Friday, April 15, 2016

Tennis Burnout- Taking time off

Kristianne Bontempo & Katelyn Caniford | Towpath Tennis Contributors

So you’re feeling the tennis burnout. Weeks go by and you realize you’re not progressing in your lessons, as well as not winning your matches. It’s easy to get frustrated and want to quit altogether, but before you make any decisions you might regret, here’s some tips on how to get your game back when you feel like you’ve hit a wall.
Take time off - If you’re beginning to feel like playing all the time is doing more harm than good, you might want to consider taking a break from the game. Especially if you’re starting to feel both physically and mentally exhausted. Don’t feel guilty, even the professionals need a break here and there. Create a short term plan for yourself by taking a week off and if you don’t find that you’re missing tennis just yet, try extending your break a little longer. Maybe a whole month is what you’ll need to feel rejuvenated and excited about the game again.

But the team needs you - If you’re struggling to decide if taking some time off is really necessary, especially if you’re team is pressuring you to play or you’re committed to a weekly drill, then try first minimizing the days you want to play. If you’re currently playing 4 days/week, cut it down to 3, then 2. Time away from the court will not only be beneficial to your physical and mental well-being, but it will give you time to hopefully forget some bad habits you felt like you were struggling with in your game. 

Forget the negative thoughts – “I’m no good, my teammates think I suck, I just want to quit.” Sometimes walking on the court can become a dark, dreary place if you’re stuck in a funk. But if you absolutely refuse to take a break, then it’s time to change how you look at the game. Why did you start playing tennis? Did you want to get fit, want to play with your friends, or do you really just love it? Many times when players get into this downward spiral, coaches will often have players start back at the basics—in other words, strip yourself from what is making your tennis experience so negative. If you’re on the biggest losing streak of your life, take a few private lessons to focus on your biggest crutch. If you don’t like the people you’re playing with, find another group. If you’re feeling too much pressure to win your matches, then skip a match or two.

One good thing to keep in mind here is that even if you do end up needing a short break, remember that you’re not missing out if you don’t play for a while. Even if tennis is your time for socialization, your friends won’t forget about you. They’ll understand that you need to do what’s best for you and when you do decide it’s time to return, it’ll be like you never left! Also, make sure that when you do make your big return that it’s when you’re excited about tennis again! Think of your ‘comeback’ (even if it’s a week) as a fresh start to a whole new you. Come back with a positive attitude and start having some fun again! 

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