This is just a perfect quote so I wanted to keep it for later. The full quote is:
“Your best coach on court is your last mistake, learn from it & make your adjustments..don’t get mad”
Thanks to Scottsdale Tennis (@KJtheTennisPro) tweeted at 9:25 PM on Fri, Jan 17, 2014:
#coaching @USTAJrComp @USTACAZ_JrTourn
It’s such a tough mentality to achieve but also the best way to learn. All the successful people I have followed in sports and elsewhere have this mentality. There is never an exception. Being amazing in one or two areas does not make a champion, or at least not one that truly dominates the competition.
You can win a tournament with one strength but not a season and definitely not remain dominant over time. All champions of this calibre have few weaknesses. Their big strengths differ but the amount of weaknesses they have don’t.
That is where their confidence comes from. They know that whatever comes at them is unlikely to beat them out right. In tennis to beat the best you have to target multiple weaknesses over time during a point to win in it. The whole time you are running the gauntlet to avoid their strength or strengths.
Using your last mistake as your current lesson helps you understand your weaknesses and see that these are what leave you exposed. Deal with these and you will survive that shot and live on in the rally until the next shot.
Do this regularly and, like a champion, and you will slowly start to present an impenetrable defence because you’ve learnt effective answers to all the questions you used to fail on. This is the subtle secret to turning defence into attack.
Turning losses into draws in this fashion by turning shots that you would have failed on into questions you can answer reliably gives you confidence. You can assume the rally will continue giving you a platform on which you can build. That frees you up to do that bit more with some shots than you normally would not. You start to attack them a little.
So the lesson is simple but oh so hard to put into practice. Enjoy losing because it reminds you what you need to work on. Learning to spot mistakes and how to resolve them by using your last mistake as your coach. Gives you the ability to consistently improve because you will know what you need to do and have the skills to make the required changes.
You won’t fall into the worst trap of knowing you need to improve but not knowing what work to do fix the problem and where to start.