The mental aspect of tennis. [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

The mental aspect of tennis.

Lazyking
07-27-2012, 05:25 AM
Would you say the mental aspect of tennis is the most important of all sports?

Also, why is it so hard for players to be able to overcome and become somewhat mentally tough?

Finally, are their examples of players overcoming mental fragilness over a career? Seems to me in my limited watching, once a mental midget on the court, always a mental midget.

latso
07-27-2012, 06:59 AM
No, it's much more important in chess, car/bike racings, table tennis, etc. Virtually the mental aspect is an important part of any singles sport.

Players become tougher with experience and with gaining confidence, and self esteem.

"Mental midget" is just a word used in internet forums and it is a subjective notion, as it is based on limited information.
Then it becomes a tag for life for the player targeted and despite his choking days are far behind he'll always be a "mental midget" for the ppl behind keyboards.

One obvious example is Berdych. The guy was a classical case and he isn't anymore. Federer had his period of chocking to Rafa's loops and to Murray's Bh harrassement - gone.
PHM lost a DC tie, which put this label on him and despite he grew past these times, he's still being called names.

Sophocles
07-27-2012, 10:13 AM
"Mental aspect" is too vague. I mean, what about boxing? You need immense focus & concentration to avoid suffering injury to your brain. Is that mental "strength"? What people seem to mean by mental strength is taking your chances when they arise. That is vital in every sport.

Johnny Groove
07-27-2012, 11:03 AM
Between two players of roughly equal ball striking ability and equal fitness and endurance, it always comes down to who is mentally stronger. Who wants it more? Who is willing to sacrifice more? Who is willing to endure more physical pain to claim the victory?

Now, what is mental strength? It is the ability to focus on each and every point as if your life depended on it. And on the lower ranks, your tennis life really does depend on it. It is the ability, at 4-4, 30-40, and a 2nd serve, to calm your nerves and focus and put in a quality 2nd serve and get into a rally, and not just puff a 2nd serve in and allow your opponent to destroy it. It is the ability during said rally not to shit your pants and overhit. It is the ability to put away all of your fears and inhibitions, all of the naysayers and all of your own inner demons that say you can't do it, to tell them to fuck off, step up, and hit that forehand winner on the line to save the break point.

This is mental strength.

leng jai
07-27-2012, 11:07 AM
Between two players of roughly equal ball striking ability and equal fitness and endurance, it always comes down to who is mentally stronger. Who wants it more? Who is willing to sacrifice more? Who is willing to endure more physical pain to claim the victory?

Now, what is mental strength? It is the ability to focus on each and every point as if your life depended on it. And on the lower ranks, your tennis life really does depend on it. It is the ability, at 4-4, 30-40, and a 2nd serve, to calm your nerves and focus and put in a quality 2nd serve and get into a rally, and not just puff a 2nd serve in and allow your opponent to destroy it. It is the ability during said rally not to shit your pants and overhit. It is the ability to put away all of your fears and inhibitions, all of the naysayers and all of your own inner demons that say you can't do it, to tell them to fuck off, step up, and hit that forehand winner on the line to save the break point.

This is mental strength.

So profound.

Henry Chinaski
07-27-2012, 11:08 AM
it's more important in sports where you're risking serious injury and death. for obvious reasons

Aloevera
07-27-2012, 11:09 AM
I wonder if hypnotherapy or NLP technique, which is well known to instill people with mental and emotional tools to excel in whatever they do, can overcome choking problems?

Johnny Groove
07-27-2012, 12:00 PM
So profound.

Not sure if taking the piss or not, insert Futurama meme here.

But in some matches, you can just SEE the guy's looks on their faces whether or not they are going to win the next point. On a big occasion, some players, you just KNOW they are going to hit the DF. You KNOW they are going to miss the easy shot, you can see in their eyes.

