I know, the title of this post seems a little strange, “Loser Better, Win More”. This specific topic has been on my mind for what seems like years, and for good reason too. We have all lost a tennis match and we have all been really upset about losing that tennis match, and I’m sure we’ve all seen players reactions to their losses – it’s not a pretty sight.
What’s even worse is when the loser is a sore loser, there’s nothing worse than witnessing somebody be a complete jerk when they’ve lost a tennis match. It’s also a bad feeling to be the sore loser. To be honest I’ve lost more matches than I would like to remember. The most important thing I have ever learned about losing, is to lose gracefully. Accept that you’ve lost a tennis match, you really can’t put that much pressure on yourself. Not only is it unproductive, it can be harmful to your health.
How can you lose better? I know that sounds funny and unorthodox, but the reality is to win more tennis matches you’re going to have to learn how to lose your matches before you can accept winning a match. First thing is first, don’t be a sore loser. You lost, so what? Everybody loses at one point in their lives. Don’t get down on yourself!!! One absolute thing you should never tell yourself is that you’re “never playing again”. That is the most negative thing you can tell yourself. If you lose, ask yourself “What did I do to lose?” instead. Remember the saying, “You have to learn to walk before your can run.”
When you lose, blame nobody but yourself…remember tennis is generally an individual sport! Don’t get upset at your opponent, he played his tennis game and you lost yours. Give your opponent credit for playing a great tennis match and think about your game. What can you improve to play better tennis? Don’t get mad at your coach or parent, they are the people that are encouraging you to do your best! Be humble and head back to your practice and work harder on the areas that are your weakest, talk to your coach and suggest new drills for your next practice.
Lose until you are absolutely sick of losing! Play against people that are much better than you are, lose often. You will be so sick of losing that you will subconsciously convince yourself to play a calm and collected tennis game and before you know it, you’ve won. Of course this is just a theory of mine, though you should at least consider my thoughts on this. The more you lose the better, you won’t want to lose, you’ll be sick of going back to the drawing board that you’ll eventually play your best tennis. I’m not saying that if you lose 10 matches that you’ll go out on match 11 and start hitting down-the-line winners at 90 miles per hour, instead you will play slower and construct points better and force your opponent to hit one more ball (preferably an error 😉 )!
If you are anything like me, you have bad days of tennis; if one of those bad days happen to land on a day you have a big match, all I can say is LAUGH YOUR BUTT OFF!!! That’s right, laugh at every single bad shot you make, I’m dead serious, try it next time. What this will do is loosen you up and allow you to be less tense. Tension is only good for your tennis strings anyway. The more tense you are the worse you will play and you’ll automatically start thinking about losing, which is just all bad. Laugh and don’t worry about it, all will be well. Be thankful that you are able to be on the tennis court playing the greatest sport ever played.
Lastly, of all the things I have mentioned about losing a tennis match and how to be better about losing, I ask that you please don’t ever go into a tennis match thinking that you’re going to lose. I can assure you that Federer, Nadal, Connors, McEnroe, Agassi, Sampras, or any of the professional players ever went into a match thinking they were going to lose. The only thing you can be 100% sure of going into a tennis match is that you will play tennis. The less you think about losing the easier it will be to win a tennis match. Oh and when you win a tennis match, be sure to not rub it into your opponents face, there’s nothing more unsportsmanlike than doing that. Win or lose, say thank you and good luck.