I got really nervous as the wind blew and the second deuce sudden deaths kept piling up. Finally I had a bit of a meltdown and missed a bunch of easy shots. As soon as the match was over the nervousness was immediately gone.

I know many figures in sports who absolutely hate to lose. Don Shula comes to mind. His daughter said the family kept their distance from him after a Miami Dolphin loss because he took it so hard. Is it necessary to hate losing to be a winner? I think that the process of wallowing over a loss is similar to being obsessed by a previous point while playing a match. If I am thinking about something that already happened, I cannot possibly concentrate on what I’m supposed to be doing at the moment.

After I lose a match, particularly if I lose due to a meltdown, I think about the improvements I need to win next time and then come up with a plan to make these improvements. Here is my current plan: do the nervousness affirmation again, mentally rehearse thinking about where I want the ball to land instead of thinking about technique, mentally rehearse taking my time to hit a solid return of a soft second serve.

Next, I lift my head up out of the puddle I am wallowing in and write down the things I did well because there are probably a lot of them.

I considered jumping into a sty with a bunch of pigs and wallowing to my heart’s content. Completely exhausting an emotional response is a good way to get past it and the silliness of wallowing would probably become very apparent to me.

Practice and Competition Report: I started league play today, we play one set of doubles and one set of singles: 7-6 (7-4), 5-7
Solutions Analysis:
1. looking for a solution to getting nervous. Possible solution: use the directive affirmation for nervousness again. Obviously it didn’t work the first time.
2. looking for a solution to the problem of losing my stroke during a match. Possible solution: clear my mind of any strategy for the time being and think only about where I want the ball to land when I hit it.
3. looking for a solution to rushing the return of my opponent’s soft second serve. When I rush this shot, the ball ends up in the net or somewhere else it shouldn’t go.
Success Analysis:
1. I had only one double fault at a time when the wind blew and the sun was directly overhead.
2. My reactions were very good, I flicked my racket out there and caught a good number of balls cleanly. I also ran down a lot of balls.
3. I realized that I just had to keep the ball in the court instead of going for a lot of winners because my opponent was making enough mistakes without my help.

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