We have all been there, you are playing a match and it´s just not your day. You feel frustrated when missing a ball, your movement is slow, you don´t feel your racquet like you normally do, especially your groundstrokes don´t feel natural at all and you are rushing things way more than normal.
Bad days for sure don´t only happen on the tennis court, you will also suffer from bad days in your daily life. The good thing is that a day that started bad doesn´t have to end bad, the same thing applies to a tennis match.
But what usually happens on bad days? You keep blaming everything for the mistakes that you make, you become disappointed after again another lost point and you might even become very emotional.
If one of these things happen to you (which i´m sure atleast one of them does), it will result in bad shot decisions and not being able to think clear about the match.
Stay calm! Fight for every point and don´t you ever give up!
The only thing that should count when you are having a bad day is the end result of the match. So how can you win a match when you have the idea that you play absolutely terrible…..
The player that put´s his focus on the past mistakes or stays in a negative state of mind, will not overcome their adversity that day to step of the court as the winner. You know that you are having a bad day so don´t even think about getting frustrated or it might be a better idea to shake your opponents hand and go home.
If you manage to stay calm you still have a chance to win the match, if you get frustrated on a bad day the chances of winning the match are really close to 0%.
Your playing mindset and game plan totally needs to change. When you are having a bad day and you are trying to hit the line, it will probably go to out. When you are going for an ace, your serve might actually even end up on the rooftop of the cafeteria just behind your court. When you want to play a dropshot, it might become end up on your own service line.
Maybe i exaggerated a bit, but examples like these are the reality of having a bad day, right?
So how can you win a match when you´re having a really bad day?
Winning on bad days will have a lot to do with if you are willing to work hard, it comes down to your attitude. You will need a huge fighting spirit with a positive attitude.
When reached this mindset, try to analyze the mistakes that you make. These mistakes can be technical, tactical, mental and physical.
Start first with your footwork. Tennis starts from the ground up, which means that your footwork should be your nr. 1 priority. You can have the best forehand in the world, but if you are not in the right position (too far away or too close to the ball) this amazing forehand won´t win you a lot of points.
Maybe you don´t follow through enough even though you practiced it the day before or maybe you come up way to early on a low ball.
Let´s say that you don´t feel the ball much on this day. What will help you a lot on those bad days is to play more percentage tennis, which is quite simple to understand…. Go back to the basics of tennis, PLAY THE BALL INSIDE THE COURT. Play the balls further from the lines and try to aim for a higher 1st serve percentage. You want to make your opponent really work hard to win their points, don´t give away any presents on the court. You are not Santa Claus 🙂
If your serve is not really working, start thinking realistic. Don´t go for an ace when the percentage of these serves are very low, play a more safe serve, further away from the lines and a bit slower than usual to start the rally.
Focus on your own game and attack the problems your game might suffer from that day. Since it´s YOU that´s having a bad day, don´t make things to complicated for yourself by over-analyzing the game of your opponent. First solve your own problems and after attack your opponents game.
Don´t give up when having a bad day, show fighting spirit and step off the court as the winner! Or atleast as the player that gave it his all 🙂