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Keith
Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:27 PM
Yesterday I played the worst match I've played in a long time. I was so nervous. The last time I played this guy, it was pretty close, but I shouldn't have been so tense. I eased into the match, but I was still a bundle of nerves. I don't always get nervous, but I was wondering if anyone has any tips on how to calm my tennis anxiety or if anyone has any strategies to remain focused and carefree. I think the next time I should just have a cosmo before the match to relax myself, but I really don't want to have to do that. Does anyone else have this problem? Thanks.

Helen Lawson
Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:32 PM
I only play at charity events. There is usually no pressure. If I start to get tight, I just imagine that my opponent is that bitch Neely, and that usually focuses me enough to blow the other chick off the court. My dislike for Neely and my desire to do her dirty at every turn usually overcomes all other emotions and states of mind, nerves included.

DA FOREHAND
Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:33 PM
Practice practice practice, the more you get out and play the more confidence you will have in your game. When you find yourself nervous in a match you should exaggerate your strokes.

When I find myself nervouse, or a shot that is off, I try and keep giving myself pointers.

Serve :"Keep your head up" "Toss!"
Forehand: "Attack the ball" "Step up to the ball'
Backhand: "Bend your knees"

If you go out to have a good time, and play well, you can't ask for much more. Losses only hurt when I play like crap.

M&M
Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:33 PM
Yesterday I played the worst match I've played in a long time. I was so nervous. The last time I played this guy, it was pretty close, but I shouldn't have been so tense. I eased into the match, but I was still a bundle of nerves. I don't always get nervous, but I was wondering if anyone has any tips on how to calm my tennis anxiety or if anyone has any strategies to remain focused and carefree. I think the next time I should just have a cosmo before the match to relax myself, but I really don't want to have to do that. Does anyone else have this problem? Thanks.


well i have the same problem but bigger than yours i guess, cause if my matches are very close i am always very nervous and then i have no strategy to stay calm: i try to play only my backhand and to come to the net, cause if i am very nervous my forehand becomes :rolleyes: ... well and then i win it :D, or lose it :sad:

i wish i would never be nervous.

Bezz
Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:37 PM
Some times i find the best thing to do is just try and hit winners- cos if you are getting nervous then yu think too much, and if yu are just getting the ball in court and the opponent is smacking it back at you, yu get even more nervous cos your worried that you gonna lose badly, and also, just rushing between points is good sometimes cos you are just concentrating on the ball and not thinking.

kiwifan
Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:37 PM
You aren't going to believe this and I will be showing my age a little but...

...I crack myself up by doing a running commentary about how bad things are going in Howard Cosell's voice"

"Kiwi just slapped the most poorly aimed first serve known to man; can he recover or will his second serve just be more of the same, ladies and gentlemen?"

I make myself laugh and then I'm fine.

Sometimes singing a cheesy song will do the same thing, think Copacabana by Barry Manilow

"His name is Kiwi, his forehand su-ucks..."

I am being completely serious.

Giuliano
Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:43 PM
Breathe slowly and make those little jumps champions do before the opponent serves. It is said to be the best way to stay concentrated and relaxed. (I'll elaborate if you want lol).

matthias
Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:45 PM
iīm just nervous, canīnot handle my nerves yet
maybe i will learn anytime

irma
Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:45 PM
knowing me I am sure I would be the biggest choker around :o

Mase
Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:50 PM
You aren't going to believe this and I will be showing my age a little but...

...I crack myself up by doing a running commentary about how bad things are going in Howard Cosell's voice"

"Kiwi just slapped the most poorly aimed first serve known to man; can he recover or will his second serve just be more of the same, ladies and gentlemen?"

I make myself laugh and then I'm fine.

Sometimes singing a cheesy song will do the same thing, think Copacabana by Barry Manilow

"His name is Kiwi, his forehand su-ucks..."

I am being completely serious.


Thats too cute! Hahahahha :)

GoDominique
Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:51 PM
Well, I have learnt that, in a really tight situation when you are nervous, it's the best to DO something. When you just try to keep the ball in play you will only get even more nervous and in the end you will just dump the ball into the net, and you won't be able to hit any proper shots.
When it's really close, it's the best for me to try a drop-shot (because it's one of my favourite shots) or attack the net. I play the drop-shot if I'm just too nervous to play one more decent shot so I have to somehow end the point.
Going to the net is good too. Your opponent is just as nervous as you are, so let him play a passing-shot, because that's not easy at all when you are nervous.
I admit it's tempting to do nothing and just wait for errors when your opponent is nervous too. But often that's not going to work in the end.

