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  1. #1

    need help with mental aspect

    Hi folks,

    This is my first time on this forum...its nice to be here, im 28 from scotland......I had one thing that was really bugging me and was hoping you guys could help me..........last night I was playing some tennis matches, (Doubles), and I one my first doubles game comfortably 6-1, in my next game we all changed partners and I thought to myself I want to try some new techniques, therefore I tried to apply some new forehand grips new serving techniques etc...........because I was trying all these new techniques I was making some errors but i wasnt bothered cos I knew that if I keep on working at it I will eventually get it right and have a new aspect to my game but the lady who was my partner at the time said "I dont think any of us are that good with the kind of shots we are all playing".......I was shocked by my comment and my game totally fell apart after that comment....whenever I went to play ANY shot I was not getting any of my shots in........the players we were playing against yesterday were peopel I have beaten before comprehensively with another player..........We lost that game and also other games we played after that........all tahnks to that one shots were rubbish and I KNOW i can play better but how can I get my confidence level back and get that comment out of my head and start playing some good tennis again as I have been for the past few weeks up until that point.....the previous few weeks I was playing marvelous tennis, yesterday was my worst day by a long shot.....I really wish I wasnt playing with her now. Please help.

  2. #2
    That happens to everyone, that kinda comment can interfere with your mind and make it so u feel like u suck! First u have to change partners Anybody who will put there own partners down in tennis isnt worth playing with! I used to have this really good buddy when I was younger and we would play tennis all the time then we started playing doubles and he would just freak out and yell at everyone, so I changed partners and life went on. So just over time u will forget about that whole comment.

  3. #3
    I'm not sure what she meant by that comment, but it sure wasn't appropriate. Doubles is a team sport. You should never say or do anything that will tend to undermine your partner's confidence. To the contrary, you should be supportive of your partner in every way.

    She may have been discouraged by your play though.

    When you are playing doubles, you MUST play to win. It's the only conceivable COMMON goal. There is no team or partnership without one. Which is what happened here -- the team disintegrated.

    Yes, of course you have your personal private goals (such as to improve, have fun, get exercise, or whatever), but none should ever come before the team goal = to win the match.

    That's what you do together, win or lose. A partner has a right to your best effort to win.

    So, when you play to experiment, she loses. She feels used. You can't expect her to be satisfied with that. You are letting your partner down.

    So, if you want to experiment, just make sure your partner knows and is okay with that. Then she can do so too. Then neither of you feels let down by a partner not playing to win.

    I have a Web page on this here

    Just chalk this up to experience. To regain your confidence, key on keeping your mind on the game -- strategy and tactics. For example, between points think about what kind of serve you're about to hit, or how you're going to return the next serve. Keep track of things to analyze why you're winning or losing. If you keep your mind busy with positive thinking like this, negative thoughts won't creep in.

    It happens to everybody. No reason to think it's a permanent slump.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    I play tennis for fun. Singles or doubles, I play just for fun. When I play tennis I left all my troubles outside the court so this is "my time". I play to win, but loss is no disgrace. I can't accept an abusive partner. Those kind of comments don't help but add pressure to you. Playing tennis has to be a grateful experience. The best of all? The beer before the match with your friends.

  5. #5
    Stuartk36 Guest

    Smile Tennis is about belief in one another and our God given abilities

    Tennis is about friendship and believing in each others game no matter what. Thats what doubles is, you are partners, so why shoot your partner in the heart with mindless comment. Be an encourager and be a true friend.

  6. #6

    Are you saying that it's okay to fool around and blow a match because you're experimenting? Why should your partner have to lose just so you can practice your backhand? Isn't your partner cheated by that?

    Team spirit. Common goal. You win or lose TOGETHER in doubles.

    Moreover, your opponents deserve your best effort, too. Otherwise you rob them of the satisfaction they should derive from winning. It's no fun to beat someone who isn't trying.

    So, you let all three of the other people on the court down when you don't try to win.

    I wholeheartedly agree that being mean, like this person, is both useless and uncalled for. She should have said something to him privately right then during the match. It's as easy as saying, "Hey, I'D like to win." Nobody else hears. Nobody's embarrassed. And if you have two reasonable people, a spark or two might fly, but the situation is corrected and becomes history.

    So, I'm not disagreeing with you about her conduct. But don't you see anything wrong in not playing to win? especially when you're part of a team? Aren't you letting your partner down? Aren't you failing to fulfill your end of an implied contract? When you ask someone to play with you, they had better be able to assume that you are not going to make them lose, don't you think? Practice against a ball machine. Don't use a partner (or an opponent) like that.

