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  1. #1
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    Distractions vs Focused

    "Hey man I was in the Zone "

    I'd like to think at least all of us at one time or another have had the good fortune to experience this feeling while playing a game of Tennis. I know I have and I've witnessed others that seem to have. So how does this occur?

    When your entire World is no larger than 78' x 27' and nothing outside of those dimensions exist. Sometimes you can sustain this for a game or two. There are those occasions where you can sustain this for an entire Set and God Bless those who can sustain this for an entire Match.

    How do you know when you're in the Zone? The beauty of being in the Zone is not knowing. And to be quite frank, you don't want to know.
    [TS] = true story:

    About three years ago, I was playing Men's Doubles during a local Round Robin Event. This is a social activity that some people put together for enjoyment purpose only. There are no prises awarded only bragging rights however the Partner you start with is the partner you stay with throughout. So I was having a very good night of serving. It seemed my 1st Serve was in the groove as they say. During one game, I served out the entire game in Aces.
    Then when it was my turn to serve again, I started that game with an Ace and our Opponents started standing as far back as they could, which was a mistake but I'll talk about that another time. Anyway, when I was preparing to serve to the Ad-Court Side, my partner of all people leaned to me and said, "I bet you can't serve an Ace again" and after consecutively serving aces in a roll, I missed my first serve. I put down my Racquet and walked over to him and said these words, "After this game is over, you and I are going to have a talk" and I'm guessing by the look on my face, he became very worried. I didn't serve another Ace in that game and subsequently we did have that talk. I basically asked him why in the World would he say something like that to his own partner? I suppose you can guess my actual comments were not G-Rated. I was floored that my own partner disrupted my concentration by making such a comment like that.

    Concentration = Focus and all good things follow. If you can get yourself in a position where you are no longer aware of your surroundings outside of that 78' by 27' perimeter and your entire focus is on the task at hand, you are giving yourself an opportunity to be in the Zone. When the Cars, Barking Dogs, Games on adjacent Courts, Wind etc. are not allowed to be a distraction, you are completely focused on the Game and when you are focused on the game, your concentration is at its' peak and when your concentration is at its' peak, you unknowingly will find yourself watching the ball, paying attention to your movement(s) and what your Opponent is doing as well.

    These attributes will give you the best opportunity to be competitive and I assure you, whatever level you are at, you will play your best game. It doesn't mean you will win it only means you will play your best game.

    Coach


    to be cont.
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  2. #2
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    isnt it strange how easily the mind can panic? so did you win the match?

    perhaps your partner wanted to play the net. jk

    i've been 'in the zone' but never during a tennis match unfortunately. now ping pong is another story. my older brother was always better than me... i would win maybe 1 out of 3 games. however, one night (approx. 6 months ago) i was unstopable. i won about twenty games that night (6 to my brother) and barely lost just one. thankfully i didnt have a doubles partner to snap me out of it.

    i look forward to the day when i can play with such dominance like the Coach did as mentioned above. ive only served three aces in my entire life that i can recall

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis View Post
    isnt it strange how easily the mind can panic? so did you win the match?

    perhaps your partner wanted to play the net. jk

    i've been 'in the zone' but never during a tennis match unfortunately. now ping pong is another story. my older brother was always better than me... i would win maybe 1 out of 3 games. however, one night (approx. 6 months ago) i was unstopable. i won about twenty games that night (6 to my brother) and barely lost just one. thankfully i didnt have a doubles partner to snap me out of it.

    i look forward to the day when i can play with such dominance like the Coach did as mentioned above. ive only served three aces in my entire life that i can recall
    When I was a kid, my family had a Ping Pong Table in our Basement which of course is called Table Tennis these days. To be honest I haven't played that game since those days and thanks to you, it reminded me of how much fun I use to have with it. I wasn't very good at it although but there again, no one was that I saw. None of my family nor my friends, it was merely a thing to have that kept you occupied when the weather was too bad to go out.

    Do you still play? TTC airs professional matches once in while and I gotta say, I wouldn't even come close to getting a point against the way they play the game these days.

    Great Story LT
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach View Post
    When I was a kid, my family had a Ping Pong Table in our Basement which of course is called Table Tennis these days. To be honest I haven't played that game since those days and thanks to you, it reminded me of how much fun I use to have with it. I wasn't very good at it although but there again, no one was that I saw. None of my family nor my friends, it was merely a thing to have that kept you occupied when the weather was too bad to go out.

    Do you still play? TTC airs professional matches once in while and I gotta say, I wouldn't even come close to getting a point against the way they play the game these days.