GoDominique
Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:55 PM
But singing is good too. ;)

Venus Forever
Jun 2nd, 2003, 08:39 PM
Not to well, sadly. :sad:

I was up in my match a couple of weeks ago, 6-3 5-2. I was the last match being played, trying to save my team from being swept 5-0, of course, it was a team competition. All of my other teammates were done, and they all came to watch me.

And I, of course, don't like attention. I just wish it was the kid and me, and that's it, no one else. But, they got to me, cheering me on, telling me just one more game, and all that.

Well, I choked.

6-3 5-3, I had one match point, blew it.

I served at 6-3 5-4, blew another match point.

Finally, we each held until the tie-break, no more match points. We then got 4-4 in the tie-break, when I just went away. He won the next three points to close it out, and then next three games as well to go up 3-0 in the third.

And, that was the end for me. All I had to do was to hold once, and that third set would have been close. However, I didn't hold serve once, I just kept breaking him, but I couldn't hold serve.

He ended up winning 3-6 7-6(7-4) 6-3. :sad: :sad: :sad:

All due to my teammates and the fear of being swept. Well, we were swept. :rolleyes:

I just got nervous, and couldn't close it out. I probably would have been fine if the rest of them were not there.

matthias
Jun 2nd, 2003, 08:40 PM
maybe i will sing next time too
maybe it will confuse my opponent - ;)

Keith
Jun 2nd, 2003, 08:57 PM
I've tried singing before and I think that worked...It's so hard to remember that when I'm in the match though! I appreciate all the responses and suggestions!

Majo
Jun 2nd, 2003, 09:23 PM
when I'm receiving, I keep repeating the same sentence in my head "eyes on the ball, eyes on the ball, eyes on the ball,..." (it really helps me to stay focused, and not let the nerves interfere)
and wehen I'm serving, and it's on a difficult point, lets say 0-40 or something, I usually just tell myself "well, there's nothing left than to give a good serve right now, or things will be over soon..." then I take a deep breath, and usually I get a good serve... ;) (I did say "usually" :p)

joaco
Jun 2nd, 2003, 09:32 PM
You know what 2 things I do when I'm nervous, or tense or playing a bad match...

1. I go 4 or 5 meters behind the base line and OBVSERVE the court from a different point of view. That makes me relax and feel excited to be on a tennis court. I just LOVE the way the court is seen from there.

2. I try to think how lucky I am to be playing tennis. There I think that I should enjoy be playing tennis and instead of focusing on how to work on my groundstrokes or the tactics to play, I try to enjoy EVERY SINGLE shot I make.


This two simple things always get my nerves out. It's like you focus on something else for a second and then feel more relaxed while facing the match...

Hope it is usefull

Joaco

billie_jean_king
Jun 2nd, 2003, 10:34 PM
Nerves? I always found eating helps.

I'm a very nervous person lately.

Dava
Jun 2nd, 2003, 10:36 PM
I try and concentrate on what I have done good in the match and go from there. I have a problem serving out matches A because my serve is crap, and B because I get nervous.

Xavier_Malisse
Jun 2nd, 2003, 10:40 PM
I shoot my load

ex hopman
Jun 2nd, 2003, 10:46 PM
think "this is not the end of the world..."
or, step one back and breathe deep, or look at sky or find your friends outside the court and smile, or try to find what the opponent is not good at, or think about your next vacation, or scream once, or forget about it. :p

well, those pretty much work for me!
but it's tennis. the opponent wants to win as well... somebody has to lose, and at the same time somebody has to win...
just enjoy a point by point... if u r meant to win, u'll win eventually.

:wavey:

CapFan#1
Jun 2nd, 2003, 11:21 PM
1.. Take some deep breaths,, concetrate on your breathing.....
2. Grunt-- I know it is corny, but when I am nervous as hell, and esp. serving a 2nd serve. I make sure to grunt.. which forces me to focus on the grunt (being aggressive) and not any doubts that might be creeping in.
3. I picked this one up from Serena.... I make notes for my matches..... if I know my opponent, I make specific strategical notes to how to play them.... if I DONT know them, I make more generic notes about what kind of game plan I want to employ (make him run, focus on the 1st 2 pts of each game. etc....) After the warm up, I may add some specific strategy notes. I find this really helps me calm down on the change overs and focus on my strategy. I ALWAYS write down positive affirmations in my notes like "be over confident", "GO FOR YOUR SERVES", "YOU WILL WIN", etc..... I have found this to be the most helpful thing for controlling your nerves. No wonder Serena has nerves of steel.....

joaco
Jun 3rd, 2003, 12:09 AM
Another VERY IMPORTANT thing to think at match point, or when closing out a match is (As stated by Aranxta):
If you get to that point, then there must be something that you're doing correctly and good. So continue doing it and think that your opponent must also be nervous...

