Winning In Practice But Losing In Matches

Winning In Practice But Losing In Matches

Hi, I am an excellent tennis player under 12.

When I have my training I always play excellent, but when I participate in tournaments I lose to players which I beat easily in the training.

This is a big problem, can you help me?


I admire your courage to admit your weaknesses and look for solutions at this age and thank you for the trust.

Follow the link at the end to this blog where I discuss related mental challenges in another article.

I suggest that your parents read this too since sometimes I go into deeper psychology and they may need to explain some of the things to you.

My quick answer to you is: even if you are a good player, you will sometimes lose to not so good players because that’s what happens in sport.

I’m sure you remember Federer losing 3 times this year to Canas and Volandri and they are both far weaker players than him.

When you accept that sometimes you are going to lose and it’s not such a big deal, then you’ll play easier.

The other thing is that you keep thinking about losing the match.


Stop those thoughts and imagine how well you play.

As soon as you catch yourself thinking about losing or playing badly, CHANGE the thinking to good play and winning.

Related posts:

How To Mentally Approach Playing A Weaker Opponent
How Expectations Affect Your Determination To Win
How To Make The Best Of Your Talent
Why Tennis Players Fail To Convert On Match Points
How To Beat Rafael Nadal On Clay

Essential Tennis Instruction – FREE Video Lessons on How to Improve Your Serve

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 30th, 2007 at 9:13 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.

2 Responses to “Winning In Practice But Losing In Matches”
Rafa Fan Says:
November 20th, 2007 at 6:11 am
Hello. I am 18 yrs old and i have a great problem! hehe. I always play the final of the championship in my country against the same player. The number 1 seed. He is 1 year young dan me. He is small than me, slower, and weaker. He bases his game on playing back 1000 balls every rally forcing me to go for too much and make the error. Kinda like Fed and Rafa situation. I find myself that I can serve 95% 1st serve in training, and den in the match I cannot hold serve once!!! And the whole tournament and the week before I cannot lose serve and hit 15 aces a match. I also find that in training I am able to relax and beat this guy, but in the match with the whole atmosphere that there is at his club where we play, and the stupid thoughts that come into my head telling me to play some things that I never train (mind you he plays exactly where I am not comfortable, slows down the game etc). I have lost to him 4 times in a row now in competition but I would really like to change this, so please someone help its all I think about!!!!!!



Tomaz Says:
November 21st, 2007 at 10:41 pm
Hi Rafa,

One of the mental traps you fall into is “How am I going to beat him?” After you play for a while it seems more and more obvious that this will be very hard and thus you get frustrated.

How about if you aks yourself a question:”How is HE going to beat me?” Just start with that and see what happens. Here are some more helpful articles about pushers: