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The Myth On Motivation

June 22, 2018

Tennis is not easy.  Find a good tennis player and they have put in countless hours of training to get to where they are.  More successful players are just ones that have failed more than you. Having a mindset of growth allows you to keep improving. When we start to identify ourselves as a certain player we will avoid situations that will conflict with that identity.  I think many of us understand that.  It's not the understanding of what it takes to get better, it's the doing that is the hard part.  What does it take to get continual action towards a big goal of self improvement in tennis?  

 

You've seen the statistics I'm sure.  Many fall short in goals we try to achieve.  For example, Scranton University says about 8% of people who make New Year Resolutions actually stick to it.  Relating to the tennis world, the USTA sites that of the 85,000+ adult tennis players, 80% stay in their same level and 3% move down a level compared to their previous year.  There reaches a point where just being on the court will not do it for you to improve.  There needs to be a tweak in something.  Your technique in a certain stroke or your fitness and mental strength.  Whatever it is, it will take a lot of effort, and motivation to improve. 

 

Many see motivation as a "eureka" moment of complete and utter focus and inspiration to do something.  We see people who lost a lot of weight or have a successful career as someone who has that "drive" and "ambition" to succeed.  That tennis player you know who keeps improving is special.  You wish you had their motivation but it's just not in you.  We see that in order to have a successful outcome, it is motivation first, action second.  While in fact, it is the other way around.    

 

Where Real Motivation Is Found

Instead of looking for motivation before the action, think of action to be the spark for motivation.  Simply put, when you want change, do something.  Anything.  Want to get in shape?  Do 2 pushups.  Want to start a book?  Write a couple of sentences.  The point is that continued action gets you a feeling of confidence that the whole big deal you were thinking of isn't quite as bad when you start doing it.  For example, when I did my first youtube video, I just wanted to try something new to separate myself as a tennis instructor.  I never really thought much about it, I just did it.  This gave me confidence and the knowledge that it wasn't that bad in the first place.  When action starts to occur, we can see results from that action that can motivate us to do more.  Even with failure occurring sometimes, it still has the opportunity to give wisdom to what can be done better next time.  

 

To put it in perspective, Author Ernest Hemingway was asked about how he was able to be such a successful author.  He replied with, "By writing 200 crappy words a day."  Maybe we can change those words to "200 crappy serves a day" or "200 crappy forehands a day."  Whatever it is, you can feed your motivation with those small actions.  

 

Wonder why you frame the ball?  Here's why:

 

 

 

 

 

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