Do You Talk Yourself into Having a Bad Season?


How to Turn Around a Bad Season

Have you ever had a bad year? I mean a year that nothing seemed to go right?

Getting wrapped up in ‘having a bad year’ can drain your confidence. The perception of ‘‘having a bad year’ will create a snowball effect where things seem to go from bad to worse.

One such example is the season experienced by Monica L…

Monica is a 15 year-old who made a huge jump in her level of play during the previous season.

Monica had great hopes for the upcoming season but, after a few mishaps early in the season, her play on the court declined rapidly.

Monica’s strength was her serve but not this season.

Monica couldn’t find the box on her serve and would find herself frequently trailing early in matches.

Not only did Monica lose her confidence, but she would also lose her composure during matches.

As Monica played, the signs of frustration were obvious.

Monica lost her will to compete as well as her love for tennis.

Monica felt trapped in an endless negative loop and felt there was nothing she could do to get out of the ‘bad season’ cycle…

When you feel stuck in a bad season, feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, frustration, anger and sadness will dominate your emotions. But these negative emotions are a consequence of how you think.

If you think you are having a bad season, negative emotions will follow.

If you think you are having a bad season and believe there is nothing you can do about it, your practice habits will be negatively affected and you will not fully prepare for each match.

If you think you are having a bad season, you will approach a match with a negative mindset and give less than 100% effort…

Your confidence will wane… You will be distracted… You will not be motivated or determined… And, after a few early mistakes, you will have that “here-we-go-again” feeling.

If you want to talk about a bad year, look no further than Bernard Tomic’s 2017 season.

Tomic had 13 first-round losses in 2017 and is in danger of not qualifying for the Australian Open. In fact, the former world number 17 has plummeted down the rankings to 144th.

Tomic has appeared listless, disinterested during matches and resigned to lose at times. On occasion, he has served up more double faults than aces.

During many post-match interviews, Tomic expressed frustration, seemed angry and has lashed out in negative rants against fans.

TOMIC: “Throughout my career I’ve given 100%, I’ve also given 30%. But if you balance it out, I think all my career has been around 50% and I haven’t really tried, and still achieved all of this.”

Tomic’s bad season has affected his emotions, attitude, effort and performance.

What’s the solution? How can you turn things around when nothing seems to go right?


This may be easier said than done but you need to approach each match as a brand new match and an opportunity to turn things around.

You cannot carry the weight of yesterday. If you change your self-talk, you can change your level of preparation, attitude towards each match and level of play on the court.

It all starts with your self-talk.

Turning around a Bad Season:

Instead of thinking about what you failed to do during the season, extract some small personal victories from the season.

When you focus on the positive aspects of your game, you can separate missed chances and focus of new opportunities.

If you focus learning, growing, and improving after every match–win or lose–then success will follow improvement.

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