I remember watching Rosol-Nadal, in that 5th set, the look on Rosol's face, I knew he was gonna win. I mean, does this look like the face of a man who is afraid of the moment?

http://s3.amazonaws.com/newscloud-production/newscloudcms/2012/06/4feccaf17fd0dc317301c06a/photos/1895655/original.jpg?1340918602

No, looks like a man who is owning the moment, dominating the moment, fucking the moment up the ass.

Or how about this guy?

http://img.skysports.com/09/06/218x298/Robin-Soderling-French-Open-2009-QF_2313356.jpg

http://www.tennisearth.com/photos/FrenchOpen/Robin_Soderling2.jpg

Eyes are a window into a person's soul. Soderling and Rosol both were seizing the moment, both were very mentally strong.

Compare to:

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0e0ngY2fii264/610x.jpg

or

http://answers.bettor.com/images/Articles/thumbs/extralarge/2011-Movistar-Open,-Thomaz-Bellucci-vs-Fabio-Fognini,-preview-55033.jpg

or

http://croatia.org/crown/content_images/2008/marin_cilic_new_haven_tennis_aug_23_2008.jpg

Not exactly looks of confidence.

I wonder if hypnotherapy or NLP technique, which is well known to instill people with mental and emotional tools to excel in whatever they do, can overcome choking problems?

I mean, it is all about belief in yourself :shrug:

Sophocles
07-27-2012, 01:35 PM
Groove is right. It's also noticeable in penalty shoot-outs. You can always tell in advance whether a player is going to miss. There's a look in their eyes & there's also a palpable hesitation.

But none of this means mental strength is more important in tennis than in any other sport.

EddieNero
07-27-2012, 03:02 PM
It's more important in disciplines like swimming or running, sprint-based. If your body gets stiff due to restlessness before the race you have absolutely no chance to succeed.
In tennis on the other hand, it's possible to turn the tables at any point of the match ,whatever the score is.

Lazyking
07-27-2012, 03:10 PM
The reason I brought it up is because their are alot of talented players on tour who just don't have the mental capabilities to succed at a high level.

It is true that momentum swings are prevalent in tennis where you do have chances to overcome a simple mistake unlike auto racing or say boxing. I'm not really talking about that though. Moreso the guys in tennis who you know before the point, during the point or hell before the match have no shot at winning. Not because of their skills but becauase of their head.

EddieNero
07-27-2012, 03:29 PM
Lack of belief in succes doesn't only refer to tennis, you're simplifying the case too much. Again, like I was trying to imply in my previous post, If you don't have the conviction you will achieve nothing in anything you get down to.

Tennis players aren't any different in this matter.

Lazyking
07-27-2012, 04:28 PM
I never said it only happens in Tennis.. I watch all the main sports here but not many sports out there besides fighting that you can only count on yourself to win.

BroTree123
07-27-2012, 04:30 PM
Between two players of roughly equal ball striking ability and equal fitness and endurance, it always comes down to who is mentally stronger. Who wants it more? Who is willing to sacrifice more? Who is willing to endure more physical pain to claim the victory?

Now, what is mental strength? It is the ability to focus on each and every point as if your life depended on it. And on the lower ranks, your tennis life really does depend on it. It is the ability, at 4-4, 30-40, and a 2nd serve, to calm your nerves and focus and put in a quality 2nd serve and get into a rally, and not just puff a 2nd serve in and allow your opponent to destroy it. It is the ability during said rally not to shit your pants and overhit. It is the ability to put away all of your fears and inhibitions, all of the naysayers and all of your own inner demons that say you can't do it, to tell them to fuck off, step up, and hit that forehand winner on the line to save the break point.

This is mental strength.

Take note people. This is JG, the future USO champion, at his very best.

analysist
07-28-2012, 07:23 AM
Mental strength players often forget the point quickly, they don't let momentum affect them too much. Just focus to the next point, next game, next mach.

The Prince
07-28-2012, 07:29 AM
It's as important as one makes it out to be. The best 'mental' players in the world completely disregard mental fragility and focus on bringing their best tennis to the important moments. The MMs worry and have second thoughts. It's because they are not confident.