No Fun At All

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Hi Larry,

What do you say to, and/or how do you coach someone who simply isn't having any fun at practice?

I am intimately close to someone who goes to practice and always loses patience with himself for making mistakes.  It's practice, it's not about winning and losing, it's about working on the game.  But the focus is soon blotted out by the desire to play better and compete.  That pressure results in mistakes, resulting in increased pressure, more mistakes, more anger....etc, etc.  The end result is an utter lack of desire to continue playing, which is also baffling because he really wants to play.    

It is time to take a break from the game?  Find a way to exercise greater brain power during practice? 

R8ng_stinks (not verified)
Re: No Fun At All

Hi Larry,  

I've known what was needed for several months, but I typically ignore my own advice.  Now that I've admitted my issues publicly and received advice, hopefully I can institute improvement and change.  My "friend" is not well liked by me when my attitude is so poor, and that doesn't help much either.  I've realized a few issues outside of table tennis involved in my self-control decline, and I'll be working on them.  Then I'll start working on sports again...

Thanks much!

Larry Hodges
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Joined: 11/19/2010
Re: No Fun At All

Hi R8, it's tough dealing with a player who isn't having any fun at the game. I've had to deal with it as well. There's not a whole lot you can do - it has to come from him, though you can make gentle suggestions. If he really wants to be a better player, he should study some sports psychology, and perhaps he'll realize how he is inhibitting both his immedate play and his future improvement. You may want to direct him to the links on sports psychology on this site. He could work with Dora Kurimay or get either With Winning in Mind by Lanny Bassham or The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey - but they won't help unless he decides to take it seriously. If not, then there's little that can change his attitude. He might also consider taking a break from the game while he reads one of these books, and then when he returns, perhaps he'll be more motivated.