Learning to play tennis could be one of the most rewarding things you will do. The benefits of playing tennis are many and it’s truly a sport you can enjoy for life. Learning anything new, though, takes a good measure of patience and an extra measure of commitment. In fact, of all the other attributes you could possess at the beginning, nothing is more important than commitment.
The Role of Commitment in Learning Tennis
You may think there are plenty others with more talent than you and that may or may not be true. At the end of the day, though, natural talent will only take you so far. To learn any sport requires discipline in practice and commitment to simply keep showing up.Talent without commitment brings no growth.
Talent alone will not allow you to learn new skills or improve on old ones. In fact, it’s very common for an athlete with great commitment to overtake an athlete who started out with a good deal more natural talent. Here’s why:
The key to learning almost anything is repetition. Each time you repeat a task you get a little better and a little more confident. Sometimes it seems to take a long time, though, and you may not notice improvement right away. Your commitment will carry you through those times until one day you’ll look back and say, “wow, look how far I’ve come.”
One key element of all your development while learning to play tennis is muscle memory. In the beginning, you may be uncertain about everything. How to hold your racquet, how to stand, and how hard to hit the ball, for example. Your muscles won’t be accustomed to doing any of these things yet and will need time, guided practice, and repetition to gain muscle memory. Though it may not seem like it right now, with commitment, all of these skills and many more will become 2nd nature. You won’t even have to think about it. Just keep showing up.
No matter how well you’re doing you will come to moments of discouragement along the way. You’ll get tired and frustrated and may feel like giving up. It may seem like progress is slow or non-existent at times. Your muscles will ache at the end of a long practice and you’ll miss that shot just one more time. These moments have the potential to derail your effort to learn tennis altogether. Your commitment, however, will help you stay in the game to the end.
Growth and progress
Commitment is key to your continual growth and progress. Whether you want to play competitively or for leisure, you’ll want to grow and get better and better at it. Growth keeps it interesting and makes it a lot more fun. Your commitment keeps you growing and learning and making progress. It also eventually makes the difference between an average player and a great one.
Just Keep Showing Up
Learning tennis, just as with anything, requires practice, instruction, and application. In short, you need to be taught, you need to practice a lot, and you need to play. Progress will come. Growth will come. You just have to keep showing up.
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