We’ve all dealt with opponents who celebrate after our mistakes, make terrible line calls or grunt loudly on every single shot. Annoying, obnoxious people are everywhere, not just on the tennis court, and its important to learn how to deal with them effectively. Without a plan of attack against this type of player you will allow your performance to drop while giving yourself an excuse to lose. Stop that terrible cycle and start winning more instead! Questions? Comments? Leave them down below. Thank you for watching! Candid Thoughts| Related Posts Leave A Comment Cancel reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 43 Comments Ransom May 18, 2016 at 7:15 pm - Reply I really like videos like this, but they are so long. A lot of great information just hard to take 10:00 to watch it. Always click on every video you post and love the tips and tricks you give. John April 13, 2016 at 7:32 am - Reply I would apply your advice for the rest of the match. Then if the annoying opponent asks to play you again, just say no. Sometimes you just have to limit contact with certain players. Jennifer March 9, 2016 at 3:58 am - Reply Thank you so much. Exactly what I needed to hear today after playing tennis. I really appreciate it. Jimbo February 17, 2016 at 1:26 am - Reply Hi there, how about this one? I play a guy who likes to call the score when I serve, on a pretty consistent basis. It is like he is pacing himself. I have a hard time dealing with this as it seems anal to me. This is not the US Open and I do not lose track of the score. It may seem trivial to you but you probably have not dealt it before. Strange and annoying. Ron February 15, 2016 at 3:37 pm - Reply Hi Ian. Loved your thoughtful comments. I agree with you: We ARE responsible for our actions on court and off. If we beat the opponent that match, we found a way to win. If we lost, they played better and beat us. i love your instruction videos on technique, but this one helps put things in balance. Thanks! Ron Yorgo February 15, 2016 at 1:10 pm - Reply Great Video Ian! I've been teaching tennis for over 30yrs. and I agree completely with with your point of focusing on the "commonality" of professional tennis players strokes. I refer to these as "the non-negotiables" or "The Laws of Tennis". If players focus on these simple "universal truths" they will learn to play effortless tennis. Yorgo C. Yfantopoulos USPTA Elite Pro 1 Ian Westermann February 15, 2016 at 3:03 pm - Reply Nice, I like those phrases, Yorgo! Jim September 16, 2014 at 4:27 pm - Reply Great lesson!! Y Dave hirschkop September 15, 2014 at 12:05 pm - Reply How can you adjust your game and technique if you tend to get tennis elbow? Bruce September 12, 2014 at 11:42 am - Reply Very good lesson. I found the comments tobe helpful also. It is nice to see that others have this same problem and also struggle with it affecting their game. Seeing the big picture , and where this fits in with my entire life can give me a perspective that can change my response Susan Bosveld-Bowyer September 12, 2014 at 10:31 am - Reply Ian… I just watched your video on learning to let go of the negative that's holding you back and flip it to a positive that will instead motivate you and work in your favor. I love it. It is great advice that really can and should be applied in all areas of ones life. It's a message I have been trying to convey for a long time and I think you summed it up well. Thanks Adcourt Bob September 11, 2014 at 5:44 pm - Reply Ian, great advice – not just on the tennis court, but for all aspects of life. I've struggled with his on many occasions – including an on-going problem I just got off the phone with Verizon about. Your comments remind me of Phil 4 in the Bible where the Apostle Paul tells us not to let the troubles or circumstances of this life rob us of the joys of a believer's relationship with Christ – and, thus, to focus on Him and whatever is true, right, pure, lovely, etc, rather than on the negative. Thank you much for that reminder on a day when it was exactly what I needed. Adcourt Bob James September 10, 2014 at 4:57 pm - Reply I think there's a few different types of annoying players, and different scales, so not always a simple question to answer. Here's the types I've encountered: Annoying player type 1: This for me is minor niggles such as taking ages to serve, talking loads or insisting on some rule etc. This is not necessarily deliberate. Annoying player type 2: This player likes to disrupt your game wherever possible and sometimes/often cheats. This type of player is not necessarily unpleasant otherwise and can be quite funny. This is more deliberate. Annoying player type 3: This player takes the game very very seriously and hates losing. When losing reacts with anger towards everything including the opponent. Maybe has noticed that sometimes trying to psychologically intimidate or disrupt the opponent has worked in the past, so might do it again. (There is also the angry player that doesn't do it so deliberately who is not so bad. They usually just bash their racket or rant on about their game but otherwise are pleasant enough 🙂 ) I've played plenty of matches against all types, and I think over time you get better at dealing with it. The 1st type I don't mind too much, and just try to get on with my game and stay pleasant (none of us are perfect, and you don't have to play this player all the time). Maybe hint or do something towards what you want if you need to as they may not realise. 