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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 11:39 PM   #2566
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAS_ View Post
I disagree with this, in general. However, when one is only trying to fix their game and doing nothing to fix their head, then of course it's true. It goes without saying.
We can agree to disagree then. I'm obviously not talking about making someone with no game have a brilliant one, but getting a previously great game great again. You can fix a game, it's all about habits and technicalities. But a head is the hardest thing to fix... you have to be very open and very willing to work on it.. and still it might not be enough. If you miss a whole bunch of FHs in a match, it won't prevent you from getting it back to great. But losing matches while choking or completely bowing down to opponents, or just being mentally weak overall can create huge scars and make things even harder. Create more barriers that would need to be overcome to fix the head. Being strong mentally is the biggest weapon in tennis, at times better than having a big serve or FH.
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 11:47 PM   #2567
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by azdaja View Post
was it really like that? i thought ana needed to win rg in order to clinch #1?

i still think she's getting back, but we shouldn't expect miracles.
It was. Ana was only a few points behind Sharapova once Rome ended. 2 wins there and she would have entered RG as number 1. Henin had removed herself from the rankings. At RG Ana had more points to defend than Sharapova, and when Maria lost in the 4th round, all Ana had to do was win her semi. By then she wasn't competing with Masha for the position, but with JJ and Kuzzy, who were both in the top 4 and in the semis. It was by winning the semi, and Kuzzy losing hers, that Ana got the number 1.

I think it's all still very fragile.. so I'll wait and see how she copes with all that happened and how she plays on clay to see if things are indeed looking up. I don't know what is Ana's preparation going to be like or how she will cope with the huge choking.. it can havea big bad impact.. hopefully she won't let it derail her and will keep progressing. I wouldn't expect miracles ever, mostly because Ana is obviously not ready to take advantage of them if they show up in front of her.
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 11:48 PM   #2568
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

I agree that mental strength is one of the biggest weapons, I just don't think it's that hard to fix, especially since she actually did have it at some point in the past, so she has a point of reference. Just like fixing a game that used to be good.
But, it is extremely hard to fix, if one does absolutely nothing about it except hope that it will somehow fix itself.
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 12:13 AM   #2569
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAS_ View Post
I agree that mental strength is one of the biggest weapons, I just don't think it's that hard to fix, especially since she actually did have it at some point in the past, so she has a point of reference. Just like fixing a game that used to be good.
But, it is extremely hard to fix, if one does absolutely nothing about it except hope that it will somehow fix itself.
I understood you, that's why I said we can agree to disagree. I think it's about a thousand times harder than to fix a game that used to be good. Even if you are working hard in fixing it, the mentally weak days create scars that are sort of battle marks.. sensible spots.. you always have to fight not to open those wounds again. It's really tough.

If you do nothing about it it's not hardto fix, it's imposible.
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 08:20 AM   #2570
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
I understood you, that's why I said we can agree to disagree. I think it's about a thousand times harder than to fix a game that used to be good. Even if you are working hard in fixing it, the mentally weak days create scars that are sort of battle marks.. sensible spots.. you always have to fight not to open those wounds again. It's really tough.

