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Every tennis player knows that occasionally they are off their game for one reason or another, and they struggle to find their normal level of play.

This can just be a one off, but if it happens regularly then you need to address the situation.

A Bad Day

What usually happens when you have a bad day? It is human nature to blame external influences for your mistakes. You gradually become more and more emotional and the day gets progressively worse.

When this happens in tennis it is fatal, you tend to make bad decisions, rush things, take your eye off the ball and a tendency to choke in key moments.

When this occurs two things tend to come to mind;

This player is too good, I can’t win against him
This is too hard, if I felt normal I would be OK

Focusing On The Bad

These two nagging doubts make the player focus on the problems. And when a player starts thinking about the problems, his emotional state becomes even more negative. Consequently his level of play drops and he is proved right, he is having a bad day.

A Winning Attitude

To address the situation firstly you need to realise and see the reality as it is. In reality – you are having a bad day. So what will happen? When you aim for the lines, your shots will probably go out. When you attack with your risky slice approaching it will sail long. When you try a super drop shot it won’t make it over the net.

Instead of dreaming about how luck is against you, or that you are bound to lose, you have to fight against the feelings with everything you have. Accept the reality as it is and do your best to deal with the situation in a different manner.

Change Your Game

Play percentage tennis,if you have problems with your serve then change it. Stop hitting 150 mph balls if only a small percentage actually go in. Serve a slower and more consistent first serve and serve a second serve more to the middle. Your opponent may be able to punish this, but if so you have lost nothing anyway.

When you are having a bad day focus solely on your game, and not what the opponent is doing. You cannot play against your difficulties and your opponent. Outsmart your own problems first, then deal with your opponent.

See the problem, start looking for solutions. Focus on improving your tennis first and then start playing against your opponent.

Contact your local club and speak to the tennis pro about how to deal with negative days. Tennis World Lane Cove and others like it can give you really good information about such tactics.