Disclosure: Although this blog post is sponsored by PlayYourCourt, all opinions come from the bottom of my blogging heart. ❤
There is so much buzz surrounding Serena Williams this month, who, besides being a woman in her thirties, is now the No. 2 ranked woman tennis player in the world. Watching her, I realized that losing a game does not equate losing your boldness or your confidence. Lately, I’ve been so weighed down with anxiety, fearing future outcomes, and doubting every move that I make. But, I wanted that; to feel bold and confident, so that no matter what comes my way I can grunt at life the way Serena does on the court.
To be honest, the last time I touched a racket was in middle school. I was younger, bolder, and in way better shape. To say I am a beginner in desperate need of tennis lessons, is an understatement. So, I called in the experts.
How It Works
PlayYourCourt is like the one-stop-shop of tennis coaches. The process is simple, you fill out a form with your zip code, tennis level[i], and preferred days and times. Then, you’re automatically matched with professional coaches who can tailor their lessons to your convenience. After choosing a court and a coach, you’re ready to start perfecting your backhand and boosting your confidence.
True, I was nervous walking onto the court. I was unprepared and ready to forfeit before I even arrived. That is how I felt tackling the tennis court and my day-to-day problems. I mean, who did I think I was, Serena?! Thankfully, I was matched with Ed Moran, whose number one coaching tip for a rookie like me was “practice makes permanent”. Insisting on the power of muscle memory, Ed patiently taught me the basics from gripping the racket and listening for a rhythm, to the most essential of shots, the forehand. He’d toss a ball, I’d miss, he’d encourage me to keep trying, and then he’d toss another. And isn’t that the type of person you want around you when obstacles are tossed your way from every direction; the kind of person who will encourage you to keep trying?
Every now and then, I’d actually hit the ball the right way and in the right direction, and my coach would cheer and praise, and I actually felt good about my chances of playing tennis socially. I don’t know if it was the heat or the serotonin spike, but I felt good about myself too. For about the same cost of psychotherapy, I got similar results. I know it sounds like a placebo effect, but the amount of happy that I felt was real.
From what I learned, the game of tennis and the game of life come down to the same three things: control, confidence, and consistency. A one hour lesson taught me that, if you can manage to stay in control, recognize your fortes, and can conform to applying yourself regularly, you can play. More importantly, I know now that muscle memory is real, that the more you play the game, the better your chances are of winning, in tennis and in life.
[i] From the PYC site: “Whether you’re looking for private tennis lessons, group tennis lessons, or a USTA team practice, PYC has you covered. Our USPTA and PTR certified tennis professionals work with all ability levels and offer tennis lessons for kids and adults of all ages and tennis backgrounds.”