If you do nothing about it it's not hardto fix, it's imposible.
Well now this is a totally random statement. A thousand times? I mean, how did you measure exactly?
First of all, I know a little bit about psychology, and the thing is, if Ana knew just how far just a little effort on mentality would take her in improving her overall performance, and how many results would have been different had she already done it, she would probably hurt herself.
Also, whether or not every mentally weak performance will leave 'a wound' is not a given at all. As we can see, some people need to grieve and some pick themselves up. THAT is one of the things Ana can change.
We are not talking here about making a mental giant of any random player, we are talking about specific player and her problems which we know what kind they are. Believe me, she needs relatively little work.
Even more so, if indeed it is true, as you say, that Ana's improved performance against Kim is a result of change in attitude only. Imagine if that change took her from 1$2 loss to 5 matchpoints then how much more does she need to make that one final step. And while that final step is not just any other step, it still is but one step.
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 11:03 AM   #2571
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAS_ View Post
Well now this is a totally random statement. A thousand times? I mean, how did you measure exactly?
First of all, I know a little bit about psychology, and the thing is, if Ana knew just how far just a little effort on mentality would take her in improving her overall performance, and how many results would have been different had she already done it, she would probably hurt herself.
Also, whether or not every mentally weak performance will leave 'a wound' is not a given at all. As we can see, some people need to grieve and some pick themselves up. THAT is one of the things Ana can change.
We are not talking here about making a mental giant of any random player, we are talking about specific player and her problems which we know what kind they are. Believe me, she needs relatively little work.
Even more so, if indeed it is true, as you say, that Ana's improved performance against Kim is a result of change in attitude only. Imagine if that change took her from 1$2 loss to 5 matchpoints then how much more does she need to make that one final step. And while that final step is not just any other step, it still is but one step.
"A thousand times" is just a way to say a lot more. And I didn't say that Ana's improved play against Kim was only a result of a change of attitude.. I said there was a change of attitude involved, but obviously so many other factors.. And I was talking here in general, not only about Ana.

As for the rest we can just agree to disagree. Recovering the mind, getting it mentally strong after it being weak for so long, is very tough.. demands a lot of specific work and effort... and even for players who pick themselves up, mentally weak performances are still there in form of mental scars.. if you don't pay atention to it all the time, you might open the wound and do exactly the same again.

I don't think Ana is just one step away.. this sounds like when she said she only needed to improve 2% to be a real top player again.

I do agree if only she knew what a little bit of work on her mental game would do to help her performance, she could go mad. But a little work would not solve the problem completely, it would just help a bit. Ana has always shown the issues that are so obvious now.. they were just hidden by a lot of focus and determination. Now that her focus and determination are not so big, and that she has so many scars, those issues flare up easily. But they were always there, so it's even harder now to fix. It can be fixed, obviously, but she has to acknowledge it to herself and work on it, a lot.
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 09:56 PM   #2572
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
And I didn't say that Ana's improved play against Kim was only a result of a change of attitude.. I said there was a change of attitude involved, but obviously so many other factors..
Um, you kind of did.
This is what you said:
Quote:
I think with Kim it was always about Ana's attitude towards the match.. not so much learning how to play her.
But never mind.

Quote:
Recovering the mind, getting it mentally strong after it being weak for so long, is very tough.. demands a lot of specific work and effort...
It really doesn't. It could be as easy as reframing her inner speech, changing her perspective, if she has someone to "set her straight". If she had such a person right away, she could adjust her attitude in no time. However, the reason it looks so hard to change is because she isn't looking in the right place. The problem with her is that she is hoping she will run into someone like that and is basically using the hit and miss method, possibly searching for someone like that to be also a coach. While that is entirely possible, it might also take forever to find that combo in one person. It's like the guy who was looking for his lost watch next to a lightpole at night, and when asked if he lost his watch there he said: No, but I can only look here, because there is light.


Quote:
and even for players who pick themselves up, mentally weak performances are still there in form of mental scars.. if you don't pay atention to it all the time, you might open the wound and do exactly the same again.
Again, I must disagree. Quite the contrary. IF she pays attention to her losses all the time, like you suggest, those wounds will never heal. If she focuses on her past losses (and sees them as scars) and is at all times vigilant about possible future losses because they could create permanent scars, she will be more likely to repeat them. Essentially it's the so called white bear phenomenon - if we want to avoid something, the best way is NOT to focus on avoiding it, because this is how we focus our minds exactly on the thing to avoid as opposed to what we want to achieve. A case in point, for Ana to avoid a bad toss, it's not a good idea to pay attention to it all the time, quite the opposite. She should focus on getting her serve where it should go and not think about toss at all.

Quote:
I do agree if only she knew what a little bit of work on her mental game would do to help her performance, she could go mad. But a little work would not solve the problem completely, it would just help a bit.
Here you are a little bit contradictory. If a little bit would only help her a bit, then why would she go mad?
The thing is, if I thought it was as hard to change mentality as you seem to be saying, I would never be frustrated with Ana. Because then, how can I consider her accountable for something that sounds next to impossible to change?