Joaco

Maggie&MomoFan
Jun 3rd, 2003, 12:35 AM
i ususa;;y sing songs to mysefl, its calming, the one i usually sing is theone that says just breathe bc it helps me to remember to breathe so im not tense

Steffica Greles
Jun 3rd, 2003, 01:37 AM
Same way as Seles does, who has nerves of steel.

Even to this day, when Seles has somebody on the ropes, she doesn't let the match slip from her grasp - or certainly not without being outplayed. She just goes for it.

You have to ask yourself WHY you're nervous. Once you remember - because you SO badly want to win - you'll remember the task in hand. Don't expect too much from yourself, or to not get nervous. Just focus on every ball and stay calm when you make an error.

If you're being outplayed, just clap with the audience. Too good. But when you're especially nervous, just remember to run for every ball and FIGHT. The instinct of surviving and fighting for every point will bring the adrenaline back and see you through.

And also, don't imagine your opponent ISN'T nervious. He or she is human, too. So really, you're quite equal.

vs1
Jun 3rd, 2003, 01:48 AM
Self-confidence is the key. The way to get that is to practice a lot so that you are confident in your game. Another way that helps me (and my coach has everyone on the team do this) is through visualisation. I do visualisation exercises everyday, working on different things. For example, I visualise a perfect serve (starting with a perfect toss) and then hitting the ball after my opponent returns the serve. I play out all of the points in my head and I visualise winning. It provides me with an amazing amount of self-confidence in my game and I am convinced it has also dramatically improved my game. It's important to also visualise winning the set, winning the match, celebrating the victory. And then when you get nervous in your mind, visualise the visualisation. It'll immediately give you a boost in confidence and pump you up to achieve what you've seen over and over in your mind. I used to be a big choker. Now, my mind won't let me choke! It's very effective.

Gowza
Jun 3rd, 2003, 02:43 AM
as said above you need to play matches, the more you play then the easier it will be to deal with plus experience will give ytou confidence so if you've played a lot then you should have a lot of confidence and in the end that will prevail.

but as for now i think you should maybe slow things down if you haven't tried that already. when i get nervous i speed things up like how quickly i go to serve, my breathing and my service motion even speeds up and my toss so i completely lose the plot if i don't concentrate. i just slow it down, walk slower take a couple of extra steps, take a big breath and slow my breathing down, say to my self don't rush things and usually i can get things together.

Keith
Jun 3rd, 2003, 02:48 AM
I usually don't get too nervous. Sometimes I do, but the nerves just go away. I am out there to have fun and I really do not care if I win or lose, but just having fun and playing well. I was just nervous the whole match through and it never went away. I have been playing tennis for a long time and I have played tournaments, too and I don't worry much then. I don't think just playing more matches is my solution, I've played hundreds. It was just so weird because I was SO nervous the whole time. It's not like I was close to winning and got nervous, but my nerves just were all over the place from the warmup! I could deal with a close match and getting nervous and losing, but I was out of it from the first point.

Thank you to some of the people who had some good suggestions there and to those who shared their anxiety situations! I will take some of that advice!

CoryAnnAvants#1
Jun 3rd, 2003, 03:21 AM
I would say just go for your shots a little more. If you get a second serve, try and hit it like a first serve. Even if you miss you'll feel better knowing you went for it rather than dinking something into the net.

Another way I do it (and I know this sounds silly), is imagine you're Jennifer Capriati or Monica Seles or some other top player. Try and hit the ball exactly the same way they do (in terms of how they set up, timing, etc). It helps ease the pressure if you're imagining that you're a top player.

F-R-E-A-K
Jun 3rd, 2003, 06:53 AM
Pump Urself Up!!!

Gowza
Jun 3rd, 2003, 07:29 AM
Pump Urself Up!!!

good advice something i should really try. personally i play more of a negative game in that i get really pissed off with myself everytime i miss a shot. but i don't think i've ever played a match where i've been pumped up. thanks i'll try that the next time i play.

disposablehero
Jun 3rd, 2003, 07:41 AM
I find 7-8 shots of Rye do great for nerves.

bionic71
Jun 3rd, 2003, 10:20 AM
I have no idea what standard of player you are.
If you were nervous for an entire match it is usually lack of practice and match play that creates that tense, "what should I do now" feeling???

Was your opponent a flat hard hitter who likes to end the points quickly??? If they are having an ON day and you are OFF it is easy to feel lkie you are being overwhemled......then the nerves set in.

