Does being a student of the game help you play better?
The other night our Westlake High School girls’ tennis team had our player and parents meeting for the upcoming season. We had a great turn out with many new girls interested in playing. Nothing does my heart better that seeing kids interested in learning and playing this great game!
After our meeting a parent came up to me and said her daughter was relatively new to tennis, and that she didn’t even have a racquet of her own. She asked me what she should look for in a good tennis racquet. I tried not to overwhelm her, because that can be a loaded question. I ended up telling her a few things to look for, but what I really encouraged both her and especially her daughter was to become a student of the game.
It amazes me how many people get involved with tennis (or whatever) and never really learn about the sport (or subject). They buy any old racquet, some balls, and go out and expect to play. It just doesn’t work like that in tennis, or life!
If you want to become good at something, you have to study it—its equipment, its history, its theory, its….everything! I guess it’s just my obsessive compulsive streak that makes me do this with everything I do. I did it in my professional life as a hospital administrator and I continue to do this in my personal life. Whether it’s tennis, bicycling (I use to race bikes during a hiatus from tennis), basketball (my first love until I found tennis), health, nutrition, etc. I study the heck out of it!
I’ve learned many valuable things from my studies. I can rip apart a bike, overhaul it, put it back together again, and ride the heck out of it. I can also rip apart tennis racquets, restring them, and play the heck out of them. But not only have I learned about equipment, I’ve studied the history of the sport, its players, and how the sport is played. This has helped me immensely in my continued pursuit of excellence, both on and off the athletic field, court, road…whatever!
So, I ended up telling this parent to look at various websites that have racquet help pages like Tennis Warehouse (http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/RacquetHelp.html), Tennis Express (http://www.tennisexpress.com/info/buyers-guide.cfm), or any other mail order company. By searching through this material both her and her daughter will start to become students of the game. I also mentioned that since we live in an area without many tennis specialty shops her best beat at getting a good deal on a good racquet was from one of these companies.
This has been my second post on becoming a student of the game. Apparently I must think this is pretty important to be successful—and I do!
What are your feelings on this? Does the history of the game, its equipment, its theory, etc. really matter? Let me know what you think!
See you on the courts!
This article was written by admin