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Learn Something New: Lessons from the Tennis Court

Every year I like to learn or try something new to keep me growing as an individual. As a coach it also helps to remind me of how challenging learning something new is. Besides that, I often get reminded of the lessons I teach and it keeps me on my toes.

In recent years I’ve taken singing lessons, became a blue belt in jiu-jitsu, and learned to snowboard and how to swim properly. Most recently I am learning to play tennis. I’m telling you all of this for several reasons:

  1. It’s never too late to learn something new.
  2. Learning new things keeps our brains active and flexible.
  3. It gets you out of your comfort zone.
  4. Helps us put our beliefs into practice in new settings.

For example, most recently my coach told me not to worry about where she was on her side of the court, or where the ball I hit was about to land. I kind of laughed because last week I wrote and posted this meme on social media “Be too busy watering your own grass to notice if anyone else’s is greener.”

Not only does my post of last week apply to life and the comparisons we often make, it applied to me in that moment on the tennis court. Because if I stopped focusing on my form and watching the ball, and being mindful of the nuances I am learning, I was almost guaranteeing that the ball would either not cross the net nor land where it needed. In other words, my premature concern about the future and unnecessary curiosity about what someone else was doing was stopping me from being present on my side of the court. I know that when I let my preoccupation with those things overtake my form, eye contact and swing I am increasing my opportunity to fail.

We get so many benefits from new experiences. What is something new that you have wanted to learn or do? What has stopped you? I’d love to hear from you.

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