My first memory of tennis was when I was around 7 or 8 years of age when I was belting a ball against the side of the house.
Note: I know. I know. This is meant to be about golf (not tennis) but I promise there’s a great golf lesson here.
I played tennis until I was 14 and then found golf. My tennis was over and I stopped chasing those fuzzy yellow balls.
Fast forward to last year and I started playing tennis again.
There was nothing formal. A few social hits and a weekly lesson with a local tennis pro.
And to be honest, the tennis, was more about getting out of the house and getting some exercise. There were no delusional thoughts of playing competitive tennis whatsoever.
So the lessons have been going well. My backhand has improved and I am able to rally with the super-talented tennis pro.
Yesterday, Mr. Pro, suggested we play a set. He said I was ready to take him on and it would be ideal to test my game. But things didn’t go so well.
In a word…
I served well but that was it. I couldn’t;
– hit my forward
– the backhand was a disaster
– all strategy went out the window
– I couldn’t get the ball into play
– I missed a tonne of shots (even really easy ones)
Simply, I choked.
My little brain was overloaded and I self-destructed.
So what’s the lesson here?
To play more tennis. I need to play more sets of tennis and focus on competing.
And the same thing applies to golf.
While there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with practising your golf game;
– hitting balls at the driving range
– developing “better” technique
– working on a weak point
But at some point you have to play golf.
And by “play golf” this means you need to:
Forget about technique
Have a clear focus on where you want the ball to go
Be committed to the club you chose
And then repeat.
Because, the art of playing golf is a skill in itself. There’s way more to golf than your technique.
And the best golfers are those who are able to get the ball from Point A to Point B without getting cluttered. And for many years, I’ve been telling golfers, if they want to see results they need to;
Play More Golf.
Focus on where you want the ball to go and then let rip.