Tennis Mental Issue and Some Questions [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Tennis Mental Issue and Some Questions

HKz
03-01-2007, 11:09 AM
Hi everyone, I just have a couple of questions which I need answered so I can improve my tennis skills.

(Sorry for length, still kind of pissed :mad: )
Okay this is my first problem. I play tennis for my high school and currently I'm the #4 on the varsity team. My problem is, I can't defeat the #3. The #3 on our team has been somewhat of a rival of mine since the 5th grade, way before we've played tennis competitively. But since tennis, so far I've lost to him in my freshman year, at the end of my sophomore year, and now twice this year (junior) for team positions. I've only defeated him once which was during the first half of my sophomore season. Whenever I play him, I somehow lose ALL my shots except for my serve. But when I play the #2 and #1 on our team, I play perfect (they have never defeated me). When I play good, I rely on hugely paced and angled shots (nothing of proffesional quality) to win points, but when I play the #3, my shots become "dinks" which just go back right to him. And then when I try to concentrate on making my regular shots, I virtually blow them. The #3 plays a "just get the ball back deep" type of tennis and then once in a while he will luckily make a drop volley or a decent cross court forehand (his only 2 decent shots - everything else he has are just for consistency). Whenever I play him, I'll first start out really good and then my game will drop by a huge amount. My first match against him this year was really dissapointing. I easily won 5 games in a row making it 5-0 (we were playing a 7 game pro set). But suddenly my game dropped to nothing but a "dink" and I lost 7 games in a row in just a few minutes. (that really dissapointed me because I practiced my ass off everyday during the off-season getting a lot better, while he did nothing *his level stayed the exact same*) And then a few days ago, I was able to rechallenge him but basically I got the same result. (This time we played best of 3 sets). First set I easily won 4 games, and then I started dinking the ball, basically giving him 6 quick games for the set. Second set my shots somehow managed to come back after being down 0-4 and I won 6 games easily. And then in the third set tiebreak after winning 4-0 I go back to dinking it, giving him an easy finish (7-4). I don't purposely start hitting like this. Strangely, during a point, I will just lose my shots which I make so often against better players. If I were able to defeat him, I would easily become #1 on our team. I know it's a team effort, but I feel I can contribute more if I were to be playing on the best position I can manage on the team (on the bright side, I play #1 doubles with the current #1) Does anyone know some tips which can help solve this issue?

Next question. I use a one handed backhand and getting high/kicking balls or balls hit with good pace are hard to hit with a one hander. Whenever I watch Federer, it seems like he just slices those types of shots back. But after I do the same, my coach tells me I have too good of a backhand to do so, but whenever I try to hit those shots with my one hander, I will usually mess up. Should I continue to practice trying to hit those types of shots or should I just slice them back?

Thanks! Any constructive comments are welcome.

BgStallion
03-02-2007, 04:36 PM
It's all in your mind first of all. When you have gained the upperhand just ride the momentum and if you feel that something's going wrong just try to change the tempo of the match. If you lose 6 games in a row that means that you're rushing through it all. Think over - why did I lose these points? What did I do wrong ? Did he provoke me in some way? Who's doing what to whom?
A change of tactics could help - if you're not feeling sure with your shots from the baseline don't try to overdo them. Perhaps that would be a good moment to start going to the net? More serve & volley perhaps? It'll be easier because the rallies won't be so long and the push backer will be forced to look for angles - not just deep moonballs. If you have a good serve then your overhead should be good.
And on the 2nd question - how tall are you? Have you seen how Olie Rochus handles these shots - he does a jacknife. Personally I play a 2 handed backhand and I'm 1.88,but I often resort to using the jacknife to finish a high short ball or to handle a high ball at the baseline without having to go backwards.
Also on the psychological side of things - most people would tell you not to think on your previous matches ,but you should. You should analyze them - how did you reach the 4-0 lead? Put more thought into the game. If you suddenly felt insecure with your shots try to confront that feeling now and leave it behind you.

zicofirol
03-02-2007, 07:35 PM
Next question. I use a one handed backhand and getting high/kicking balls or balls hit with good pace are hard to hit with a one hander. Whenever I watch Federer, it seems like he just slices those types of shots back. But after I do the same, my coach tells me I have too good of a backhand to do so, but whenever I try to hit those shots with my one hander, I will usually mess up. Should I continue to practice trying to hit those types of shots or should I just slice them back?


