Sunday, 2 March 2014

Think training's hard? Try losing.

I am such a sore loser. Not outwardly anymore, fortunately. Outwardly I smile and congratulate my opponent and say all the right things. Inwardly, I seethe. I played a pretty important tennis match last weekend (important in my world, that is, not important in relation to Wimbledon or anything) and I lost in two pretty closely-fought sets. I was actually ahead in the first set but it all fell apart fairly quickly and by the end, even though I was putting up a good fight, I just wasn't match-tight or fit enough to pose much of a threat.

I was really grumpy for a while. Really grumpy. Over the last few days, though, I've started to appreciate the match for what it was - a good marker of my current level of play and fitness. I know where I'm at now, so I can make a plan for how to get to where I want to be. And the plan basically involves working harder.

The fact is that if you don't play matches, you won't be match-ready. If you don't get in the gym, you won't be fit enough. If you don't do the baseline drills, you won't make that forehand-down-the-line when you really need it. If it matters enough, you put in the work and the sweat and the time - and if you don't put that time in then it doesn't make any sense to be disappointed at the outcome. I've ditched disappointment and replaced it with determination to do better next time - which means training better now.

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