Swing…into the net. Swing…long. Swing…wide. And so it went on for a grueling hour.
I started taking private tennis lessons because my game, well, stinks. I used to be pretty good but as I noted in a previous post, I hadn't played tennis for more than twenty five years. For some odd reason, I thought I'd pick up right were I left off but, good Lord, that certainly wasn't the case.
Because I strongly believe in working with coaches in business and my personal life, I hired Stephan, a local pro. He asked me what I wanted to work on and my answer was "everything." Being a good coach, he recommended we work on one part of my game. I decided my forehand would be a good place to start.
He started gently feeding me balls and then stopped. "You're grip is all wrong for a topspin forehand," he said. I made the adjustments he showed me and not only did it feel awkward, but I started hitting the ball worse than before.
Frustration ensued – on my part not Stephan's – and I switched back to my old grip. He quickly corrected me and showed me once again the right way to hold the racquet.
Hundreds of balls came my way and most of them were mishit. Then something magical happened. I hit one perfectly. It made that lovely "popping" sound as it came off the racquet, zipped over the net with ease and landed precisely where I wanted it to. Then it happened again and again.
Now, I'd like to tell you that my forehand is perfect and the majority of the balls landed in the court but that is not true even by a long shot. (Get it? "Long shot". Hehe) I only hit a few balls perfectly but I saw the potential.
Whenever you try something new, it's going to feel awkward and uncomfortable. It's oftentimes even more difficult to make changes after you've been doing it the wrong way for a long time. Your immediate thought is, "I was getting better results doing it the wrong way" and you go back to what feels comfortable. The problem is you'll never can take your game to the next level. Sometimes you need to take a step back before you get better.
As a coach, some of the things I hear all the time from new students is, "That won't work for me." "My business is different." "That's not the way we do it in my industry." "That might work for her but not for me." What the student is actually saying is, "That's outside my comfort zone!" You've got to get past that if you ever want to soar.
If you haven't got the book, "Direct Response Marketing For Non-Direct Response Businesses", you really should. When you read it, your first response will probably be, "I can't do that in my business." Your next response should be, "I'm going to do what the author says, even if it feels uncomfortable." Doing so can change your business and your life.
Kick butt, make mucho DEEnero!
Dave "The Soon To Be Wimbledon Champion" Dee