This week’s tip is in response to a reader’s question.
“…why is it that I can play against 3.5 guys and beat them and even hold my own against a 4.0 guy….but when I play league play against women I play like crap and lose? (I’m rated 3.0 woman…..probably should be a 3.5)… When I play women, their serves are so easy I stand way inside to receive and this seems to throw the whole thing off. And I’m sure lots of it is mental. For some reason I just have a ton more confidence playing against a guy.”
I think I know the problem and yes it is a little mental. Two things are happening.
- When you play women you are putting more pressure on yourself. You feel that you should win and since they are league matches that puts even more pressure on you. Pressure and expectations do bad things to your brain and, therefore, your strokes.
- The other thing that I think is happening is that the lesser pace women give you is throwing off your timing and making you think about your shots instead of just hitting them. You may also be taking your eye off the ball(see last week’s tennis tip) to glance where you are going to hit it. Also, their balls are probably bouncing more straight up and down, making you change your stroke and think a lot more about it. When you are playing against the guys’ pace you can just react, and your strokes flow.
Answer: You just need to keep your eye on the ball, your feet moving and try not to over hit. Keep the ball in play and expect long points. Once you get into the match and get used to the slower pace, you can start to hit out a little more and go for more winners. Check out these previous tips for more help…One More Ball, Mental Focus, Move Your Feet, and Play Like a Dog