Quote:
It can be fixed, obviously, but she has to acknowledge it to herself and work on it, a lot.
But that is the question. She cannot work on it herself because if she knew how to fix her thinking, she wouldn't be having these issues. She needs someone to help her change her perspective, reframe her inner speech, and first and foremost teach her how to regulate her emotions on court. Someone who would help her realise how her decisions affect her succes etc. And if she expects this will all be fixed by a good coach, which I am not dismissing as impossible,only highly unlikely, she might be looking forever and in looking lose her peak years.

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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 10:02 PM   #2573
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

In other words, she would benefit a lot from talking to a psychologist, even more from a psychologist versed in cognitive behavioral therapy, and most if on top of it he/she also knows a thing or two about performance psychology.
Who knows, maybe she wouldn't be Roger Federer or Justine Henin, but it could work wonders in getting her performance at least up to the level we all know she is capable of on a somewhat regular basis.

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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 11:12 PM   #2574
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAS_ View Post
Um, you kind of did.
This is what you said:


But never mind.
No, no I didn't. Why do you put once and always in bold? It does not mean the same thing you know.

What I meant there is that Ana would always simply bow down to Kim.. approach the match like she couldn't win anyway. With that attitude, she was always going to lose, even if she knew exactly how to play Kim and/or was playing great tennis. By bowing down even before the match, Ana would never have a chance to win, which lead to the 1 and 2 beat downs. Even at top level, if she bowed down, she would lose easily. With the right approach, on the other hand, Ana could have a chance to win. So it was always much more about going on court to win and having the right attitude in this match up, because Ana had never played to win against Kim. Obviously, if she played like crap, no attitude would save her. But playing great would only be posible by having the right attitude, playing to win. So yeah... there are other factors involved obviously, but the one that probably made the most difference was her actually playing to win, not just bowing down. I think if she had that attitude in other matches, she might have lost, but she would also have a chance to win... would definitely not be 1 and 2 beatdowns. So the improved play was not only the result of change of attitude, but the change of attitude will always give her a chance to perform well.

Nevermind, I'm not sure I'm explaining myself well..


Quote:
Originally Posted by JAS_ View Post
It really doesn't. It could be as easy as reframing her inner speech, changing her perspective, if she has someone to "set her straight". If she had such a person right away, she could adjust her attitude in no time. However, the reason it looks so hard to change is because she isn't looking in the right place. The problem with her is that she is hoping she will run into someone like that and is basically using the hit and miss method, possibly searching for someone like that to be also a coach. While that is entirely possible, it might also take forever to find that combo in one person. It's like the guy who was looking for his lost watch next to a lightpole at night, and when asked if he lost his watch there he said: No, but I can only look here, because there is light.


