How to React After a Bad Tennis Match
What is your reaction in the hours and days following a disastrous match?
Your responses to emotional meltdowns on the court, an uncharacteristic number of unforced errors in a match, losses to lower-ranked opponents and blown leads affect your mindset for upcoming training sessions and matches.
Your mental and emotional response after a dreadful match lays the groundwork for future performances. It is imperative that you consciously choose a response that will enhance future play.
We received a question from a tennis player who said:
“How do I let go of past matches so I can focus better on future matches?”
Letting go of past matches, especially ones that elicit strong negative emotions, is a difficult task.
You feel both deflated and defeated. You can’t seem to ignore those negative images.
When you watch the mental re-runs of a bad match over and over, it affects how you train and prepare. You hold back in practice or go through the motions.
You find it difficult to focus on the skills you need to improve. You might wallow in your defeat to the point that your confidence, focus, and motivation dwindle to next to nothing.
When you carry your images of defeat from the last match to the next match, it will feel like you are carrying a 20-pound weight on your back. You will feel sluggish, mentally and physically. You feel you are not capable of turning your game around.
It is impossible to turn your game around when your mind is focused in the past.
Letting go of bad matches or matches when you utterly imploded starts with a choice:
- Where do I want to place my focus?
- Do I want to focus on the past or the present?
- Do I want to focus on mistakes or preparation?
- Do I want to relive the past or start anew in the present?
Your ability to let go and move forward is a conscious choice that you make on a moment-to-moment basis.
At the 2020 US Open, Novak Djokovic had a disastrous match against Pablo Carreno Busta in the fourth round. Djokovic was disqualified from the match after unintentionally hitting a line judge in the throat after slamming a ball in a fit of anger and frustration.
Two weeks after the Open, Djokovic bounced back to beat Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3 for his fifth Italian Open title.
Even though he moved on from his bad experience on the court at the Open, Djokovic was able to process what happened at the Open and move forward from that experience.
DJOKOVIC: “I did experience mentally some kind of ups and downs in the first four-five days after (the U.S. Open default) happened. I was in shock. But I moved on and really, I never had an issue in my life to move on from something. Regardless of how difficult it is I try to take the next day and hope for the best and move on. Having a tournament a week after that happened helped a lot… just because I really wanted to get on the court and just get whatever traces of that is if there is any doubt, and I think I had a really good week.”
The answer to the question, “How can I let go of past matches?” is to consciously choose to learn from your mistakes and move on.
Moving on From a Tennis Match:
Moving onward requires that you make a choice to reset what you focus on. Instead of dwelling on the past, you want to learn from the past and continue to work on your weaknesses.
You can reset by answering 4 questions:
- What should I focus on for the next tournament?
- Do I want to think about the past or the present?
- Do I want to focus or dwell on mistakes or learn from them?
- What do I need to do to get better this week?
Making the choice to learn and grow from past matches can help you rebound as a stronger player.
Learn Proven Tennis Mental Game Strategies To Perform Your Best On The Court!
Are you (or your players) performing up to your ability in competition?
Do you bring your best and most confident game to matches?
I often hear players complain about the following problems when they play in matches…
“I get so tight or tense before matches that I can’t think straight or have any rhythm in my game.”
“I get so frustrated with hitting bad shots or with errors and it snowballs.”
“I expect so much when I play that I unravel and lose confidence when the match does not go as planned.”
“My confidence seems to disappear when I go from practice to matches and I don’t know why.”
Successful tennis players have learned how to perform with ultimate confidence in tournaments.
If you are ready to improve your mental toughness and perform with ultimate self-confidence in matches, Tennis Confidence: Mental Toughness For Tournament Players can help you do this!
- Players: Learn how to take control of your confidence, focus your best, and win more close matches.
- Parents: Help boost your junior tennis player’s confidence for tournaments. Just load the program on your player’s IPod!
- Coaches: Boost your team’s confidence using simple, proven mental strategies.
- Instructors: Learn how to give your students the mental game advantage.
Use Tennis Confidence to help boost your mental toughness in tennis and discover powerful and proven mental game strategies that have helped professional athletes win!