For those high one-handed backhand shots you need to strenghten your forearm but most importantly is take the ball early once you see it will be "heavy"(in non pro terms lol) topspin attack the ball and hit it early dont let it bounce too high... With high balls I usually would just go back and hit back a deep topspin shot but now I prefer to take it early if I see it will bounce high...

tennisplayer89
03-03-2007, 01:02 PM
Your probably losing your head because your letting the surroundings of the match affect you. For example, you have been rivals for years. You practice and he doesn't and you still lose. Probably, you are letting all of these things affect you. When you get up in the match, do you tell yourself "yes I am going to win finally" or "I need to play even better and it isn't over until the fat lady sings." It seems that when you get up in the match, you are trying to be more consistent by "dinking" the ball. Instead you need to continue to play your game. When you are up in the match, you need to continue to play your game and be even more agressive than ever. You need to crush his fighting spirit. Also, try and mentally detach yourself from your shots. Do not think about your shots and your technique. You have already practiced and your not going to be able to change anything during a match. Just don't think about your technique. Just hit the ball the way you normally do. I hope some of these tips are helpful.

HKz
03-03-2007, 11:09 PM
Thanks a lot guys for responding. Ironically, the day after posting this, we had a school match and I played extraordinary (probably one of the best times I've played in a real match) in my singles match and won 6-1 / 6-1, but everyone else on my team played horribly and we lost the school match 1-8 *I was the only winner*

It's all in your mind first of all. When you have gained the upperhand just ride the momentum and if you feel that something's going wrong just try to change the tempo of the match. If you lose 6 games in a row that means that you're rushing through it all. Think over - why did I lose these points? What did I do wrong ? Did he provoke me in some way? Who's doing what to whom?
A change of tactics could help - if you're not feeling sure with your shots from the baseline don't try to overdo them. Perhaps that would be a good moment to start going to the net? More serve & volley perhaps? It'll be easier because the rallies won't be so long and the push backer will be forced to look for angles - not just deep moonballs. If you have a good serve then your overhead should be good.

You're right, I should probably serve and volley. When I'm not playing like a little dinker, I almost never get broken on my serve since serving is probably my best area, as I rely on it a lot. I just need to practice approach shots and my forehand volley a little more, but my backhand volley and overhead are good enough for me to be an adept volleyer. The only reason why I don't serve and volley more often is because the #3 will lob a good deep one forcing me to play at the baseline again. Once in a while though I will make a good approach shot making him hit a right down the middle return giving me a free volley.

And on the 2nd question - how tall are you? Have you seen how Olie Rochus handles these shots - he does a jacknife. Personally I play a 2 handed backhand and I'm 1.88,but I often resort to using the jacknife to finish a high short ball or to handle a high ball at the baseline without having to go backwards.

I'm exactly 6 feet tall. When I started tennis, I used a 2 hander and my coach said it was one of the best 2 handers he had seen among juniors. But my coach (who was very close to turning pro for Nigeria) is a fan of one handers so we worked on the transition. Although I can't put as much topsin, I can hit HUGE cross court angles which I like (so right now its my "safe" winner shot).

For those high one-handed backhand shots you need to strenghten your forearm but most importantly is take the ball early once you see it will be "heavy"(in non pro terms lol) topspin attack the ball and hit it early dont let it bounce too high... With high balls I usually would just go back and hit back a deep topspin shot but now I prefer to take it early if I see it will bounce high...

Yeah. That's what my coach and I tried to practice on. I can take balls early on the bounce with my forehand, but I guess I still need to time it right and get a faster racket speed on my backhand side.