Again, I must disagree. Quite the contrary. IF she pays attention to her losses all the time, like you suggest, those wounds will never heal. If she focuses on her past losses (and sees them as scars) and is at all times vigilant about possible future losses because they could create permanent scars, she will be more likely to repeat them. Essentially it's the so called white bear phenomenon - if we want to avoid something, the best way is NOT to focus on avoiding it, because this is how we focus our minds exactly on the thing to avoid as opposed to what we want to achieve. A case in point, for Ana to avoid a bad toss, it's not a good idea to pay attention to it all the time, quite the opposite. She should focus on getting her serve where it should go and not think about toss at all.
I agree she is not looking at the right place.. but I never sugested she pays atention to her losses all the time. What I said is that you haveto work on not letting things repeat itself, would never say that one acomplishes that by focusing in past losses. I probably used the wrong words before, what I meant is that the wounds are there, so you have to be even more focused and more concentrated in winning than normally, because the wounds are ready to flare up at first opportunity, at first loss of concentration. Concentration in the present match, not in past losses. I do agree with your white bear phenomenon point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAS_ View Post
Here you are a little bit contradictory. If a little bit would only help her a bit, then why would she go mad?
The thing is, if I thought it was as hard to change mentality as you seem to be saying, I would never be frustrated with Ana. Because then, how can I consider her accountable for something that sounds next to impossible to change?
I mean a little bit wouldn't be enough to fix things.. it would only be a temporary measure. And it's really tough to fix, but with effort anything is within reach. It's only imposible if you never work on it and doesn't even accept it might be a problem.. like Ana.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JAS_ View Post
But that is the question. She cannot work on it herself because if she knew how to fix her thinking, she wouldn't be having these issues. She needs someone to help her change her perspective, reframe her inner speech, and first and foremost teach her how to regulate her emotions on court. Someone who would help her realise how her decisions affect her succes etc. And if she expects this will all be fixed by a good coach, which I am not dismissing as impossible,only highly unlikely, she might be looking forever and in looking lose her peak years.
100% agreed with this. She needs someone to help her.. and there are actually a lot of mechanisms that can help you to control emotions on court. Mechanisms you can learn. But first step would be to accept that she needs that help.. she doesn't even thinks that is a problem.
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 11:13 PM   #2575
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAS_ View Post
In other words, she would benefit a lot from talking to a psychologist, even more from a psychologist versed in cognitive behavioral therapy, and most if on top of it he/she also knows a thing or two about performance psychology.
Who knows, maybe she wouldn't be Roger Federer or Justine Henin, but it could work wonders in getting her performance at least up to the level we all know she is capable of on a somewhat regular basis.
Agreed. But I think cows will fly before Ana actually accepts she could use a psychologist and that he/she could really help.
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 12:01 AM   #2576
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
Agreed. But I think cows will fly before Ana actually accepts she could use a psychologist and that he/she could really help.
And that brings us to a point which we haven't even touched upon. The desire. If she really truly wanted it, she would try everything including alternative medicine doctors, let alone psychologists.
I just think she doesn't want it as much as she did in 2008, and there is no amount of coaching that can "fix" that. She speaks about some lofty goals, but I really get the sense that she has accomplished her goal by winning a GS and becoming no.1, and she hasn't replaced it with a new one. I mean, she did, officially, publicly declare that she wants to win another GS, but it sounds to me more like she is saying it because that's expected than because she actually wants it herself. Like Pete Bodo said in an article (about someone else, though), she wants to want it.
That can also be changed, but the question is - what for? One's ambition is often very highly linked to his/her immediate environment, now thinking primarily of the famous tennis fathers - Richard Williams, Piotr Wozniacki, etc. It's the value system in which these players are immersed that makes them want more. But with Ana it appears not to be the case, and one cannot force it upon her. Or even if one wanted to, the question is - why. You either want to be the best or not, and that's all there is.
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 12:25 AM   #2577
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAS_ View Post
And that brings us to a point which we haven't even touched upon. The desire. If she really truly wanted it, she would try everything including alternative medicine doctors, let alone psychologists.
I just think she doesn't want it as much as she did in 2008, and there is no amount of coaching that can "fix" that. She speaks about some lofty goals, but I really get the sense that she has accomplished her goal by winning a GS and becoming no.1, and she hasn't replaced it with a new one. I mean, she did, officially, publicly declare that she wants to win another GS, but it sounds to me more like she is saying it because that's expected than because she actually wants it herself. Like Pete Bodo said in an article (about someone else, though), she wants to want it.
That can also be changed, but the question is - what for? One's ambition is often very highly linked to his/her immediate environment, now thinking primarily of the famous tennis fathers - Richard Williams, Piotr Wozniacki, etc. It's the value system in which these players are immersed that makes them want more. But with Ana it appears not to be the case, and one cannot force it upon her. Or even if one wanted to, the question is - why. You either want to be the best or not, and that's all there is.
Yeah.. I don't think she wants it as much as before either.. and it shows by her pushing tennis away so often. I actually thought she was getting some of that desire back at the end of last year, with adding all those tournaments and looking quite happy to be playing.. but this year I see her back to the lack of desire. One thing is for sure though you look at 2008 Ana and 2009/10/11 Ana and it looks like 2 different people tennis desire wise. At times I just think she is expecting things to fall from the sky to her, without putting in her heart and soul really into it again.. and that is not enough.

