March 9, 2020 — If you’ve been a reader of my blog, you already know that I learn a ton of life lessons through my relationship with tennis. If you haven’t, then Read here
Playing sports can be so many things: hard work physically, deep mental work, thrilling highs, desperate lows…but watching your CHILD participate in sports, that’s a whole new level of challenge!
I was watching my 16 year old son play some tennis matches this past weekend and wow, I’m so dang proud of him. He’s come so far in his game, not just physically, but mentally as well. (some days are better than others, right??)
He’s really good. I would kill for those court skills. Truth.
But, currently, he’s stuck. He’s getting caught in the riptide of his own “bad shot”. The perception of the “bad shot” that is. It destroys his stride. He lets it get him down. He makes up stories in his head about how he “should definitely win this so why is he losing” or vilifying his opponent somehow (oh boy, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…eek!).
Oh, how often do we make a great shot, do or say a great thing, have a great idea; but it’s not until the “bad” shot, doing or saying something “bad”, having a “bad” idea that we jump all over ourselves and decide we suck. It’s a natural reaction, albeit very unfortunate.
In tennis, it’s way more likely that a rally ends because a player made an error than when all is going well, obviously. That’s the nature of the game. Therefore, we don’t get to spend any time feeling great about our playing because the last thing that happened was that we made an error, stopping the action, and losing a point.
Winning…losing…the extremes. So black or white. Happy or sad.
Wouldn’t it be GREAT to be able to watch the replay of ourselves? And stop the action right before we make that “error”? Then we could take the time to be really proud of how hard we are playing, how focused we are, how really, deeply dialed into the moment we are?? Alas, that would be complicated to orchestrate…but oh. so. beneficial. We need that! (Ok, I just gave someone their million-dollar idea!)
We watch others constantly. We can see EXACTLY what they’re doing, from the observational perspective. It’s crystal clear to us because we can observe from the outside looking in.
Oh, but when we are IN IT…it’s like a swirling current sucking us down, even when we are right by the shore.
So just stand up. It’s not more than a few feet deep.
Just. Stand. Up.
Let go of this lens that makes us doubt our every thought and move. Amazingly, when you are through that moment and get a chance to look back, you can see how much you were inventing in your head.
And all that garbage just stands in your way!
So, just pay a friend to go around behind you all day, recording all the good stuff, then watch it at the end of the day. I’m serious.
Because you. are. awesome: all day every day!
And it’s right there, all recorded for you to view.