Stress is an ugly beast. Since she can smell you, you can not conceal from her. And you cannot escape from her either, if you don’t wanna end up drained by her blowing on your own neck.
I know what you’re thinking. Regardless of the conditions if there’s really no way then how so some players seem to be fearless?
And also you said it well. But they are not, because there’s literally no way to eliminate anxiety! Ever heard the expression”bogus it’til you make it”? That is exactly the way to go! The earlier you accept fear, the quicker you can shift energy and your focus from trying to eliminate it into learning how to handle it.
Since the difference between you, systematically chocking up in every single match, and that other tennis player you admire so much because of her daring attitude, is just this: you step on the court trusting that fear will not come say hello for you, while she steps on the courtroom knowing exactly how to handle it.
EVER! Instead of trying to run away from it, so you better get used to it, and learn how to flip it on your side!
Gonna play a tennis match? Then you do not wanna miss what’s next! Hopefully this can help you avoid learning the lessons the hard way and understand your anxiety once and for all! Tennis matches aren’t something? Have fun reading about the most frequent fears and go anyway we tennis players get to manage when we step on the court for a game!
#1 – FEAR OF LOSING
You understand what I am talking about, don’t you? Off the court you keep telling yourself and others which”sometimes you win, sometimes you learn”, but if you are playing a match you want everything except to learn.
Who will blame you?! After all, you know how it feels to lose: you experienced it in the past, and it’s horrible. A nightmare. It leaves you wounds youhurts like crazy, also’ll lick for days. You don’t want to feel like that , ever.
In all honesty, I don’t recall having this fear of losing before quitting golfing, at least not as far as I did recently after my comeback. Don’t understand what I mean? You have to catch up my buddy, otherwise you are missing out too much: go read the long-story-short variant of my tennis narrative so far right now, and then come back. This blog will not go everywhere, I promise:)
In particular, there’s 1 event not long ago in which this fear completely took me over. And that’s [the very first game of the very first tournament after my comeback]. I recall it as if it was yesterday: at some stage, the fear became so overpowering to suspend me, actually. My arm got so stiff I could strike a backhand that is proper. I wanted to cry.
That experience was quite awful. In fact, then game I decided I’d never feel like that again. So I researched a little, and found a way that worked like magic in the next matches.
Concentrate on the process, not the outcome. By doing this, you automatically set the stress in your own performance, eliminating it from the effect of the game, which leads to less stress, so”bye bye fear of losing”.
So yes, only get laser-focused on the targets you set for the game and also the fear of losing won’t get you, I promise!
#2 – FEAR OF MISSING OUT
That is correct, FOMO! I’m sure you’ve witnessed it : at least you must have seen it if you haven’t experienced it yourself. If that’s the case, you probably won an extremely tight game in which you had to confront one or more game points.
The fear of missing is that fear that assails you when you’re so close to triumph you can almost smell it, and you also eliminate another stage. And all a sudden, your brain starts playing repeat the movie of you being so near success, and squandering the opportunity. It’s not wonderful.
Lately, I had been fortunate enough to observe the FOMO in the eyes of a few of my competitions. It was fun, allow me to tell you! I know it sounds cruel, but what can I do?! It is the fact:P We were at the match tiebreak, and she had been winning 6-3: she’d 3 (three!!!) match-points. And guess what? I stayed there, calm, cancelled the very first one, then the next and in no time I found myself in the internet with the victory in my pocket!
How did this happen? I will inform you. Those last points should have been a torture for that poor girl: she smelled the success for a short while, simply to see it vanish under her nose!
When we shifted sides at 6-6 Everything I saw in her eyes was terror. At that stage, I knew not only that I would soon win the game, but also our mind can occasionally play bad tricks on people. I mean, after that very first match-point, she was still much closer than me to winning, nevertheless she acted like she was the 1 losing. Not excellent. Lesson learnt!
Always Concentrate on another point. Since in the end nothing else matters: you cannot alter the past, can you? So spending energy regretting?! Instead, force your brain to do what you tell her to do, to pay attention to what is essential. In this manner you won’t let her enter the negative loop!
I know, easier said completed, but with practice you can get there! I did it, so do you!
#3 – FEAR OF EMBARRASSMENT
Ever wished you could tell the folks in the stands or your opponent you don’t usually play like this? That you can do considerably better, but today isn’t your day? That you can just POUFFF, evaporate? I surely did!
Each time you end up worrying what other people may be thinking of the way you’re playing, you need to know: that the fear of humiliation is having fun at your expense!
This one fear was with me since my early golfing days, and today I am unable to completely annihilate it. What a struggle!
That it’s been there since day 1 isn’t any key: you can catch a glimpse of it in the story about my first tennis lesson and the way I ready for it daily before.
And before you ask why are you not doing this and think I am dumb, let me explain.
Whenever I attempt to hit overheads in training, I am scared of looking ridiculous and not hitting the ball. And I understand that the less I practice them, the longer it’ll take to eliminate that feeling, I understand. You see? I am not dumb!
Do not you worry, I’m loads:P For instance, last weekend I faced my toughest opponent so far. And toughest I mean times as tough as others, summed! She was seeded number 1 of the draw, and the ranking was rather scary (something similar to 33 rankings over me, just to give you an idea).
The day prior to the game I had been of having the option to confront a player of that caliber, excited! I literally couldn’t wait, and I kept repeating”hope the very best, prepare for the worst”! I was obviously intimated, but looking forward nevertheless, if this makes sense!
Match time arrived: I stumbled on the court and my mind went bananas. As soon as we began the warmup, my loyal fear of humiliation showed up and did not allow me to hit a forehand. No joke. I wish it was not correct!
My opponent looked pissed: she must be thinking before, I kept repeating over and over again, I’ve never grabbed a racket. And that did not help! I was horribly embarrassed I would have dug a hole and disappeared.
Then the match began, and I realized I kick if I wanted to prevent the speediest 6-0 6-0 at the history of 30, that panic away. So I created the most of everything I had, and gathered my bits. And guess what?! Although my forehand sucked from beginning to end, I did manage to hit some ones and fight back my in-my-mind-invincible competition, and even force her.
This girl will kick my butt many more times, I’m certain, but I will not let this happen . This time I dropped to the fear of humiliation, next time she will have to beat on me!
Exercise the uncomfortable! Staying in your comfort zone and avoiding those strokes and situations which are not”your thing” won’t assist you. On the contrary, it’s going just reinforce your certainty. And let me tell you: 99 percent of those cases, you probably think you are worse than you actually are!
So escape your comfort zone the better!
Okay, enough discussion about fears: it is time to go practice those overheads! But wait, first I want to ask you something!
Allow me to know in the comments about your fear of all, on and off the court.
What is it? Would you tell where it came from? Did it show up lately, or you have had that since the very beginning?
And then, how do you deal with it? Can you manage this, or it just takes over you leaving you suspended? If you’re able to manage it , how can to be able to conquer it, you need to think and act?
In that case, leave me a clap (or 2 ) so that I know you did )