When you’re at the top of your game, it’s hard not to want to let people know it. After an exciting win, it’s hard not to want to celebrate or compare it to other victories from your record. This is definitely understandable. In fact, no one can blame you for it, as everyone loves a good success story. Unfortunately, talking about how many wins you have or how great you are at tennis may be perceived as big-headed or unsportsman-like. There could be other downfalls to these practices—some of which could affect your games in the future or cause some coaches to see you as unteachable.
Okay, so what’s wrong with wanting to talk about your wins? For one, it seems like you’re bragging. Bragging is annoying, and it’s kind of like a little kid saying, “look what I did” over and over. It also psychs you up to keep winning, even when the odds aren’t in your favor. This can lead to a serious letdown in the event of a loss. Again, no one likes a pompous player, so people other than your loved ones may start rooting against you just out of spite. There is significant evidence that having the crowd cheering for you increases your chances of pulling a W.
Being a graceful winner makes you out to be the good guy. It makes you seem humble and possibly helpful to younger players. No one wants to be the guy on the court that everyone avoids because all they talk about is their last big win and how easy the match was. If you constantly talk about how good you are at tennis people are going to stop caring, stop listening, and stop approaching you for general conversations. They will feel like all you want to do is tell them how awesome you are. When the truth is, there will probably always be someone better. What about humblebragging—you know, where you basically complain about your talent? Don’t be the player that adds to the 70% of people that have heard a humblebrag lately. Your scores and your record will speak for itself.
Talking about how great you are in tennis isn’t a great idea either. Mentioned earlier was the fact that coaches may not want to work with you. Coaches and players have a special relationship. The coach does their thing by giving tips and strategies to the player. The player plays his part by listening to and performing those strategies. If you act like you already know everything there is about the sport, and often tell people how great you are most coaches will walk away quickly. It makes it hard for them to do their job and it also puts them in a rough spot. Inevitably, when you lose, you’ll blame them. It might sound crazy, but coaches make money the better you perform because they can pick up new clients. It’s generally a win-win situation, where you make them look good and they make you look better. A coach and player team that has a strong record is great for both parties.
It’s not to say that a great coach won’t agree to work with you if you’re always talking about how awesome you are in tennis, it just leads them to the belief that you will be a difficult player and un-coachable. More psychology: sometimes when a person is told repeatedly that they can’t do something, or they won’t win, or don’t stand a chance… it makes them try that much harder. You may be setting yourself up for failure by continually talking about your victories. By nature, sports players are competitive. Other participants may see your record as a challenge. They may play harder than ever before just to put you in your place. It’s not to say you can’t or won’t win, it just may be more of a fight.
Lastly, having an off day and an embarrassing loss is worse if you’re known for broadcasting your record, how easily you win, or the fact you’re great at the sport. You almost make yourself the antagonist in a movie plot. And let’s face it, no one pulls for the bad guy. It’s not to say you can’t talk about how many wins you have or the amount of success on the court. It’s really all in how you do it. If it comes up, say what you have to say. Be humble but don’t humblebrag. Offer to help younger players or maybe give a few pointers to newbies. Kindness will almost always beat out being boastful.