The 2012 Canadian Open Grand Prix was held at the Richmond Olympic Oval this past week July 11-14th. The oval is one of the toughest venues to play in due to the large size (both length and height), ice rinks which create cold conditions as well as drafts, and unfortunate lighting. I played in this tournament right after playing in the US Open GPG which was in OCBC in Orange, California.
I was drawn against a Canadian player named Sirgey Shantako who is an amazing player so it was going to be a tough match right from the get go. I did not however expect it to be that tough to be a blow out. I was able to rally with him and not make things entirely easy but I was not able to win points, unforced errors killed me as well as playing the wrong strategy. Watching the video I can spot things that are wrong with my game in the technical sense, footwork/movement, technique for shots, etc. He is a very very consistent player so already it was a tough match based on that, I needed to take chances but I didn’t do that =/
Playing the flat game with him was the better strategy to play as I felt comfortable playing that as well it was easier to see the shuttle that was as opposed to hitting high. Playing the net was not the easiest thing; his net shots were tight and usually always rolling over making it hard to return. But I feel that it was/is the mental side of things that killed me these two tournaments (US Open and Canadian Open). Because of this I am a little weary of attending anymore tournaments in the immediate future. I also hate to let down my country and feel horrible about having results like that then requesting to attend another international tournament. It is just a horrible compounding feeling that feeds off of itself.
I feel that I put too much pressure on myself based on expectations. Earlier this year I competed in Asia and I did so much better I felt better on court and that was reflected during my games. After coming back from that I tried to train hard and get to a new level but with that I expected myself to get better results and thus putting unwanted and unneeded pressure onto my game. This didn’t allow me to relax and play naturally to have fun on court and made me tense and uneasy. I am not entirely sure why I have these high expectations for myself and need to readjust my mentality before I step on court again for a tournament. It looks like it is time to make a trip down to my sports psychologist in Calgary when I am back.
All in all I am mentally exhausted, completely drained up top and that definitely showed in these two tournaments (US Open and Canadian Open) I added unneeded expectations and pressure only to further mentally burn out.
I am back for just under 15 days and then I head out to China again to train for a month and a bit. So much to do in those 15 days though that time is going to fly by and then I’ll be flying over to Asia again to train. I am really looking forward to that, to bring my game to the next level. Get stronger, faster, smarter, and keep on pushing forward.