A Lesson in Form

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Form is the foundation to nearly any sport.

It has been about a decade since I played tennis and nearly three decades since I played somewhat serious tennis on the Junior Varsity team at my high school.  My oldest son decided to give this sport a try this year and it inspired my husband and I to pick up some racquets and get back onto the court.  I learned something about myself:  I still have the same bad tennis habits I had in tenth grade!

The problem is that I am so focused on the ball and my desire to hit it, that I skip over the important step of positioning my body.  This inevitably means that I hit the ball, but it will not make it over the net or within the boundaries.  I can still see myself on the court and hearing my coach tell me to get ‘behind the ball’.

It was a great reminder to me of the utter importance of “process” in learning.

When I teach people to juggle I do not allow them to catch the balls for many, many cycles.  This is because we have a tendency to focus on results more than process.  In the case of juggling we think only of catching rather than throwing.  If your throw is bad – you cannot catch the ball.  If I can get individuals to focus on the process of throwing, the catching will be easy.  I decided to execute this advice on the tennis court, instead of concentrating on hitting the ball, I will concentrate on being in the right position, even if I miss the ball at first.  My swing is pretty good, so I don’t have to work on that so much right now.

If I focus on proper form and position; hitting the ball will be easy.  If I focus on swing at the expense of form and position – the game is lost.

Where do you need to re-evaluate your form versus focusing on bottom-line results?  Remember results will come.  However, contrary to what you have been told, practice does not make perfect………

Perfect practice makes perfect.

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