How many times have you been playing tennis and all of the sudden you have a bad streak of bad tennis? In the midst of that bad streak of tennis, you tell yourself “I’m done! I don’t want to play this sport anymore!” Be honest, probably more than once. I know I have.
Why do we keep coming back to this sport? What’s the purpose? What can I do to better my game? Why isn’t my game getting any better? These are probably some of the questions we’ve all asked ourselves at one point or another. It’s the “wall” or “hump” that we all reach and contemplate our purpose of playing tennis.
Let’s face it, if any of us were meant to be professional tennis players, we would already be on tour and certainly not reading an article about the “tennis hump.” But how do we get over the proverbial hump that we all face? There are a few things you can do to break through the wall, I’ll explain those in a minute. Let me say this, what I’m going to tell you are only things that have helped me keep going back to the sport I’ve come to love over the years, so my suggestions may or may not help you (however practical they are).
Without further ado:
- Walk away for a short period of time: Take a physical and mental break from tennis. Put your tennis racket in your closet, announce on your facebook or twitter that you’re taking a break and tell your current hitting partners to look for other people to hit with for a couple of weeks – but keep in touch with them for when you’re ready to get back on court.
- Take a tennis lesson: There’s nothing better for your tennis game than a second set of eyes helping you with your strokes. Not only is there a possibility that the instructor will give you different insight, they may even give you something positive to work on, which could excite you and you’ll end up back on court with a different attitude. If you are already taking tennis lessons, consider visiting a different teaching professional.
- Find a new hitting partner: If you’ve been hitting with the same person for as long as you can remember, it’s always exciting to find another tennis player to hit with. Finding a new partner might help unlock the mental lock you have by forcing you to play a slower more controlled tennis game. You don’t know what the person hits like so you’ll start off slow with the basics and before you know it, you’re swinging freely and you’re back to ship shape.
- Teach a child how to play tennis: There really is nothing more rewarding that doing something fun with a child. Not only will the kid enjoy trying something new, but you’ll end up having a great time. The great thing about teaching somebody tennis, is that you will start speaking tennis, therefore you’ll start thinking tennis and will remember what you’ve said when you play your game. Heck, you might even remember hitting balls with the child and how much fun you had, might help the tension.
- Laugh at your bad shots: We will always hit a bad shot, it’s guaranteed, no matter who you are or who you’re playing against, you will hit a bad shot at least once. When y0u do, laugh it off. Who freaking cares if you hit a bad shot? Just enjoy where you are…the tennis court. Laughing has been proven to relieve tension, so the more you laugh the less tense you’ll be on court.
What I’ve listed above are just a few things you can do to get back on the horse and get back on the court with a clear mind. Like I said above, these things may not work for you, but I’m just sharing my ideas to help you break through the mental game tennis plays on you. We return no matter what, I return because I love tennis and there really is nothing that will stop me from playing. The most important thing to remember when you hit the wall, is remember that it’s just a game, games are fun.