Saturday, March 9, 2013

Are you a competitive player?

Kristianne Bontempo | Online Store Manager | Legit Tennis Fanatic

Three ways to deal with competition:
  1. Embrace competition
  2. Defend against competition
  3. Avoid competition
What type of player are you?

Scenario #1: You’re in a tournament. Balls are no longer coming at a man-made pace. They are more like bullets zinging past you or landing around your feet. Your winners are becoming THEIR winners. You try one approach, then another but nothing seems to work. What do you do?
  1. After letting your racquet “slip out” of your hands a few times, you realize it’s time to get out of this mess and save your reputation. You pull a back muscle, you start to limp, your strings have gotten too loose, you have a plane to catch.
  2. Set yourself a new goal. You find yourself preparing early, leaning into your shots, following through. You focus on playing one point at a time, seeing how many times you can get the ball back over the net.
  3. Because your ground strokes seem to be going awry, you retreat to a defensive stand well behind the baseline and half-heartedly flail away at what you can.
Scenario #2: Oh no, your group has you playing against someone who’s a level below you and pushes the ball too softly for you to hit it properly, uses some kind of weird spin on the serve, and has extraordinary luck with volleys off the rim. What do you do?
  1. Figure out how to play this kind of opponent and learn to enjoy solving this kind of problem.
  2. Call the league organizer later to complain about your court and request you only play with certain other players.
  3. Grumble about the bad shots you’re getting, wish your opponent to hit the ball harder, and reiterate how this kind of game is hurting yours.
Scenario #3: You’re playing a league doubles match. You feel your opponents are beatable but your partner is having a really off day. What do you do?
  1. Groan or roll your eyes to your opponents about your own frustration with your partner.
  2. Refuse to play with that partner again.
  3. Compliment your partner’s good shots even if they’re not pretty or don’t win the point.
Scenario #4: Your opponent has now made two bad line calls. What do you do?
  1. Say nothing as you don’t want to start something unpleasant.
  2. Look to get even on the calls, maybe at a key game point.
  3. To show you have some doubt, just ask if your opponent is sure on the call, then raise your shot-making goal to hit every ball unquestionably inside the lines.
1) a. 1pts b. 3pts c. 2pt   2) a. 3pts b. 1pt c. 2pts   3) a. 2pts b. 1pt c. 3pts   4) a. 1pt b. 2pts c. 3pts

10-12 points: You not only embrace a challenge, but you attack and revel in it. The competition becomes part of you. You set goals for yourself, find ways to meet them, and then set new goals. Bravo for sticking it out and staying tough until you’ve achieved a new level of success!
7-9 points: You give yourself plenty of excuses when you need them, minimize or criticize your opponents or partner, and find the end result more important than the journey. You’re not driven by the challenge of the sport but maybe by protecting your reputation or social status. If this sounds all too familiar, it’s time to get your goals realigned.
4-6 points: Even though you have your competitive moments, the thought of sitting through a challenging match diminishes any enthusiasm you had left. You might be relieved when it’s over, and feel hopeless about your efforts. It’s a negative or overwhelming experience for you. You need to rethink why you’re playing, maybe go back to some basics, and try to find the fun in tennis.

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