Thanks

BgStallion
03-04-2007, 12:55 PM
Thanks a lot guys for responding. Ironically, the day after posting this, we had a school match and I played extraordinary (probably one of the best times I've played in a real match) in my singles match and won 6-1 / 6-1, but everyone else on my team played horribly and we lost the school match 1-8 *I was the only winner*



You're right, I should probably serve and volley. When I'm not playing like a little dinker, I almost never get broken on my serve since serving is probably my best area, as I rely on it a lot. I just need to practice approach shots and my forehand volley a little more, but my backhand volley and overhead are good enough for me to be an adept volleyer. The only reason why I don't serve and volley more often is because the #3 will lob a good deep one forcing me to play at the baseline again. Once in a while though I will make a good approach shot making him hit a right down the middle return giving me a free volley.



I'm exactly 6 feet tall. When I started tennis, I used a 2 hander and my coach said it was one of the best 2 handers he had seen among juniors. But my coach (who was very close to turning pro for Nigeria) is a fan of one handers so we worked on the transition. Although I can't put as much topsin, I can hit HUGE cross court angles which I like (so right now its my "safe" winner shot).


Congrats on your victory :)
Anyway - still why don't you try doing a jacknife :) Personally I love doing it. At first I thought it was only possible to do a jacknife with a 2 hander, but then I saw Olie Rochus and Mauresmo do it with their 1 handers and it works :) I don't know why people don't use it very often - it's a good weapon.

HKz
03-15-2007, 09:45 AM
:mad: ............ Terrible day today.

We had a school match today (Wednesday) and this is how it went.

*We were missing our #2 because he is the bass player in our jazz band and they had a concert (I'm also in jazz but since we have another guitarist, my teacher let me off the hook since he knows tennis is important to me, I played #3 today).*

Well anyways, we started off playing doubles (I don't know if doing this is right/legal with rules) and it was really hot, it was at least 95 degrees with near zero humidity. I easily won doubles at 8-2 against their #2 and #3. Our #2 doubles team also won fairly easily against their #1 and #4 but our #3 doubles lost VERY quickly somehow (our regular #6, who was playing #5 today was a bit sick from a cold and from the 3 and a half hour long bus ride which made him play horribly). We then all started playing singles after doubles cleared up. Our #6, #5, and #2 quickly lost for no reason in straight sets (they should of easily won). Our #4 won easily (6-2, 6-1) and our #1 won by default since his opponent tried to return an angled approach shot ending up with him spraining his ankle.

So the school match was pending on my loss or win. First set I was playing decent (for 2 weeks I had been playing incredibly but this week I've dropped a bit) and I won 6-2. Second set, I immediately Double faulted twice because of serving too long. And then I double faulted twice again because of the net. Let me tell you about this net. They have 8 courts and unluckily the court I ended up with was the one with the crap ass net. It was a HORRIBLE net. The top of the net was uneven (it was 2 inches high in one part and 4 inches on another, and I'm not talking about the regular slant. Apparently they let the volleyball team use it once) And right under the top white tape part, were small holes where balls would easily fit through. Both my second serves were lets but he claimed both went through the hole making me double fault the whole first game (all my teammates said they were lets. It's almost impossible to tell because of the speed) This discouraged me A LOT. After a couple games, it was 4-5, my serve. It became 30-30 and then the damn net crap happened again. My first serve hit a disfigured high part of the net causing the ball to just fall back on my side (if it wasn't there, it would of at least been a let). Second serve was then a let, but again he calls its through the hole. And then at 30-40, I hit my first through the hole and my second as a let, but he claimed it was hole AGAIN making me lose the second set. This got me fired up, and for the first time in a year, I had a tantrum and I wen to go talk to my coach and their coach, but they said to just finish and told me nothing. And finally for the third set, I was out of it. I couldn't think at all. My brain just felt burned from the blistering heat and my body felt so tired which usually NEVER happens. I end up losing the 3rd set (which is a 12 point tiebreak) 1-7.

After the match, their coach comes up to talk to me and claimed that his player was at a disadvantage too since he played with the same net, so we were even. He also said that we played a "VERY AWESOME MATCH." I laughed incredibly hard and almost yelled that all his player did, was dink the ball 5 feet over the net using 1/6th of a swing/stroke everytime. Their coach then shut his mouth after I told him that I would have won the second set if it weren't for their shit net and crap player calls.

