October 6, 2009

Tennis Thoughts: Paramhansa Yogananda on Tennis

"Learn to be calm and you will always be happy." - Paramhansa Yogananda

It's not just a way of life. It's a way to play tennis!

For example, here's the match I played last Friday:

Lost the first set, 2-6. Went to the bathroom between sets. Won the second set, 6-3. Immediately started super tiebreaker in lieu of 3rd set as required by this league. Lost tiebreaker 2-10. Lesson: I should have taken another bathroom break after the second set.

Why? Because then I would have calmed down and focused on what I needed to do in that tiebreaker. I really felt rushed and hurried in the tiebreaker, like I couldn't quite get control of what I was doing or what was happening on the court.

Playing calmly, with focus, is probably the most important thing I can do and I'm pretty sure it's the most important thing any tennis player can do in a match. I have a few techniques I use to calm myself (breathe, talk to my partner between each point, tie my shoes, take a bathroom break!!!). I just need to consciously apply those techniques constantly during my matches.

So today, when I play tennis, which I am off to do in about 15 minutes, I will work on playing calmly and with focus. And I'll see if that doesn't give me better results.

© Kim Selzman 2009
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