The Yin Yang of Tennis ….and Life

As In Tennis So In Life

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Something happened on the tennis court this week that got me thinking about the truth behind the quote about our greatest strength also being our greatest weakness. I didn’t think I was under any illusions about my tennis skills. I know I need to work on my backhand, strengthen my forearm, and work on a slice and drop shot. But I feel confident about my quick reflexes and net play and I am fast when retrieving balls. In fact, I am probably a little cocky about my “feel for the game.”

That’s why I was so shocked when I asked a player with great tennis skills who I have been playing with this last month what she thought I could be working on next to improve my tennis game. Unhesitatingly and with an assuredness that left me dumbfounded she replied, “Your movement on the court: your anticipation.”

“What? Are you sure you have been watching me?” I wanted to ask. “I am the agile, quick one, I wished to add.”

I did what I usually do when faced with an alternative reality to the one I am believing: I went home, mulled her words, and gave it some thought. I started with other people because that is always, always easier for me. I saw how the strength/weakness divide was exactly true for everyone else: power hitters who need to soften and slow down their shots and placement strategists who need to work on more power in their game. Humm….

It is true I often let shots down the middle go to the person in back of me instead of intercepting them and I barely make some of the trickier service returns. And I am remembering during one clinic I attended the coach worked on anticipation and gave me lots of feedback that day. Maybe I do need to work on the way I move on the court. Perhaps feeling that I can react quickly has left me lazy about anticipating and less aggressive than I might be if I wasn’t relying on my quick reflexes.

And yes, as in tennis so in life. Just because I can react quickly doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t go out and meet situations head on at times or take charge of directing the movement I wish to see my life take. My mantra is going to be move for the next while. I’ll let you know how it works on the court and off

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