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May 15, 1999
Bonus - Learning tennis' greatest ally

Hi, everyone! I liked an article I read about marketing so I modified it into a tennis article....it applies well! We are usually much to impatient, not only when we learn tennis, but when we have a strategy that we are going to use in a match.....the first sign of trouble and we begin changing it!!! Enjoy!

"Learning Tennis' Greatest Ally"

Modified by Tom Veneziano from "Marketing's Greatest Ally" by Jay Conrad Levinson

I won't wait.... I'll tell you right off that learning tennis' greatest ally is your patience. More extraordinary talent has bit the dust, due to impatience on the part of the player, than for any other reason.

You watch as the powerful stonecutter raises his hammer to hit the huge stone. He hits it hard, again and again. On the third blow, the stone splits in two, and the magnificent statue inside is revealed. Think that means it took three blows of the hammer to do the big job?

You know, it didn't. It took 500, and maybe 5,000 blows. That final blow wasn't crucial all by itself, but only as one of many blows that combined to achieve the stonecutter's goal. To a clueless neophyte observing, it took only three blows. But you, the stonecutter and I know the real truth.

The real truth is that learning tennis is a whole lot like stonecutting. Your dynamite talent might not do the job. Your "make it happen" attitude might fall short, as well. But your persistence, along with your long-term focus and patience, will get the job done very nicely.

Which blow of the stonecutter gets the credit for the masterpiece? Which stroke gets the credit for moving you from learning to having learned? It's the stonecutter's patience that gets credit for what he has hewn from the
rock. It's your patience that wins the prize for the final result - generated by your learning.

It takes a unique person to stay the course, while blow after blow fails to hit home. It takes remarkable talent to remain with what is being learned, when instant results are not produced. Yet, for many members of a time-conscious public, instant gratification is not quite swift enough. This
is a characteristic of many people - the "Warrior" learner not included.

Great stonecutters know that there is no rock they cannot split. They have more patience than any rock. The "Warrior" learner knows there is no challenge they cannot surmount - it gives them more patience than their competition. Their behavior is demonstrated in both their restraint from making changes in what they are learning, and their willingness to continue executing what they are learning, despite the absence of quick results.

The stonecutter picks a spot on the rock, and hammers at it over and over. You focus on what you are learning - practice it, and execute it over and over. Eventually, the rock splits. Eventually, what is being learned takes root and grows, your tennis goals attained. It didn't take genius as much as it took steadfastness.

Your life will be filled with frustration and anxiety, if you expect what you're learning, easy or difficult, to produce superb results instantly.  But, if you give your practice the time to penetrate your mind, and condition the skills, it will become part of your subconscious, and will become automatic. you will soon discover that persistence in learning does indeed work, and that patience is the age-old secret of success.

Learning tennis and stonecutting are different from most human activities. No stonecutter expects results in a hurry. But, all stonecutters are positive, in that they can do the job they set out to do, if they concentrate upon the results down the road, rather than the hard-rock surface facing them. Many people who learn to play tennis gaze intently at
the rock surface. So short a gaze, results in prematurely abandoning learning strategies.

The "Warrior" learner does not even acknowledge the surface. It's insignificant compared with what they will hew with their patience. This farsighted approach illuminates the way to their goal. They see that the way is not so much a route, as an attitude. This is the attitude of the stonecutter. This is the mind-set of the "Warrior" learner. Both have what appears, to the innocent, as an impossible task. However, both know there is no way they will fail.

Success comes to those who learn tennis, if they begin with the "Warrior" mentally. They persist in their objectives, continue breathing life into those objectives, and have the patience to move beyond the need for instant results.

See you next time,

You Personal Email Tennis Coach



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