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How Expectations Affect Your Determination To Win

How Expectations Affect Your Determination To Win

Hi, over the last few years I have been improving my game both physically and mentally, but recently its been downhill.

I used to get on the court and mentally fight out regardless of the outcome.

Now I seem to give up after the first hurdle and get niggling injuries here and there which prevent be from giving it my all physically on a tennis court.

I can’t seem to find an explanation for this mental lapse.

When I’m ahead in the game early on, I have this belief that my opponent will turn it around.

Before I never used to look back and approach games with confidence that I am the better player.

One reason could be expectations.

Before you saw yourself as not so good player and you had nothing to lose so you just played.

Now you might think that you are a much better player and that you always have to prove that and cannot afford to lose to lower ranked (or not so good looking – stroke wise) players.

These expectations make you tense, you play lower than you are able to and then you can predict the outcome; you not playing so well and your opponent playing well.

Not fighting means, that you see no reason to exert yourself if there is no way you can win this.

And you also sense the future outcome which will be disappointing again.

These future images in your mind already sap the energy out of you.

Solution?

Accepting that:

you are not perfect
that you cannot play your best tennis every day
that if other players are good that doesn’t mean that you are bad!
that this is the nature of sport – top players losing to some lower ranked players (Federer – Volandri?, Federer – Canas?, Mauresmo – Vakulenko? )
Once you accept reality and that it doesn’t mean that you are somehow less worthy, you can play with high determination and motivation.

What these losses give you is feedback.

They show you where you need to improve and what are your weaknesses. But that doesn’t have to hurt.

I have an experience of losing a match to a player and not liking him because of that.

That lasted for a few months. But I realized in that match that my backhand slice was not really good.

So I practiced slice a lot.

Because of my better slice, I won many matches later and learned how to defend well and play drop shots.

I then realized that I am grateful to that player for showing me what I need to work on.

He just played a match exploiting my weaknesses.

It’s not personal. He would play like that against anyone.

More on expectations and being confident…

Related posts:

2 Ways To Deal With Match Pressure
2 Lessons You Can Learn From The Montreal Masters ATP
How You Can Always Finish The Practice In A Positive Way
Can You Guarantee A Win?
How To Master The Approach Shot

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 18th, 2007 at 10:48 pm and is filed under Mental Tennis. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “How Expectations Affect Your Determination To Win”
Mental Differences Between Hewitt And Gaudio | How To Play Better Tennis – Tips From A Professional Tennis Coach Says:
July 14th, 2011 at 3:01 am
[…] shows how unrealistic his expectations are and how he blames himself for losing the […]