Ad you say, if you want it that much, then you are going to do all and more to acomplish it.. and she is clearly not doing it..
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 11:58 AM   #2578
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Article about the WTA:

Quote:
La decadencia de la WTA
Jueves, 07 de Abril de 2011 10:12 , Hugo de Lara López

El panorama de la WTA pinta peor cada día que pasa. Para su desgracia, cada vez van quedando más lejos los tiempos en los que Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Lindsay Davenport o Martina Hingis conseguían atraer los focos hacia un deporte femenino, tradicionalmente infravalorados. Sus reinados fueron periodos de destellos inolvidables, que aún a día de hoy se rememoran incluso por encima de muchas hazañas protagonizadas por grandes jugadores del tenis masculino. Destellos, muchos de ellos, que han conseguido tallar con fino pero puro y radiante platino el nombre de algunas de estas excelentes tenistas en la cultura popular.
El periodo inmediatamente anterior al que hoy vivimos tampoco ha pecado de ser laxo: las batallas de las hermanas Williams entre sí y contra unas incómodas Jennifer Capriati, Amélie Mauresmo, Justine Henin y una Davenport, que insistía en resistir, se han convertido en verdaderos espectáculos dentro de la historia del tenis. En ningún caso cabe olvidarse de las competiciones de dobles que han apuntalado, y de qué manera, el virtuosismo de muchas de ellas. Pero el tiempo no perdona a nadie, ni siquiera a estas últimas estrellas que están apagándose paulatinamente, allanando el camino a jugadoras de nuevo cuño como Caroline Wozniacki y jóvenes pero experimentadas lobas como Kim Clijsters, Dinara Sáfina o Jelena Jankovic entre otras tantas.
La irregularidad de las tenistas actuales se ha convertido en una de las notas predominantes del circuito femenino en los últimos años, brillando por su ausencia la confirmación de figuras consistentes, con la gran virtud de mantenerse arriba y no dejarse llevar por todo lo que la fama trae consigo. Apenas se pueden encontrar restos de la capacidad de sacrificio y la osadía de las estrellas de no hace tanto, que anteponían su rendimiento deportivo a cualquier otra cosa. Toda esta inconstancia ha estado cociéndose durante los últimos años originando una gira anual plana y aburrida, extremadamente predecible, sin la chispa ni la magia de quienes llevaron la reputación del tenis femenino a un punto excelente.
La decadencia que está experimentando la WTA no es una cuestión de calidad, pues el circuito actual cuenta con jóvenes sobresalientes como Caroline Wozniacki, Kim Cljisters, Francesca Schiavone, Dinara Sáfina, Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova e incluso Ana Ivanovic, cuando le apetece jugar, dentro de un amplio elenco.
El problema principal reside en el cambio de mentalidad tan radical que en pocos años ha dado un golpe tremendo sobre el tablero de este juego, y que las tenistas no han sabido corregir de la manera más afortunada para su deporte.
Ello ha transgredido la esencia original del tenis femenino para convertirla en una utopía que difícilmente podrá recuperarse si no comienzan a aparecer figuras comprometidas que sustituyan a las que han desaparecido y están a punto de desaparecer. Si no es así, mal lo tiene la WTA.
http://www.elfarodigital.es/blogs/hu...de-la-wta.html

I found the article interesting.. it's not so much about the quality of players, but about how many players aren't fully commited or fulfilling their potential. The way it refers to Ana is how I feel sometimes as well.. she is a force to be reckoned with when she really *wants* to play tennis. Pity that hasn't been often in the past 3 years.
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 01:23 PM   #2579
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

yeah, it is a good article, though i think most people who follow wta understand its major problem is commitment of some players as well as injury issues. i wouldn't say the commitment is a problem with all players. it is with ana however
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 10:45 PM   #2580
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Gotta love how Cronin is an Ana fan. Gives her a B for the year:

Quote:
Ivanovic has made tremendous progress since last summer, and I'd be surprised if she didn't re-enter the top 10 by midsummer.
http://msn.foxsports.com/tennis/stor...p-marks-040711
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