But seriously, my opponent was just a damn deep dinker/pusher with absolutely no stroke. And just because I made two questionable calls in the first set (which were definately out), he started making horrible calls. There was a few points where I would hit the line, and he would ask me if they were in. But I told him junior tennis rules state that he has to make the call since it is on his side, so he said, "then I 'guess' its out," on VERY crucial points.

I don't know, I'm really pissed. I've lost my undefeated status on the team, and basically lost the teams chance for winning regionals which we have won for 4 years straight.

I think I'm going to call up the association for the high school sports and complain cause I definately know the net thing is way against the rules. If it wasn't, pros should play on crap nets too.

DrWho
04-23-2007, 12:14 PM
Aw diddums. :bigcry:

MisterQ
04-26-2007, 07:37 PM
Congrats on your victory :)
Anyway - still why don't you try doing a jacknife :) Personally I love doing it. At first I thought it was only possible to do a jacknife with a 2 hander, but then I saw Olie Rochus and Mauresmo do it with their 1 handers and it works :) I don't know why people don't use it very often - it's a good weapon.

:wavey:

I'm not familiar with this phrase.... what shot does "jackknife" refer to?

VolandriFan
05-12-2007, 12:06 PM
:wavey:

I'm not familiar with this phrase.... what shot does "jackknife" refer to?

I haven't heard that term either. I'm guessing that it's when you take the ball on the rise in front of your body, and push through it with little backswing.

Djokovic, Nalbandian and Pashanski do this a lot, but I haven't really seen a one-hander doing it.

I could be completely off :lol:

klinsi
06-15-2007, 04:50 AM
First question: Ever felt that instead of trying to win, you are trying not to loose? I think that's what you have in mind....you try not to loose. Just have to go out and play your game, and end result is just a byproduct. If you play your game and execute it well, then you did what you could. If you win, great, if not, well keep on working...

Second question: Nothing wrong with slicing the backhand. I slice my backhand pretty much 90% of the time all the way through my college tennis career, including my return (I chip my backhand return) It's much easier to control, and it adds more variety to your game. You will develop feel and be able to construct point with variety instead of just being one dimensional. I find it very useful against western grips, which pretty much what everyone has nowadays. I can slice low and short and draw people inside the court at the no man's land...It's a good thing. Slice is a must have...

BgStallion
06-15-2007, 03:28 PM
:wavey:

I'm not familiar with this phrase.... what shot does "jackknife" refer to?


I haven't heard that term either. I'm guessing that it's when you take the ball on the rise in front of your body, and push through it with little backswing.

Djokovic, Nalbandian and Pashanski do this a lot, but I haven't really seen a one-hander doing it.

I could be completely off :lol:

Jacknife refers to to the jump backhand :D When a ball comes higher and you don't want to back down all you have to is simply jump in the air with your front foot and perform the jump backhand. I've heard people call it a scissors backhand. Both describe the motion in the air pretty well - it's because your do a sciscor(or jacknife)-like movement with your legs in the air :) (Anyway I think that jacknife is the official term) Guys like Marecelo Rios ,Marat Safin ,Fabrice Santoro and Juan Carlos Ferrero use it with their 2 handers. I've seen Oli and Mauresmo use it with their 1 handers. It's a really beautiful and effective stroke. I hope that I helped out ;)

VolandriFan
06-18-2007, 01:20 PM
Jacknife refers to to the jump backhand :D When a ball comes higher and you don't want to back down all you have to is simply jump in the air with your front foot and perform the jump backhand. I've heard people call it a scissors backhand. Both describe the motion in the air pretty well - it's because your air do a sciscor(or jacknife)-like movement with your legs in the air :) (Anyway I think that jacknife is the official term) Guys like Marecelo Rios ,Marat Safin ,Fabrice Santoro and Juan Carlos Ferrero use it with their 2 handers. I've seen Oli and Mauresmo use it with their 1 handers. It's a really beautiful and effective stroke. I hope that I helped out ;)

Thanks for clarifying. Juanqui and Pippo do this well, and good example of contrast between single and double backhand.

BgStallion
07-20-2007, 08:56 AM
Thanks for clarifying. Juanqui and Pippo do this well, and good example of contrast between single and double backhand.

No problem :D