The following conversation is ongoing at Reddit from self.tennis:
I am so bad at this. I had a match today that took three hours and I ended up winning 3-6, 7-6, 7-6, but I was an emotional roller coaster the entire time, screaming at myself, OMG’ing myself, dropping my racket, calling myself an idiot, etc. If I’m winning I can close out a set pretty easily, but when I start to slip I just lose my mind and every point turns into a huge battle.
I’m a 4.5 rated player, and I feel like I should be better at this, because It’s definitely causing some ridiculous antics and I probably look like an idiot, not to mention losing me matches here and there because I start pushing and losing confidence. Any tips on this?
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start filming your matches. then watch to see if you can identify the jerk.
I used to do the same, and still kind of do. There are two types of players, the cool headed robots, and the fiesty emotional players. When I played in college, I learned to play my emotions with the situation. When I say this, I mean to use it smartly. Dont have a blowout right before your service game, and dont bust out a celebration Jimmy Connors would envy when you get to 40-15 in your opponents service game. Talk quietly amongst yourself and save your energy (be it positive or negative) until the appropriate moment. For every 1 negative reaction (be it the voice in your head, or body language), try and show 3 positive (being subtle is encouraged). If you want to snap your frame, just set it down and walk away for a second.
Watch federer and admire his poise. His control of himself results in controlling the court. He will lose two sets in a final, shrug it off, and win the next three sets.
Next time you’re hitting in practice, and you’re hitting really well, focus on that feeling. The feeling of the mental groove you’re in just perfectly, mutually meshing with the physical groove. You have to remember that feeling, and I mean seriously remember it. Focus on all the little details, that’s the key.
Next time you go hit, and you’re totally warm again, try to remember that feeling. You will never remember it completely, but just try to get your head in that same place. Do that every time you practice.
When you get in a match, and things aren’t going your way, try to tap back into that feeling from practice. Focus on all those same little details, and force yourself towards that feeling you remember. Get back to those calm, loose times you were playing.
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