Strategies to Push Through Fatigue in Matches
Drained… Exhausted… Beat… Worn out… Gassed… Extremely tired…
Do any of these words describe a match you recently played?
How did you handle playing with fatigue?
Were you able to dig deep and find a way to keep competing for every point or did you succumb to the tired feelings and slowly watch your game slip away?
There is no doubt that tight matches, long matches, several matches with minimal rest or grueling matches can be quite exhausting.
Feeling exhausted is as much mental as it is physical.
When playing in long, competitive matches, your inner voice can be your toughest opponent, “I’m too tired. My arms are heavy. My heart feels like it is going to jump out of my chest. I just want this to be over.”
These negative reminders add to that sense of fatigue you feel.
That negative chatter becomes quite convincing to the point where the only thing you can focus on is the fatigue you are experiencing.
When you are fatigued, the answer is not trying to convince yourself that you are not fatigued…
The key is to convince yourself that you can play at a high level despite being tired.
When it comes to grueling matches and fatigue, there are several realities:
- Both players are experiencing similar circumstances. Each player will be experiencing some degree of fatigue.
- You can still play well tired. You may not have your “A” game but you can always give “A” game effort.
- Someone is going to win and that winner will be the one who focuses on competing rather than fatiguing.
Even though you just want to hit the shower and head home, wouldn’t it be more rewarding to hit the shower as the victor than the one who crumbled?
Tennis player Kiki Bertens refused to allow fatigue to detract from her game at the 2018 Western & Southern Open.
Bertens overcame fatigue and top-ranked opponent Simona Halep 2-6, 7-6, 6-2 to win her first career title.
Bertens was one point away from losing during the second set but she rallied to win the tiebreak and pull off the biggest win in her career.
While talking to her coach Raemon Sluiter, Bertens caught herself thinking about the fatigue she was feeling, then refocused her attention on competing.
BERTENS: “I think it was such a tough match, and after winning that second set I knew anything is still possible. Just keep on going. And then I had a chat with Raemon at 2-1 and I was, like, I’m dead. He’s, like, looking at me. Then I said to myself, No, I can do this. Let’s go for it.”
In her post-match interview, Bertens revealed how she was able to get past the fatigue factor and regain her focus with the help of her coach.
BERTENS: “Raemon also just said, That’s why you put all that hard work in. I was, like, Yeah, I know this feeling. I had this feeling before in the practices. So I know that I can keep on going. It’s for a title, so of course you can always give a little extra and just go for it. And that’s what I did.”
Pushing past the exhaustion and keeping her mind focused on the goal of winning rather that of just being “done” was the key in helping Bertens pull out an amazing victory.
Pushing Through Fatigue:
Challenge yourself in your training sessions. Make those sessions have a purpose. Train harder than you compete. Be ready to stay in long point and long games.
When you’ve battled through fatigue in practice, you’ll be ready to battle hard in those same conditions during matches.
When you think you can’t go another point or game, remind yourself of Mahut and Isner match in the 2010 Wimbledon with a final set of 68-70!
For more strategies on building mental toughness in tennis, check out our audio and workbook program, “Tennis Confidence”:
Learn Proven Tennis Mental Game Strategies To Perform Your Best On The Court!
Are you (or your players) performing up to your ability in competition?
Do you bring your best and most confident game to matches?
I often hear players complain about the following problems when they play in matches…
“I get so tight or tense before matches that I can’t think straight or have any rhythm in my game.”
“I get so frustrated with hitting bad shots or with errors and it snowballs.”
“I expect so much when I play that I unravel and lose confidence when the match does not go as planned.”
“My confidence seems to disappear when I go from practice to matches and I don’t know why.”
Successful tennis players have learned how to perform with ultimate confidence in tournaments.
If you are ready to improve your mental toughness and perform with ultimate self-confidence in matches, Tennis Confidence: Mental Toughness For Tournament Players can help you do this!
- Players: Learn how to take control of your confidence, focus your best, and win more close matches.
- Parents: Help boost your junior tennis player’s confidence for tournaments. Just load the program on your player’s IPod!
- Coaches: Boost your team’s confidence using simple, proven mental strategies.
- Instructors: Learn how to give your students the mental game advantage.
Use Tennis Confidence to help boost your mental toughness in tennis and discover powerful and proven mental game strategies that have helped professional athletes win!
What are mental game customers saying?
“Dr. Cohn did a great job working with my son Joe on his mental skills for tennis. He taught him the mental skills and discipline necessary to move to the next level.”
~Mike Withers, dad of Joe Withers
“Since you last worked with AJ in early September, his National ranking has improved from 349 to 148. His tournament record at one point, since talking with you was 17-4, with 3 of the 4 being in third sets or tiebreakers and 2 of those matches being the same player, whom he has since beaten (you may recall he was on an 0-9 losing streak when we contacted you). His tie-breaker record is at least 90% through last weekend when he won the 18s District tournament with a semi and final match tiebreak win. Your help has definitely improved AJ’s results and his on-court demeanor has substantially improved.”
~Dawn Woodman, A.J.’s Mother