i have a small problem. I can play amazingly when just hitting around, no game involved or anything, but when it comes to a match my mechanics just fall apart. It's like i have to concentrate extremely hard just to hit the ball back over the net. What do i do?
04-24-2004, 06:35 AM
One answer. Keep playing matches. We all have or continue to experience the mental part of tennis at times with success or failure. There are of course other aspects, but the main thing is experience and focus.
When hitting around you are just doing that. The ball is usually moving at a slower pace and directed purposefully back at you. In the game, the ball is both moving away from you and is moving with much more speed and driving force combined. So, your style of hitting also much change with this variable.
Then you need to focus on just playing the ball rather than making a perfect winner with each shot. Look at what your opponent is doing wrong and exploit that weakness to death. I just came off the court. My match score was 6-5, 6-4. I won, but we decided to play another set. My opponent beat me 4-6. My serve was very on today which made it tough for him to break me, but I was doing terrible in all three sets at my return of serve, my groundstrokes and smash's. Why? I had a very off day for some reason. My opponent took advantage and really played me. It was good exercise and fun either way but I don't like losing or playing so horrible. Even though I technically beat him in the match, I still was mentally hard on myself for my lack of performance. The main thing I feel I was doing wrong today was being out of rythim and my footwork was not good either.
My point is, when we were warming up, I was hitting all my top-spin forehands beautifully and my back-hand (two handed and slice mix) was on the mark too. When a player begins the process of losing and seeing his/her opponent triumph even on easy shots it breaks that player's concentration and confidence. This is all part of the game. When I am having a great day, I exploit my opponents confidence all I can. It throws him a little. the best feeling I have though is when I am down and I start to improve to the point of making a great come-back and winning the match. That to me is better than winning straight sets. So, just keep on playing. Eventually you will gain both confidence and experience and don't ever expect to win every point. Reality is reality. Even the world's no.1 can be taken down. Play to the best of your current ability and don't give up. Playing Tennis is so good for your health and it is great for a tan+!-
04-28-2004, 04:17 PM
You have to be patient. you can't be a winner every time.
When i rised up from one class to a higher it took 2 years before i won my first game. i played awfully in matces and when training everything was great. you just need to relax and learn to engoy playing. winning is not the reason to play, it to enjoy playing a good game!!!!
07-12-2004, 12:07 PM
you have to learn to relax and use the shots that you have developed in practice everyone loses it is what you learn from defeats that is important .
enjoy playing the game its fun and good for your health as well footwork is vital take small steps and be on balance for all shots read your opponents favorite shots and anticipate them play to improve work on different serves slice kick flat etc try to place the ball so you make your oppponent run
02-18-2005, 10:50 PM
Hello again Livelyfellow! This is a very common tale. There is no substitute for match play! It is the only way to build confidence in your game and to truely figure out a way to win. You can be a lesson great player, and still stink up the court in match play. One thing that may help you right away to be a better match player is this. During warm up probe your opponent, find the weaknes and potential lack of consistancy so you can out of the gate attack them. In other words, try to break your opponent down first in a match before you breakdown. Hit about 6 balls to the backhand and forhand as well as both sides of his volley. If you can identify a weakness on one groundstroke, during your match, serve to that side about as much as you can untill he can prove to you he cant hurt you with the return. I have played many matches where I have served 85% to one side even at the Pro level. That way you should get two offensive shots out of the first 3 hits to get an error or get controll of the point.
02-24-2005, 06:20 PM
I'd say two things.
1) When you're just hitting around, chance's are you and your opponent are hitting most everything reasonably close and easy to each other. It's pretty easy to get in a groove when you're doing that. When you're playing a match you both start aiming more for the corners and hitting away from each other - then you have to run to the ball and hit it, which is much harder. So, 1 - I'd suggest you work more on your running forehand when you practice. (You do practice, right - you don't just play matches all the time? Practice is very important.)
Second - it could also just be a mental thing. Try to be relaxed and loose when you play. What happens if you lose? Nothing! No big deal! You're not a pro that's playing to put bread on the table. You're just out to have fun and get a little exercise. So 2 - relax and have fun, consider this match to be just "practice" for the next match. You'll play a whole lot better if you don't care so much what the outcome is.
04-17-2005, 07:41 PM
Earlier in my tennis career i had the same problems. For me, when i was playing and about to hit the ball I became worried about my accuracy and topspin and the anxiety would always throw off my shot.
Depending on the length of time u have been playing tennis it could just be that you are not properly experienced. If this is the case this anxiety willl go away with experience. Many times it helps to play more defensively if you are not hitting the ball the way you want to be. Through playing defensively and focusing on simply getting the ball over the net you are putting the pressure on your opponent to make a good shot. After your partner has made a couple mistakes and the match has progressed you may become more comfortable.