    Great Story LT
    yes, my bad.. table tennis not ping pong. i have seen professional table tennis. i do still play and enjoy ping pong. no doubt i would lose to them, but i bet ya i could score a few points. my forehand top spin is just as effective as there's, but as soon as my rather flat backhand is revealed, they would win. my serves are just as good too. our ping pong table was in the basement like yours Coach, and the only problem with playing in such a setting is a low ceiling and sometimes poor lighting. Coach, you should pick table tennis back up; you'd be much better now. im sure you'd have no problem with a simple practice such as watching the ball or positioning yourself.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis View Post
    yes, my bad.. table tennis not ping pong. i have seen professional table tennis. i do still play and enjoy ping pong. no doubt i would lose to them, but i bet ya i could score a few points. my forehand top spin is just as effective as there's, but as soon as my rather flat backhand is revealed, they would win. my serves are just as good too. our ping pong table was in the basement like yours Coach, and the only problem with playing in such a setting is a low ceiling and sometimes poor lighting. Coach, you should pick table tennis back up; you'd be much better now. im sure you'd have no problem with a simple practice such as watching the ball or positioning yourself.

    To be quite honest for me it's nearly impossible. Many years ago, my Racquet Sport of choice was Racquetball. Loved it, great workout, fast pace, easy to learn yet difficult to master if you were playing serious Racquetball which the group of people I became connected with, were. They purchased their Racquetball Racquets at Pro Shops similar to Sports Authority, made of the latest composites which became Graphite. We held group initiated tournaments and setup a Leader Chart for who was the best and who had to be dethroned.

    All of this was pretty cool until one day out of the blue, someone asked me to play Tennis. The actual way I began playing Tennis is a long story however the point I"m making is, in the beginning, I had a terrible time getting the fundamentals of Tennis down and much of that was due to my instinct to use my wrist instead of forearm. I found myself whipping at the ball like you do in racquetball, so the conversion to Tennis was difficult although between the two, I found that I liked tennis better.

    Now I'm not sure if Table Tennis would interfere with your tennis strokes but racquetball certain does and I had to make a decision on which I wanted keep. Does playing table tennis disrupt your tennis game? Are you trying to attach the ping pong ball as you do a tennis ball?
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach View Post

    To be quite honest for me it's nearly impossible. Many years ago, my Racquet Sport of choice was Racquetball. Loved it, great workout, fast pace, easy to learn yet difficult to master if you were playing serious Racquetball which the group of people I became connected with, were. They purchased their Racquetball Racquets at Pro Shops similar to Sports Authority, made of the latest composites which became Graphite. We held group initiated tournaments and setup a Leader Chart for who was the best and who had to be dethroned.

    All of this was pretty cool until one day out of the blue, someone asked me to play Tennis. The actual way I began playing Tennis is a long story however the point I"m making is, in the beginning, I had a terrible time getting the fundamentals of Tennis down and much of that was due to my instinct to use my wrist instead of forearm. I found myself whipping at the ball like you do in racquetball, so the conversion to Tennis was difficult although between the two, I found that I liked tennis better.

    Now I'm not sure if Table Tennis would interfere with your tennis strokes but racquetball certain does and I had to make a decision on which I wanted keep. Does playing table tennis disrupt your tennis game? Are you trying to attach the ping pong ball as you do a tennis ball?

    Ahh, racquetball is quite a blast. i played it this past winter because ice tennis is too hard seriously though, i never became good enough to play racquetball in even an amatuer league. as you said, it was fun and easy to pick up for just about anyone, so i too enjoyed it.

    you found that having played racquetball led you to bad habits in tennis. i can see how that works. however, in tennis there is one scenario where snapping the wrist occurs.. during the serve, right? i kinda wondered if table tennis was messing with my lawn tennis game. in table tennis one doesnt have to pay as high of a price for not hitting the ball with the 'sweet spot'. also, when playing lawn tennis i found that i wasnt hitting the ball with fluid and whole swings thanks to ping pong requiring only placement to return the ball in certain situations. placing spin of any kind is somewhat similar... i would say that helped. now switching between the two probably isnt the best choice. the main reason i started playing tennis was because of racquetball's hinder issue. i agree that is the most fair way, but sometimes one would move out of the way to avoid a hinder only to set his opponent up for the winner. i love how tennis has two sides and a net versus one and a wall. so when will we hear the story of your introduction to tennis?
    Last edited by Lawn Tennis; 04-09-2009 at 09:06 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis View Post
    so when will we hear the story of your introduction to tennis?
    That sounds like a Thread somebody should start eh You go first and we shall follow ...
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach View Post
    That sounds like a Thread somebody should start eh You go first and we shall follow ...
    mine is boring, but ill go for it.

  9. #9
    My zone is loosely related to the split step. I like to get a song stuck in my head, whether I like it or not, and then I scoot around to the rhythm. Dragging my leg across the court, bouncing my weight, but not jumping. Maybe lifting a foot or too. It loosens me up and allows me to go into a crazy and still relaxed net game.

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