Try these techniques

breathe deeply...........
positive self talk......
forget the last crappy shot....even if it was diabolical.
My favourite saying is....."O.K lets play some tennis"....repeat it after each poor shot, rally, game whatever. Eventually you should produce something you are happier with and then you build on it.

I usually play down the middle for a few games.......deep and with ample topspin...until I get a groove going then try for some variety. As a baseliner I find this the easiest way to settle down. I get a feel for what sort of form I am in by rallying this way.

(If you are a serve volley player I can't help very much, they are a mystery to me!)


If it is a total disaster and your timing has gone try this......
speak to the ball as you play it....in your head of course not out loud!!!!
As it bounces in front of you say "BOUNCE"
As you hit it say "HIT".
It is a simple focussing tool and it really makes you forget everything else going on around you. Try it.This is agreat relaxation tool and really helps establish a rhythm.

If the serve has gone try and exaggerate everything...... reach up higher, make your toss higher, impart some extra spin on the serve and try and get the first delivery in...even if it is just a mid court spinner it will take the pressure off the second delivery.

If all this fails.......and sometimes it does....rush the net and hope for the best!

F-R-E-A-K
Jun 3rd, 2003, 10:53 AM
good advice something i should really try. personally i play more of a negative game in that i get really pissed off with myself everytime i miss a shot. but i don't think i've ever played a match where i've been pumped up. thanks i'll try that the next time i play.


No Probs!! I seem to play negative aswell.. when i miss a shit i get pissed and im never really happy with my game until i hardly make any unforced errors or silly errors. I miss alot of shots cos of my temper at times but u just got keep pumping urself talking to urself telling you to COME ON!! and that should help.. if not u have serious nerve problems!

Vincent
Jun 3rd, 2003, 11:33 AM
I would take a deep breath between points, make everything slower...think about what to do on the next points, don't rush to serve(like Jenn, no offence, but she does have not much patient), this will only lead to strings of UEs. Or i will pray in three seconds, this help! Trust me...:angel:

Keith
Jun 3rd, 2003, 03:18 PM
Nerves? I always found eating helps.

I'm a very nervous person lately.

Hehe

Keith
Aug 10th, 2003, 11:53 PM
I don't know if anyone remembers this thread, but I played the guy that was the reason why I started this thread. He creamed me 61, 63, but I was a bundle of nerves.

Anyway, today I played him again and I was just really relaxed and confident, focused and just happy to play. I beat him 62, 46, 64. I lost my serve at 4-5 in the second set, but other than that, I got the only break in the third to finish it out. This was a definite mental victory for me. I just wanted to let you all know that! :bounce:

The Guilty
Aug 10th, 2003, 11:55 PM
Congrats :)

Brandon85
Aug 11th, 2003, 12:19 AM
Yesterday I played the worst match I've played in a long time. I was so nervous. The last time I played this guy, it was pretty close, but I shouldn't have been so tense. I eased into the match, but I was still a bundle of nerves. I don't always get nervous, but I was wondering if anyone has any tips on how to calm my tennis anxiety or if anyone has any strategies to remain focused and carefree. I think the next time I should just have a cosmo before the match to relax myself, but I really don't want to have to do that. Does anyone else have this problem? Thanks.
keep positive thoughts in your head to keep you calm. when you have a lead, don't think its over, because thats when that thought will come back and bite your ass.

AngelaLansbury
Aug 11th, 2003, 12:31 AM
I often get nrevous just before I'm about to give a speech to some students or other random people. To calm me down, I make some clam chowder and remember I'm a very successful author and people would kill to be in my shoes. Ho ho...kill to be in my shoes. That's quite a pun really. Then Jessica, my character in the award winning and long-lasting series 'Murder, She Wrote' would investigate.

Pamela Shriver
Aug 11th, 2003, 12:38 AM
I echo your wise words O Ange Queen of the daytime detectives.
I get nervous when giving speeches at the giraffe conventions, but I just kinda think 'Hey, I'm PAM. the audience are more nervous of ME' and that calms me down.
When playing I always got nervous real bad. Hence why I never won anything. damn.

billie_jean_king
Aug 11th, 2003, 12:42 AM
I only ever got nervous when I had to wait a couple of seconds too long in the McDonalds queue. I used to panic and think I wasn't going to get my Big Mac. The thought of not getting the burger was too much for me to contemplate. In one McDonalds, it was in Delaware I think, I ended up sobbing on the floor uncontrollably because they ran out of barbecue sauce.

Getting nervous about them getting my order wrong is another concern.

After all that, getting nervous for tennis matches seems pointless.

Pamela Shriver
Aug 11th, 2003, 12:45 AM
After your food I'd have thought tennis on its own seemed pointless Bill.

