So, how do you maintain focus?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by sp00q, May 7, 2009.

  1. sp00q

    sp00q Rookie

    Apr 7, 2008
    My last four results (different opponents): 64 26 67, 61 76, 62 76, 60 46 26.
    The obvious pattern: playing good the first set, badly afterwards.

    I believe I am a steady man. I don't get upset at myself, don't break rackets, don't curse. Therefore my mental point of view is hard to upset. I believe in victory until the last point is played. What goes wrong then?

    Well, I blame myself for becoming blasé, detached, for losing interest and concentration on the game. How can I keep going the initial mood? What do you guys (and gals) do to maintain your focus?
  2. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Aug 31, 2006
    One thing that helps for me is that if I win the first set, I start the second telling myself that I want to win the second set by a better score than the first.

    I think that this is a bit easier for the mind to accept than the standard advice to "pretend you lost the first set." I know I didn't lose the first set, so my mind isn't buying it.

    Ah, but if I win the first set 6-4 and set as a goal not letting the opponent get more than three games . . . for some reason that seems to help me continue to attack rather than sit on my (temporary) lead.
  3. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Sep 26, 2008
    Central Florida
  4. seleswannabe

    seleswannabe Rookie

    May 7, 2008
    ^^Have not gotten around to reading this but I'm looking forward to it. Great excerpt.
    For me personally, the biggest strides I've made in my game this year have been mental. It's incredibly hard to focus for 1-2 hours at a time, but I have worked really hard at it and it's paid dividends. I think running long distances has helped me with this. Also, I do not let my mind wander during matches. I focus on things like my strings, the balls, my shoelaces, etc. to keep me from doing so between games & sets.
    I know I have an opponent on the ropes when they start looking at the court next to us between points and games. I have them right where I want them!
  5. thehustler

    thehustler Rookie

    Aug 23, 2004
    You wouldn't have me on the ropes if I were looking at the court next to us. Everyone focuses differently. Right now I'm studying for my CCNA and I study differently than anybody I know. I read for a while, but I do things while I'm reading, like go on here or check my mail or whatever. But the distractions help me focus better for some reason because I'm relaxed and I somehow retain everything. It's odd but it works. Same thing on a court. I might look over at another court or they might look at me. I find focus rather easy, and as I mentioned in another thread you have to believe in yourself and tell yourself that you deserve to play great tennis. Believe in that and you'll get much farther than any 2 bit advice most people give.
  6. seleswannabe

    seleswannabe Rookie

    May 7, 2008
    Well, I'm not sure of your gender & age, but I am female and most of the women I play in singles at the 3.0 level are younger and have children just like I do. It's pretty hard to "not" think of your family and all the things that need to be done. I am sure at the next levels I will find I'm in a whole different ball game, but for now I take my cues.
  7. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Feb 13, 2009
    Tennis is played one point at a time. Focus on the present.
    Focus on recovering, getting to the ball, watching the ball.
    Continue to vary your serve placement.
    Concern yourself with executing each shot just right.
  8. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

    Dec 29, 2008
    it can take a while to get that tunnel vision in a match, sometimes it doesn't show at all

    tonight i played someone who hit continental and lots of forehand slice, took me a while to find out how to play him and while I was up 2-1 early, quickly found myself down 5-7, 0-2 and 30-0

    slowly I just worked my way back, focusing just on the ball from the time it left his hand and through my contact point and what needed to get it done.

    finally after 21 + games, my serve showed up and I lost about 5 points on it the rest of the way, closing it out 5-7, 6-4, 6-3

    find a spot for your thoughts, I was trying to get into it, talking to myself, moving, but in the end wasn't focusing until I just cleared my head and started focusing on hitting tight to his backhand
  9. max

    max Hall of Fame

    Jul 14, 2004
    Focus, concentration, is something you can gradually build up. It's mental muscle; the more you have a go at it, the more you get.
  10. delphi17

    delphi17 Rookie

    May 4, 2009
    sometimes, u think its the mental problem...
    but it could actually be your fitness.
    You might think you are fine, but your legs are slowing down, you are less comfortable, your eyes are getting tired.
    Try to push your fitness to next lvl,
    With the higher lvl of fitness, you are going to have more confidence and of course a better result..
    Tennis is a physical sport, dont let others tell you its not...
  11. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

    May 20, 2009
    Everybody's game has "ups" and "downs", and it is exceedingly difficult to maintain razor-like focus throughout a long match (even for the pros). some say that game points and set points should be treated with special focus, and there may be some merit to that. I say it's important to simply focus on the ball, and stay in the moment at all times. Forget the score, just play your best strategy/shots and act instinctively.
  12. North

    North Professional

    Jun 21, 2005
    I focus on my breathing, on the ball, & on enjoying playing. I couldn't care less whether I win or lose as long as I have played my best. The less I care, the better I am able to play.

    I periodically (before serving, after a point) briefly close my eyes and smile to stay realxed. I do not interact at all with the other player - I play in silence - drives some opponents nuts but I feel relaxed and within myself and more able to regulate my level of intensity.

    I also have a set routine for serving (breathing, 4 bounces of the ball) that I never vary. Also - whenever possible, I make sure I have enough time before the match to do a good dynamic warmup and then relax by myself for a little while before playing.

    Life being what it is (I hate my job, hate my job....) some days I am too wired and then it is hard to be calm enough. Otherwise, it really does help.

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