Super Choke

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Blee1613, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Blee1613

    Blee1613 Semi-Pro

    Feb 13, 2010
    Hey guys,
    Had my first match of the season today. And well, I won, but barely and I'm not very happy the way I did.

    In the 1st set I was up 4-0, I thought hey this is easy. I'm up 40-0 and I lose the game. The next 2 games were similar. I finally pull it together and win the set 6-3.

    2nd set, I'm thinking "I need to focus!". I go ahead 5-0. Next game I have 2 match points then lose the game. I go on to lose the next 4 games when I'm up 30-0, or 40-0, or 40-15 (you get the idea). I had like 50 match points. I finally won 6-3 7-5.

    In short, why did this happen? I mean, there's no pressure on me. I'm up 5-0, 40-15 or whatever.
  2. GetBetterer

    GetBetterer Hall of Fame

    Apr 19, 2010
    Mesa, AZ
    According to The Inner Game of Tennis you were too self-confident. Self 1 (your ego, and I mean this as a psychological defined term) took over and was all like "pfft, got this" and Self 2, who knows the shots (your id/subconscious) had very little control in the shots.
  3. Noaler

    Noaler Semi-Pro

    Jun 17, 2008
    No a super choke would be that situation and you losing. Many people lose in these situations, you should be glad you recovered the situation.
  4. Blee1613

    Blee1613 Semi-Pro

    Feb 13, 2010
    Ok so don't underestimate my opponent and just be glad I won. But how did I have little control of my shots when every game I was up by 40-0 or 30-0?
  5. David Backhand

    David Backhand New User

    May 11, 2010
    Closing a set/match is always more difficult. Also, give some credit to your opponent for saving so many match points. What happened to you wasn't really a choke, though. Just over-confidence. The more matches you play, that over confidence will be replaced by just confidence.

    I sometimes get the shakes when i realize that i'm facing someone that i should be able to beat. I once played this guy who was clearly inferior to me. I closed the first set 6-1 and was all like: "ok whos next?" ... ended up losing the second set 0-6. Now that's a choke.
  6. SlapChop

    SlapChop Semi-Pro

    Oct 12, 2009
    I think every one has done this same thing before. I know I have. My main problem is when I am thinking about the next match because I figure the one I am playing is over.
  7. Blee1613

    Blee1613 Semi-Pro

    Feb 13, 2010
    Ok could it also be that I was just mentally worn out? I mean I expected to win this match 6-0 6-0 in under an hour, and it went about 2 hours?
  8. mightyrick

    mightyrick Legend

    Aug 19, 2010
    Austin, TX
    For me, this is my biggest "mental" issue. I play better under pressure. I play really well from behind.

    There was a thread awhile back where someone was asking about how to close a decisive set. I have that issue sometimes. If I am up 5-2, I tend to ease up. I might start hitting a lot more flat serves on my second serve. I might start trying to hit low-percentage volleys I wouldn't ordinarily try for. I might start trying to hit with a one-handed backhand instead of my usual 2HBH.

    And I know it when I'm doing it. I have this rationalization in my mind that says, "Don't worry. Even if you drop the next two games, you can still win 6-4".

    I can't tell you how many sets I've either lost doing that... or winning a set at 7-5 or 7-6.
  9. thug the bunny

    thug the bunny Professional

    Jan 7, 2011
    Out of the comfort zone
    It's weird, whenever I focus on winning, I suck. I know alot of coaches in sports are very goal or results oriented, but it doesn't work for me. I know when I'm on the golf course playing well, as soon as I think something like "I could shoot sub 80 today", everything goes into the toilet. In tennis, as in golf, my best goal is to focus on each and every shot, and let the results fall where they may.
  10. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

    Jan 24, 2008
    Stillwater, OK
    Most players actually consider playing ahead in the score as a higher pressure situation. Tons of people play well from behind, they figure "how can things go any worse" so they just go for it. Look at Kuznetsova-- her best forehands rarely come when she's serving for a set at 5-4.
  11. Sreeram

    Sreeram Professional

    Sep 27, 2010
    I have won similar matches in which my opponents being 5 -1 lead have lost the set to me in tie break. I have lost like that once and came close to losing few times. One common thing that I found in myself and my opponents during such scenarios is they stop forcing things and try to be pasive just expecting the opponent to lose. But it does not happen that way. You came ahead till this point because
    1 either your you forced things by hitting winners are shots that were tough to return
    2. or your opponent was making more mistakes than you.
    If it was case 1 then the situation changed at match opoint because you stopped your domination attitude.
    In case 2, your opponent has cut his mistakes or you started making more.
    In shot while serving for the match you need to make sure you continue doing thing that brought you till this point.
  12. Lawn Tennis

    Lawn Tennis Semi-Pro

    Nov 29, 2009
    From the first point to the last, one needs to be mentally steadfast. You should have no expectations except this one -Expect every ball to come back even when only one in four actually do. If one plays tennis according to their opponents ability, one will rarely overcome the tough moments against higher ranked opponents.

    The best motto comes from the US Army: Be all that you can be.
  13. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Hall of Fame

    Sep 9, 2007
    Columbus, OH
    You have to stay focused on the play and not the score. You are playing the ball when you are at your best and when you start thinking about results, you are thinking score only. It'll cause tightness and your strokes won't be as fluid.

    I used to do this all the time. Experience helps big time. Next time you play, stay in the moment. Don't get ahead of yourself by thinking thoughts of...I'll be finished soon...I need to win this next point...I can't believe I just did that...etc.

    Just the next shot...this strategy has worked...keep my feet moving and my level of play the same...etc.

    If I were you, I'd play more baseline drop feed games in practice to say 21 or 11. This will keep you focused on having to play points under pressure and having a score result too. Mix it up w/ a few regular service games and finish it all up w/ a tie breaker. Make certain you are playing against someone who will challenge you. Put the pressure on yourself to win but understand that losing is acceptable if you learned anything during the experience about your game. Try new things while you are playing. Try playing like a pusher and then like a banger or try some chip and charge. Work on your shots so that you have an arsenal when you get to a real match and you have shots to fall back on if things aren't going your way.

    Remember: It's a game. It's suppose to be fun; win or lose. I guarantee you'll improve and take your game to the next level.

    Final words: Never have an expectation before the match such as "I expect to win 6-0, 6-0 in less than an hour." It just sets you up for failure; especially, if you expect to double bagel a player. As soon as you lose a game, you failed. Stay in the moment and play the points one at a time.

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