Some people say they do not know what their purpose is. But often it is simply because they have simply not spent enough time listening carefully and silently.
In this case, deep listening is very useful!
The practice consists of simply stopping to listen, without judgement or expectation.
Sit still in a quiet place, empty your mind and ask yourself in silence: “what do I really want? What would I like to achieve?”
If you fully explore what you hear and experience in these sessions, you will be able to perceive and realize your real purpose!
You will begin to evaluate yourself in total honesty. Here, after a while, ask yourself, “am I deluding myself that I want something that I really do not want? Am I going along a road that I really want, or have I deluded myself that I wanted it?
Because we are tennis players, we really have to spend a lot more time listening to our bodies. If you feel pain, whether it is a tendonitis or cramps, do not try to fight to overcome it. Stop and listen to your body and ask yourself: “What lesson can I learn from this? Did I overdo it in training? Have I been pushing my body too far?”
Your body is always telling you something. If you are injured, it is telling you that something is wrong and your behavior needs changing.
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Every top-level tennis player knows that when you want to reach a goal, you have a good chance of succeeding if you are willing to sacrifice enough.
It is not enough to simply focus and have good intentions, you must be willing to get up early every day and spend the whole of every day working towards your goal. Even more importantly, you must practice in a way that is purposeful and focused.
This is known as deliberate practice.
Arnold Schwarzenegger said that lifting a weight with full awareness is tantamount to making ten lifts without being fully aware of it.
But what is deliberate practice?
If we analyze the word “deliberate,” it refers to an action carried out in a conscious way.
The first part of deliberate practice involves focusing and practicing a specific aspect of one’s game. Start by visualizing and mentally testing the action to experience the movement itself.
The brain does not recognize the difference between thought and experience, so by reviewing it mentally you send messages to the body on the specific result you want to obtain. It is almost as good as physically experiencing the result yourself.
However, in order to achieve the desired result in practice, it is necessary to practice it more than once in a deliberate way. Indeed, the more the better. But it is key to practice it in the right way! Do not just go through the motions.
I fear not the man who has practiced 10 000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10 000 times. Bruce Lee
A performance does not depend so much on physical characteristics or ability, but rather on what was gained by deliberate practice.
According to a well-known theory, it takes about 10 000 hours of deliberate practice in order to master any field, including sports. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) states that sportspeople should train twenty hours a week!
If you want to become a strong player, and considerably improve your shots, you have to practice each shot deliberately thousands, and even hundreds of thousands, of times.
To imprint the correct shot in your brain, you have to practice it with the real intention of improving that shot. If you get bored during training, it means you have to re-dedicate yourself to the process. Focus and practice with purpose!
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