Famous authors regularly use 3 different conflicts mankind can face in their works. Those conflicts are Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, and Man vs. Self. A tennis player can go through these same 3 conflicts in a tennis match, with very different results.
Man vs. Man is the only conflict that a player should be in during a match. A competitor needs to keep the focus on their opponent and nothing else. Keeping the conflict as Man vs. Man keeps the mindset right for a peak performance and win or lose it leaves no room for excuses that ultimately hold back growth. The only excuse for a loss is “today my opponent played better than me and now I need to learn from that experience and get better.”
The battle of Man vs. Nature in the context of a tennis match is when a player focuses on things like the wind, sun, court surface, strings, etc. As soon as a player shifts the battle of the tennis match away from Man vs. Man to Man vs. Naturethe match is just about over and an implosion is impending. This conflict also limits what a player can learn from the match to better their games.
The battle of Man vs. Self is when a player focuses on internal struggles with things like their technique, confidence, or injury. Again as soon as a player shifts the focus of conflict away from Man vs. Man to Man vs. Self the match is just about over. The time to have conflicts with self is on the practice court, pushing yourself to improve. Practice and training days are about yourself and matches are about your opponent.
Credit to Friend and Mentor, Coach Chuck Kriese, for sharing this one with me…