    Most problems like this happen in SOCIAL doubles, where everybody says they just play for fun. Isn't that a bit ironic? In serious competetition, nobody says that and yet there are rarely problems between partners.

    How can that be if playing to win is nasty?

    Many social doubles players don't think twice and realize that the moral way is to just keep it simple and play to win. That's fun, ain't it?

    Besides, people just hit for fun. They keep score to see who wins.

    If I misunderstood you, I'm sorry. It was the "no matter what" part that made me think you saw nothing wrong with not playing to win. There IS something wrong with that. It WILL make partners dissatisfied with you.
    Last edited by kathyk; 09-03-2006 at 09:46 PM.

  7. #7
    Stuartk36 Guest
    what??? i was saying just the opposite, it IS ALL ABOUT TEAMWORK!!! GRR that youd think my post meant anything else

  8. #8
    Stuartk36 Guest
    i see what you mean about the "no matter what" part...i didnt realize it came acrossed that way..i'm sorry

  9. #9

    I'm sorry that I misunderstood. It sounds like we agree then. I see the angle you were coming from: that she was sabatoging her team by undermining her partner's confidence. Not a team player.

  10. #10
    Stuartk36 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by kathyk

    I'm sorry that I misunderstood. It sounds like we agree then. I see the angle you were coming from: that she was sabatoging her team by undermining her partner's confidence. Not a team player.

    My comments were not related to what was said prior to my first post, just some personal beliefs on my end - a general comment.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    british "fighting spirit and fairplay"

    I was always told about the famous british fighting spirit and fair play !
    She probably mean she didn't really enjoy the game at the time of the comment. So you did too, if you started to change your own game and try new things...didn't you ?
    Just a different way to express it, I guess.
    So now, why bother about the comment ? She must count for you so her advice can hurt this way ! Don't mess up tennis and dating, you might be frustrated for both. ;-P
    Female players, from my experience with wife and her friends, are less interested by defeating someone than how they played.
    Playing double with a woman is often about doing some rallies to get the points where you probably tried the get the one winning shot...(?)
    From my point of view you shoud not care about your partner's comments. Just keep going being positive and taking every good thing as a gift.
    As I'm not an english native speaker I may have get it wrong but, didn't she mention "all" and not "you" about the quality of the game ?
    This general statement may have being the espression of her own frustration, that's all. Don't take the monkey, her problem is hers.
    Keep on supporting her so she can enjoy the next time and show then you master the psychology of the game ! ;-)
    Good luck and improvements of your game.

  12. #12
    LuvsTennisAlway Guest
    you'll be fine just before your next match take a deep breath and say something confident to yourself. warm up and try your best.... that's all anyone can do. Trust me you'll feel a lot better.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Pressure and Performance

    Any competitive environment creates pressure which diminishes our performance. Because any situation that draws our mind away from the the aspect of hitting a ball will cause a variety of timing, visual and stroke mistakes, we will want to develop mental practices that diminish the chances of this happening.

    Scott Ford has done a remarkable study and training method called 'The Zone' that does just that, provide a training method that teaches players to create a mental focus on the hitting zone...called parallel mode processing.

    You can learn more about this at his web site:

    He also has a series of articles on which outline this training.

    Well worth taking a look.
    Dave Smith
    Senior Editor,
    Dunlop Master Professional
    USPTA P-1
    Former Board Member USPTA Intermountain
    Owner, St. George Tennis Academy
    Co-Author, HIDDEN MICKEY (A Walt Disney Mystery)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    Thanks 10s1 !

    Had to check the site about "the zone".
    It's great to finally get a full explanation of this process. It reminds me when training kick boxing and not trying to focus at everything that can happen.
    I did try "the zone" process with my tennis game but starting it from the end point.
    I mean building the mental killer instinct on court, I could reproduce the focus on the ball the same as it is explained with "the zone", but not always.
    When younger, I used to explain the same idea to my players with giving exemples such as hunting so if you fire on a moving target you'll always shoot the bullit after it, asking to anticipate on tracking the position where the ball has to be hitten instead of where it is. I often experienced that anticipating and focusing on where to hit the ball gave me like a slow motion feeling of what was going on.
    Now the all theory makes it clearer to me. I'll train and try it !

  15. #15
    HI there is a site that has articles about the mental side of the game. you can get FREE access by using this code in the promotional code area lovetennis.
    Its worth checking out

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