Thursday, September 22, 2016

LEAGUE WATCH: Back on track?

As I've noted here a few times, I've been struggling lately with my game, specifically with confidence. Because no one has come forward with any magic potion to restore my swagger, I've been forced to come up with answers on my own. At the time of the last League Watch, I had lost four USTA matches in a row. (If you include last season, it gets much worse.) Since then, I've gone 2-1, with another league set to start tonight. So not bad. My inner Scrappy Doo is plaintively whining -- a good sign. I've not discovered some special cure-all for my game, but I'm focusing on a couple of things that might help you if you're having some issues, such as:

1. Play more tennis. This sounds very easy, but if you have a high-demand job and a family by chance, it is very for tennis to lose a spot on your schedule when things get tight. That happens, sure, but if you are forsaking tennis for your job, remember this: When was the last time your job served you out of trouble in a tiebreaker? Exactly. Making time to hit with someone at least once a week is a small change for me, but has given me the freedom to work on my shots and has paid dividends already. Previously, I had been playing one day a week -- my league match. This is a bad plan.
2. Pick a target. This is embarrassing to admit, but in my recent bad patch, I was so worried about hitting the ball that I had forgotten to focus on where I wanted to hit the ball. This is Tennis 101, and I used to think I was fairly good at this. It took a practice set with my husband to remind me that if I wanted to win a point, I needed to get after that dodgy backhand of his. Choosing to focus your energies on where to hit in the court helped me to stop worrying so much about my swing (which is perfect anyway, amirite? Trust me, I'm right).
3. Just settle down and have a good time. This is a First World Problem you have. If you're not having fun playing tennis, don't play. I was not having fun, mostly because I was losing and not playing well. So there are a couple of ways to solve this problem. You can stop playing tennis or you can improve your game so you can resume having a good time on the courts.

D'oh! I gotta get some new grips on my racquets for tonight. I guess the only thing left is to Keep Calm and Get Scrappy.

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