Xavier_Malisse
Aug 11th, 2003, 12:47 AM
I never get nerves in a tennis match. I used to get nervous when Jen turned the lights off though - but sometimes she liked to do it with the lights on too. Anytime it looked like she was after sex, I got edgy because I knew I couldn't last the pace. And let's not forget, Jen likes to have sex a lot, so I used to get real nervous a whole lot of the time. I got nervous when I woke up and it stayed that way all day. The only time I could relax was when Jen was playing, but even then, I knew it was only a matter of time.

bmxbandit
Aug 11th, 2003, 12:50 AM
I was leading this guy 6-3, 5-2, and then i suddenly had a mini choke. not before long, i found myself in a tiebreak. I somehow got off to a quick start, 4-0 lead. He then won next 5 points (I had 3 MPs during the 2nd set, as well). Then I just said to myself: Ok, this is ridiculous. I forgot about the chances I had, and I served 2 aces 100+ MPH and a forehand winner, and i won 6-3 7-6...barely.
When you become nervous, you become hesitant. Just remember...go for your shots. That will help you get over it.

I still slow the racquet speed down on my second serve and i dump it in the net very often. but i'm working on it :)

darren cahill
Aug 11th, 2003, 01:27 AM
I never get nerves in a tennis match. I used to get nervous when Jen turned the lights off though - but sometimes she liked to do it with the lights on too. Anytime it looked like she was after sex, I got edgy because I knew I couldn't last the pace. And let's not forget, Jen likes to have sex a lot, so I used to get real nervous a whole lot of the time. I got nervous when I woke up and it stayed that way all day. The only time I could relax was when Jen was playing, but even then, I knew it was only a matter of time.

my favorite poster EVER! :kiss: :wavey:

Brandon85
Aug 11th, 2003, 02:02 AM
my favorite poster EVER! :kiss: :wavey:
is he just joking or he thinks we think he is xavier?

Kirt12255
Aug 11th, 2003, 02:40 AM
I have no idea what standard of player you are.
If you were nervous for an entire match it is usually lack of practice and match play that creates that tense, "what should I do now" feeling???

Was your opponent a flat hard hitter who likes to end the points quickly??? If they are having an ON day and you are OFF it is easy to feel lkie you are being overwhemled......then the nerves set in.

Try these techniques

breathe deeply...........
positive self talk......
forget the last crappy shot....even if it was diabolical.
My favourite saying is....."O.K lets play some tennis"....repeat it after each poor shot, rally, game whatever. Eventually you should produce something you are happier with and then you build on it.

I usually play down the middle for a few games.......deep and with ample topspin...until I get a groove going then try for some variety. As a baseliner I find this the easiest way to settle down. I get a feel for what sort of form I am in by rallying this way.

(If you are a serve volley player I can't help very much, they are a mystery to me!)


If it is a total disaster and your timing has gone try this......
speak to the ball as you play it....in your head of course not out loud!!!!
As it bounces in front of you say "BOUNCE"
As you hit it say "HIT".
It is a simple focussing tool and it really makes you forget everything else going on around you. Try it.This is agreat relaxation tool and really helps establish a rhythm.

If the serve has gone try and exaggerate everything...... reach up higher, make your toss higher, impart some extra spin on the serve and try and get the first delivery in...even if it is just a mid court spinner it will take the pressure off the second delivery.

If all this fails.......and sometimes it does....rush the net and hope for the best!


Awesome Point about the "Bounce" and "Hit", I know my coach used to tell me to repeat in my head "It's only a ball, It's Only a ball, It's only a ball etc etc"

I was notorious for choking on my second serve in Tie-Breakers (ala Novotna) so getting a 3/4 paced kicker in takes stress off your'e second serve.

It's really important to hit through the ball, if need be throw in a few moon balls and hit with heaps of top spin.

The worst thing you can do is let your'e opponent know that you are nervous, they will take you to pieces (I would too LOL)

Another thing to do for relaxation is tilt your'e head from side to side and lift your'e shoulders up to your'e head and hold it...releases tension.

...and yeah!!! Pump Youreself Up!!!!

Being 6ft4...I chip and charge down the center of the court...make them get a little nervous :wavey:

bionic71
Aug 11th, 2003, 02:52 AM
Seems we come from siimilar schools of thought Kirt1255!

I agree with the throwing in some higher loopy strokes, not necessarily moonballs, just more margain for error and loads of topspin. Unless you are playing someone remarkable they will be unable to hurt you. It gets a rally going and lets you build a rhythm......... I always find it effective against hard hitters who like to end the point quickly.