How to Deal with Nerves Before a Tennis Tournament

I thought I was nervous when one of my tennis tournaments was just around the corner. I would have terrible stomach aches before any match. Now I’m experimenting even worse feelings: my daughters’ tournament matches coming up…

Let me go back 3 years ago when I was invited by one of my relatives to assist at his son’s tennis matches. My relative was a pack of nerves. He would comment at his son’s decision making, he’d stand up or sit down every five minutes, he’d clap… he even got into an argument with the father of his son’s opponent.
I thought: why can’t he just relax and watch the match?

I then made a commitment that I would never act the way this particular parent did.
But in spite of that, I almost lost it at my daughters first tournament…
I felt the need to get up and give them instructions, tell them where to position themselves, to remind them to keep the score (well, they kind of needed that in their first tournament because they were very nervous too). Controlling myself was really hard.

Now, after many tournaments that my daughters have played, and with another one just around the corner, I feel the butterflies in my stomach already. I am in a constant state of nerves and can’t sleep at night very well… I am stressed.

And I think to myself:
Why do I have to feel like this? What is all the stress for?
What is the worst that can happen: lose a match, not get a trophy?
So what???

I need to constantly remind myself to forget about being too competitive and expect so much from my daughters.
I need to know that these tennis tournaments are just opportunities for them to meet and play against different players.
During the previous tournament they had a blast when some of the boys asked them to play doubles with them. It was so much fun! You could see on their faces how much they enjoyed making new friends playing this beautiful sport…

I also need to stop expecting them to win the tournaments (even though they have been getting very close to doing so quite a few times).

The expectations I put on myself are the ones that prevent me from enjoying watching my kids playing and competing.

I am terrible not realising what a splendid chance they have to play a sport that is so respected, to meet quality people and stay healthy while other kids watch TV or get involved in the so many un-productive activities that our young population is now exposed to.

So I say to myself: “Cosmin, be happy and enjoy these moments, these days and years that are unique!”
Winning or losing is relative – the experience and how it makes us feel is what matters.

Have fun playing and competing in tennis! 🙂

Cosmin Miholca

Certified Tennis Teaching Professional

How to Handle Bad Line Calls in Tennis

bad line calls in tennisAs you have probably noticed by now, all the articles that I have sent your way are based on personal tennis experience…
Today, again, I come with some pieces of advice that you can take with you on the court, especially knowing that Saturday morning is match time for most of you! 🙂
(Mental Tennis Tips)

One of the things that I “brag” to my students is that I have never argued with any of my opponents, in my entire tennis life! And here is why:

– Arguing creates negative energy that affects your game in a negative way (there are very few exceptions when arguing actually helps someone’s game).

– There is a chance that you actually did not see the ball well – you “could” be wrong.

– If you do think that your opponent was unfair with the call, disagree with her/him in a polite manner. You will let her/him know, in this way, that you are actually watching them and you too keep a good eye on what is happening on the court.

– Do not get angry. Stay positive! This is my best advice because I am a firm believer in the fact that if you stay on the positive side, good things will come (or turn) your way.

– And lastly – regardless of the match outcome you DO want to be able to look into your opponent’s eyes and feel good about yourself at the end of the match. Don’t let the bad calls ruin a potential friendship with your opponent even though she/he might not be perfect in calling the shots correctly all the time!


Cosmin Miholca