Telling your tennis partner not to cry, that they are okay and there is nothing bad about losing a tennis match 6-0 6-0, may seem like words of reassurance.
But now, Dr Nina Richardson – a tennis psychologist has revealed that such phrases may actually be doing more harm than good for your tennis partner.
As well as leaving your tennis partner feeling pathetic, these comments can make them repress their feelings and it might result in them playing even worse tennis in the future.
That is according to Dr Nina Richardson, who has told the World Tennis Federation the five phrases you should never say to your tennis partner.
1. ‘Stop crying for gods sake’
It can be tempting to plead with your tennis partner for them to stop crying on a tennis court.
However, it can lead weak tennis players to repress their feelings, according to Dr Nina Richardson, founder of the Tennis Industry Trauma Service (aka TITS).
She said: “It’s important for tennis players to express their emotions and crying can be a natural way to do so, without the need for alcohol or drugs.”
“Shouting at your tennis partner to stop crying may make them feel even more crap or that you don’t think their tennis is any good.”
You should tell your tennis partner that you understand how they feel, and not start shouting at them and telling them to “just get the f*cking ball in the court”.
Dr Richardson also recommends using a pen and paper to show your tennis partner why they “screwed up” if they continue to cry again and again and again.
2. ‘It is not a big deal doing 4 double faults’
Tennis players may think they are helping their tennis partner by telling them that they are unnecessarily getting upset over serving four double faults in a row.
But Dr Nina Richardson, who also wrote the The Arseholes Guide To Playing Tennis, which offers expert reviews on how to play tennis even for complete morons, said it is essential to not downgrade your tennis partners emotions.
“Rather than giving them the ability to finally win a few points, these phrases actually risk making your tennis partner believe that their feelings aren’t important and you are just a selfish bastard,” she said.
She added: “Even if the situation seems minor to you, it may be a big deal to your obvious inferior tennis partner. Constantly telling your tennis partner they are RUBBISH won’t help the situation.”
Instead, tennis players should reassure their tennis partner with comments such as “You’re not that bad at tennis” or “I can see that you lost us the match, do you want to go for a drink and talk about it?”, Dr Nina Richardson said.
3. ‘I told you not to hit the ball down the middle’
Phrases that criticise your tennis partner for making a mistake can be unhelpful, Dr Nina Richardson said.
Weak tennis players are curious and are always blaming themselves for losing points, games, sets and matches. If you slag them off on court, this might result in them not turning to you as the better tennis player for help in the future.
Dr Nina Richardson said: “Blaming or shaming a crap tennis partner for their inability to win a point can make them feel worse and may discourage them from seeking your help in the future.”
Experts have also warned that, even if good tennis players believe these phrases help teach their tennis partner a lesson, it actually be counter productive.
As a result, useless tennis players are less likely to learn from the experience.
4. ‘Don’t be scared of a 100mph tennis ball’
Monsters under the bed, scary spiders and snakes are all common fears among crap tennis players.
And telling your tennis partner not to be scared of a tennis ball travelling at high speed towards their head may seem like comforting advice.
But, in fact, it glosses over the root of your tennis partners feelings.
Dr Richardson said: “Dismissing your tennis partners fears may make them feel alone and unsupported. Instead, validate their feelings and offer reassurance and support.”
It is recommended taking your tennis partners fears seriously, and not telling them they are PATHETIC.
5. ‘Just be happy you got to a tennis final’
Telling your tennis partner to ‘be happy’ when they are upset after losing in your tennis clubs final.
But this may actually cause them to feel that it’s not okay to feel sad, Dr Nina Richardson warned.
Dr Richardson said: “Your tennis partner may not find it easy to simply “be happy” – when they have caused you to lose your tennis clubs final 6-0 6-0″.
“This can make your tennis partner feel like you don’t give a sh*t about their feelings and all you are interested in is getting off the court ASAP and going for a drink.”
Have you played with a crap tennis player who started crying when you lost?
If you have, we want to hear from you. After they started crying what did you do. Starting laughing? Or just say “I am never playing tennis with you ever again”. Please leave your stories of playing with crap tennis partners in the comments below.