June 21, 2010, 5:58 pm - (2 years ago) So more I play tennis the more I realize how difficult this sport is and how much i'm not as good as i thought I was. I will play this "perfect" tennis in the park with my rival (aka tennis buddy) then you put in me a usta setting with crowd watching and playing for yoursel and teammates and the ugly truth comes out. Anyhow I just played our playoffs and I have never felt so tight in my life. I was doing all these breathing excercises in the car and also visualizations and I was actually calm and focused.. Then I go inside the indoor facility where we were playing our sectional finals and I see there is whole bunch of people there (well probally like 30-35 people). I was prepare for that and blocked it out of my head but when I went downstairs to the courts, for some reason my mind just went blank and I felt like i was in some kind of dream. Just warming up with my other singles teammate, my arm was so stiff I just couldn't even get the ball over and was hitting the roof. First 2-3 minutes of warming up i actually was hitting fine.. but then something happened and BAM arm just felt soo tight and I went behind the curtains in the court and was telling myself to snap out of it and do some heavy breathing .. Then my match started... since i wasn't able to do my natural strokes.. only option was to dink the ball... but my backhand seem much more smoother but was also tight.. But here is the funny part and why winning ugly works... since everything wasn't working... i had to push the ball until i got my tightness out and back to flow.... First set i won 6-0! Second set, i started feeling my shots and going for it... but was still bit tight and lost 6-4. I had a major cramp towards end of second set (but i knew that i was still gonna lose the second set.. just didn't feel it) But the cramp was a full blown one and the ref came out and gave me 3 minutes to get back in playing or i will be DQ'd... I was nervous cause If I got dq'd my team had some pressure to fill cause singles went first... but my coach came out and gave me bunch of gatorade and i stretched it out a bit and was ready to go (with minor limping)....I started breathing really heavily and wanted this tiebreak really bad ( i was completely nervous but didn't want to overthink or analyze anything and just let it happen)... but ended up winning and i have no idea how that happened..
All my usta matches this year were winning ugly while matches outside of usta were very stylish, smart and fun.. I really hope I don't get traumatized by this tightening up and my subconscious keeps whispering in my head cause I literally could not move my arm...
So my point and question of this post is.... do you think this tightening up is a easy fix or that i might need to see a shrink cause i've tried every match preparation and i seem to always get tight in usta matches.. When i play in the park that is a local league with no one else knowing or watching, i play really well but in playoff, tournament, crowds etc.. i'm
DR JEKYL THE TENNIS PLAYER Click here to read full article