2nd type can be tricky. First thing is not to lose temper, you can respond in a tit for tat way but this tends to escalate the situation so best avoided normally. If things escalate, tempers can easily be lost with this type of player. For me it's best not to talk too much, and take the attitude that they're talking so much because they feel inferior so they need to make up for it. This seems to communicate somehow to them and they then don't talk too much. Sometimes need to take a stand if they obviously cheat etc or go too far. 3rd type is my least favourite, can make the game unpleasant and not enjoyable, even if winning. In fact winning is what brings the behaviour out. Behaviour ranges from outright personal insults to accusing loudly of cheating in front of others for example, and a general sense of anger and not enjoying tennis. For some people playing this type is not a problem, but for those who it is and you can't avoid playing them, I recommend telling them calmly the problem, and if that doesn't work either not playing them or shouting back at them (this type will often back right down when confronted). Or you can play them, win 🙂 and then not play them again, or play them rarely. We had an example of the 3rd type at our club. One day someone completely lost it, shouted at him and told him things in straight terms. He never came back again and everyone at the club found the atmosphere happier. Most people are fine though. I recommend where possible reducing playing the annoying players and increasing the number of normal ones, as it is much more rewarding and will help your tennis. The exception is maybe the good player who is also annoying, but even then I wouldn't play them too often. Pat Gilman September 10, 2014 at 8:39 am - Reply You talk about the mental attitude needed to defeat annoying players. How about talking about the shots needed to overcome the junk,unorthodox, middle of the court player whose shots can never be recognized or anticipated, therefore making it difficult to get to and respond with any power? I play in a contract where the person is there and won't go away. Patricia jones September 10, 2014 at 7:53 am - Reply Very good I will work on these excellent suggestions and share them with tennis partners. Can you answer this question about the rules when playing. If a player at the net hits a volley or drop shot and their body or their clothing touches the net, ( even slightly) who's call is it. Is that player who made the error the only one to call it or can either opponent call it as a fault? I think anyone can call it as a fault but others say no. I say the point goes to us because they made the error. The main question is : who can call the error? Thanks Patty Randal September 10, 2014 at 1:07 am - Reply Ian, Without question your most profound broadcast ever! And I've been a fan since before you left DC. Great seeing you at Peachtree and looking forward to seeing you in Tucson! Ian Westermann September 10, 2014 at 4:46 pm - Reply Thanks for the kind words, Randal. I appreciate it 🙂 Carol September 9, 2014 at 9:46 pm - Reply Very good information! Thanks for your time! Chris September 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm - Reply Use The Force, Luke. ej September 9, 2014 at 1:18 pm - Reply That math is getting tougher and tougher………… How about a series on Trash Talk ej September 9, 2014 at 1:14 pm - Reply This is real. Please respond. Especially last sentence Turning the Tables……..One example My opponent wants all three balls when he serves. Sometimes he uses this to be disruptive about the pace of the match, asks me (or opponent) to get a ball and send it to him. His commentary rolls on during these transactions He points out (court talk) that the server has the right to all three balls. The talk and delays are annoying and sometimes disruptive. Turning the Tables Active Response, an Example My opponent is on serve, he has two balls and is getting ready to serve. The third ball is in an adjacent court where play is going on. I delay, I wait until the adjacent game reaches a point where I can ask them for our ball. I ask for it, they send it over, no problem. After I get the third ball, I send the ball over to my opponent and cheerfully announce, "Here's the third ball for you, I know you like to have it, now you won't double fault." Ian Westermann September 9, 2014 at 2:01 pm - Reply That's walking a fine line, ej. Honestly, I believe that sometimes meeting a offensive player head on is the right thing to do, but those situations are quite rare. Most of the time those kinds of annoyances should be left alone and let go. You aren't going to change their mind, preferences or attitude. In fact, most than likely you'll just make the situation worse by retaliating. Eichinger J September 10, 2014 at 2:59 am - Reply He's 100% entitled to have 3 balls. You should be returning 3 balls to him by the time he serves. Simple as that. If its a let, he's entitled to serve without disrupting his rhythm by hunting a ball from across the court. If you want a real example of sheer idiocy, I played a guy once who wanted FOUR balls each time he served. Ian Westermann September 10, 2014 at 4:46 pm - Reply ^Haha….now that's some gamesmanship! Eichinger J September 11, 2014 at 7:09 pm - Reply ^ I told him to go and get the 4th ball himself if he wanted it. It was on my side of the court 😉 Mahesh September 9, 2014 at 12:47 pm - Reply Great piece Ian. Its such good advice on life in general. Really enjoyed it. Mahesh Ian Westermann September 9, 2014 at 1:58 pm - Reply Thanks for watching, Mahesh! Alfonso Gonzales September 9, 2014 at 12:44 pm - Reply This matter of annoying players and losing your cool. Too vague and funny I have been called that kind of player. So let me express my thoughts to you about this subject. I am a very dedicated player in my commitment