You know how sportswriters pour adulation on athletes who never make excuses for themselves? I am not like that. My singles opponent today played level 3 last year. He was demoted a level because he won less than half of his games. I was a level 5 player last year. I have been promoted to level 4 even though I played only 5 matches before my season ended with injury.

So I am sometimes in a situation where it is clear that my opponent is a better tennis player than I am. I had a fleeting fear that I might get shut out completely after losing only the first game and I got a bit discouraged as his kick serve flew over my racket before I recognized that it was a kick serve. But most of the time I was able to concentrate on the mental prepration for each shot: I free my neck, smile at the thought of winning the next point, think about where I want to place my upcoming shot and mentally rehearse the next stroke, usually a serve or return of serve. I lost singles 1-6 but I didn’t have that feeling you get when you know you played badly and should have won. He was the better player.

One very nice thing about team sports is that your teammates stick around to watch you play even when you are losing badly. O.k., my teammate is the league scorer and he has to stay until the end but I still appreciate it.

Practice and Competition: played league tennis today, one set of doubles and one set of singles: 4-6, 1-6
Solutions Analysis: looking for a solution to the problem of rushing my shot when my opponent is at the net.
Success Analysis:
1. I didn’t feel nervous or melt down this week, the nervousness/ignore the score affirmation must be working. Of course, as you can see above, the score was never close in the singles so I was not dealing with second deuce sudden death points either.
2. I was able to consistently serve to my opponents backhand. My serve stance feels very stable and give me consistent results.

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