Tennis is a life lesson
I think tennis is a lot like air travel, it can be stressful at times. Stress doesn’t always bring out the best in people.
Here’s my theory: Uncertainty breeds anxiety. Anxiety can lead to unwanted behavior.
I recently had a match that was very challenging but very enjoyable. It seemed like the perfect match in the end. There was a discrepancy over the score which turned into post-match drama.
I don’t really enjoy drama, but I understand it. As I said above, sometimes the stress of a match (or flying) can cause anxiety to melt away.
But wanting to minimize the drama, I decided to deal with the uncertainty. So, I added a notebook in my bag so that I can calculate the score as I go throughout the match. There is no more discrepancy about the score.
I added a list to my phone. I call it my tennis list. Brad Gilbert, a famous professional player turned coach, author and announcer, refers to this as step zero. Prepare for every match.
So my tennis list includes what equipment I need to play my best. This is even more important as the summer months approach, and we need more things, such as sunscreen and sunglasses.
I’ve found that being prepared and keeping track can help eliminate some of the uncertainty in a game that has so many surprises.