Dealing with Frustration.
Do you become Frustrated!
Every game of tennis that has ever been played ends with one player winning
and one player losing and it is essential, if you are going to compete at any
level, that you come to terms with this scenario.
But let’s boil it down to its lowest point – i.e. every single point you play –
you either win it or lose it!
How can you deal with Failure and can it be considered failure just because
you have lost one point/one game or even one match. Are you challenged or
frustrated by your tennis failures?
There are two types of attitudes when it comes to handling failures during both
practice and competitive play.
1/. Total frustration with the misses and mistakes.
2/. Total motivation to improve.
Which attitude do you have? Do you give up and get more and more
frustrated or do you face up to the challenge to try to do better!
We all become a little frustrated from time to time, but that is not the big issue
here, what we are concerned with is a mental attitude of consistent frustration.
Naturally the best choice for any player is to always be challenged by their
mistakes and failures and have the mindset to be continually motivated; to
focus forward (not looking back) and to continue practising, which by itself, w
ill decrease failures.
It does not matter whether you are a novice, an advanced player or a pro. Everyone will make mistakes. So what! There isn’t a single player
around who is perfect, this is the very nature of tennis, we have to appreciate, that our opponent is doing their utmost to induce you to make a
mistake and it is no different, if you make one in practice or on the court in a match. You must meet the challenge head-on and this takes
practice, including your mental practice.
The mental practice, or thought conditioning involves two steps:
1/. Be Aware – that you are frustrated and thinking negatively and this will be the first step in turning the situation around. The key is to
recognise the feeling in practice or when playing a match. Do not deny this frustration and do not feel you are a victim – you must not, at
this stage, think in a negative way i.e. ‘’After all my practice, I’m still missing.’’ This does not help you overcome the situation one little bit,
and will make the matter worse.
2/. Focus Forward. You must practice changing negative thinking immediately it happens. Start using self-talk to turn around and meet the
challenge head-on. Start practicing the exact opposite to the way you normally think. If you practice this consistently in practice it will slowly
kick in when playing in matches.
It is imperative to stay focused at ALL TIMES - forget the failures and focus on the next point, there is absolutely nothing you can do now
about the last point. Frustration is the kiss of death in the competitive field.
We should always learn from our mistakes and we will gradually make less. Failures can make you either weak or strong, practice correct
thinking – the ball is in your court.