Working in tennis coaching and also coaching in the business world constantly throws up interesting similarities.
For example, we have a new, high tech, practice wall at our club. Sometimes it just feels good to be alone on court, working with this silent partner.
What’s so good about hitting a ball at an inanimate object? What does it give you?
Well, what it gives you is tons of feedback. It interprets spin, pace and height. It never criticises, gives instruction or gets testy.
It provides responses based on your own actions and creates a learning situation where you take responsibility for your own development.
It is constant and trustworthy. Patient and passive. Yet gives so much; asking relevant questions, subtly. It helps you explore your inner world in your own space and time.
Certainly you need good footwork; the basis of great performance. You need energy, curiosity and inventiveness as you gradually work things out, step by step; shot by shot. Trying things without any restrictive judgement.
It is possible to reach an almost meditative state when you relax into rhythm and flow; the special place where the good stuff happens outside of consciousness.
Have you worked with anyone with these qualities? It doesn’t always need to be a designated coach or mentor. Some people just do this work naturally, nourishing those around them. They are people who attract, guide and influence with an easy style. If we are open to opportunities, we find these guys. They come along when there is a vacuum in our lives; when we are ready.
Embrace these people. Seek out a backboard to experiment and grow. Look for chances to take responsibility and action; to make errors and work with them.
Be a backboard for others too as this is a fantastic place to be and develop your own purpose; sharing and expansive with your time and innate wisdom.
Have fun on the way…