Anger in young tennis players
Many young players develop by playing tournaments in their city, country and, in some cases, the world. They are already at a young age in very competitive situations that put a lot of psychological and emotional pressure on them. One of the reactions to this pressure is anger – one of the emotional responses that manifests itself in the intense competitive environment of junior tennis.
How often and how intense is anger, and how long does it last for young players?
In general, anger tends to occur infrequently and be low-intensity or short-lived. However, one has to wonder if teens really know what they are experiencing on the court. In all likelihood, most, if not all of you have coached players who were confident they were doing the right thing on court, but in reality they were doing quite differently. This is one of the problems when they have to rely on their personal perception of what they are doing on the court. They may have very little understanding of what they are actually doing.
Video recording of their matches can be an important tool in helping to raise awareness of the player’s behavior. You and your charge can review the match together and discuss how he or she reacted in critical situations.
Raising awareness is a key step towards making a change in the evolution of the young player’s psychology!
What makes young players angry?
Anger in young tennis players occurs when players get angry with their opponents for things like cheating or their “clumsy” punches leading to a point. They also get angry in situations in which adults may question their abilities, such as losing to someone they feel is weaker for themselves. Often, anger also arises when players are negative about themselves in the form of self-criticism.
Causes like these tend to be very personal and often lead to strong emotional reactions. Therefore, it is necessary to constantly communicate with adolescents about various things that lead them to anger, and then in an accessible form offer effective ways to help avoid or deal with anger.
How does anger affect young players’ play?
Anger, in general, affects both the mental and physical actions of the players. For example, the loss of concentration often occurs through anger.
Physical performance usually declines with anger and takes the form of haste, leading to the desire to quickly play subsequent points, regardless of the result.
Again, heightened self-awareness and constructive emotional responses to anger can help young tennis players avoid the potentially negative effects of anger on successful wrestling.