There are players who show a lot of emotion (both positive and negative) on the tennis court. Is this a good or bad thing to do?
Pro Players Performing
Picture Andy Murray missing a shot and then turning and yelling at his “team” in the player’s box. Or Djokovic (or any number of other players) smashing their racquets again and again on the tennis court in disgust. Or, John McEnroe throwing one of his regular temper tantrums after losing on a close line call.
Then, compare that to Leyton Hewitt doing his famous “lawn mower” after winning a big point. Or Rafa Nadal fist pumping after a great two-handed passing shot.
Or, the third option … Roger Federer showing very little emotion (one way or the other) after winning/losing a point. And “the King of Calm,” Bjorn Borg showing absolutely no emotion on the court.
Which way is best?
For me, when I blow a shot, I will typically yell out a one-word expletive (or, maybe yell, “George!!”) … but then I am done with it. That minor release is good enough to let me move on to the next point and generally be free of the negative emotion.
And when I make a “great shot,” in doubles, I will clink racquets with my partner or just turn and walk back to the baseline (trying to imprint the image of that good stroke in my mind for later use).
According to “Psychology Today”, “Negative emotions can hurt performance both physically and mentally. They first cause you to lose your prime intensity. With frustration and anger, your intensity goes up and leads to muscle tension, breathing difficulties, and a loss of coordination. These emotions also sap your energy and cause you to tire quickly. When you experience despair and helplessness, your intensity drops sharply and you no longer have the physical capabilities to perform well.”
How about you… you show emotion on the court or know players who do?
Know someone who should read this? Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at GeorgeWachtel@gmail.com
My Book: if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page to go to Amazon.com, look at the list of places under “My Book” on the bar above, or ask me what clubs are carrying it!