to my play with many years of hard work and lessons and viewing the pro moves and tactics.incelebrate very winner I do because usually it is after my opponent has tried to cause me to error or hit a winner on me, and I turn it around on them. Also when I execute a great ground stroke that I have worked on in drills to be able to do in usta play when I am on a team. No one should be negatively judge for Passion and enthusiasm for their game.thee are too many adult men playing usta team tennis with false egos of their actually level of play Ian Westermann September 9, 2014 at 1:58 pm - Reply Very interesting comments, Alfonso! I absolutely agree with you that there are a lot of overly sensitive players out there. That is one of the reasons why I created this video. People need to learn how to not take everything personally and not let harmless actions or words from their opponent completely bend them out of shape. Dan Wellisch September 9, 2014 at 11:55 am - Reply Ian: Any ideas for maintaining intensity during a match? A match is a long time period. What are some effective ways to keep the energy up as much as possible on each and every point. Personally, when the pressure gets turned up, I start thinking about the score, and then I can feel myself let down and be less aggressive. This translates to me hitting a short shot, right in my opponent's sweet spot. Good players will take advantage, come to net, and put me away. Dan Ian Westermann September 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm - Reply Great topic, Dan. I've added it to my list! ZoSo September 23, 2014 at 6:21 pm - Reply I find it hard to maintain intensity during a match. Its kind of exhausting for me to try physically and psychologically, but I do try to maintain focus. Focus on the match, the score, my opponents strengths/weaknesses, what he is/isn't doing to me, angles/power/weapons he has/doesn't have, adjustments to my game plan. etc. I am always turning my attention back to the game. Trying to learn something. Trying to tilt the odds in my favor of setting up winners and eliciting errors. Once my mind wonders… I am done. We've all played some zombie tennis, especially in Doubles. I try to avoid that. I try to maintain intensity by generating my own kind of focus, rhythm, relaxation, and sense that I am dictating the pace of the match, the rhythm of the match, and always having a play to run in my mind, etc. I play lousy tennis once I lose focus. Often when I get intense, I sometimes get tense and muscle the ball, lose rhythm, and errors seem to hurt more emotionally/psychologically too and I become more volatile. So, its tricky for me. Focused, Relaxed, and Loose works a little better for me, gives me the most intensity. Charles London September 9, 2014 at 11:32 am - Reply Great stuff Ian, Thank you for this. During the 1 and half years I have been playing tennis, I have noticed more and more that my physiological condition or my Fung Shi is as much a part of the game as my ground strokes, serves, volleys etc. I know that I can lose a game before a ball is struck if I am not in the right frame of mind. I have noticed the difference in my game, when I have the mental edge and when I do not. Of course this shows in the results of many of my games. This is a good wakeup call and a good reminder that physiology is still really important on the tennis court and that this is deeper that just saying to myself that “I will win this game” . Patrick Brahana September 9, 2014 at 10:14 am - Reply Great video. Luke from personal experience I get a lot more annoyed at distractions on the tennis court if I did not get enough sleep the night before. If you feel yourself getting angry at a distraction take a deep breath and take some practice swings. On the next changeover review your strategy and put a towel over head and close your eyes. Of course easier said than done. Now if I would follow mine and Ian's advice I would have much more fun when I play and be a better tennis player. Ian Westermann September 9, 2014 at 10:48 am - Reply Thanks for sharing your experiences, Patrick! Ron September 9, 2014 at 9:46 am - Reply Well done !!! Speaking of annoying players how about addressing the guy that is very unorthodox. Lots of spin , hitting off back foot for short court winners and of course moon balls. Ian Westermann September 9, 2014 at 10:49 am - Reply Those are always tricky opponents, Ron. Good topic suggestion! Malcolm September 9, 2014 at 8:49 am - Reply Great lesson you got right to the point without too much preamble. Thank you Ian Westermann September 9, 2014 at 10:49 am - Reply You bet, thanks for watching! brian September 9, 2014 at 8:34 am - Reply it's emotional ju jitsu… it's a "power-up"… energy is energy… we decide if it's good or bad. very thoughtful concept, ian. – brian Ian Westermann September 9, 2014 at 10:49 am - Reply Thanks for watching, Brian! Dennis Kramer September 9, 2014 at 8:32 am - Reply Thank you for this very thoughtful discussion and advice. I have had issues with a couple of players in the past and your advice is sound and meaningful. Recently, I have had an issue with a fellow member of an organization we both belong to. We are both officers and often work together on community projects. He has been a 35 year member and resists change. I am a 3 year member and want to make change. He can be very short sighted and annoying. I realize now it is my problem not his. Thank you for pointing me in the right direction. Ian Westermann September 9, 2014 at 10:50 am - Reply Awesome, Dennis. This is a big part of why I love what I do – tennis can teach us so much about life and vice versa. Thank you so much for sharing!