho (what kinda works for me atm), forgeting about the score is easier. I'm still not ready to accept it, but as soon as I forget about it and focus on positive things, it gets better.

I've tried the "focus on the present" thing, it's hard but I can confirm it works.

Now that I'm playing less competitive matches, I'm trying something new during simple practice : focus on positive things and record myself. It helped me alot with self-confidence. I realized I have a very good-looking forehand technique, simply by recording myself. I realized during all these years I had never actually seen myself play and didn't know how I was "looking".

And from that point I focus on these images in my mind of nice forehands. I realized I'm even more accurate that I used to. I think it can also help to deal with self-confidence and anxiety.
 
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