I noticed something strange about myself. As much as I enjoy playing tennis (and associated with that I love the smell of new tennis balls) I can’t seem to bring myself to open a new can for a practice session. “What am I saving the new balls for?” is a question that I asked myself for the first time.
Is it an old habit that I hold on to from days gone by when I could not afford new tennis balls and used to get a set of once-played balls from the marker at the club? Or is it from even before that when we only got Cosco balls and the imported cans were saved for special occasions? Or is it that I don’t think I deserve the best? I don’t think I will figure it out right now, but one thing is for sure, it’s really strange that I don’t permit myself to open a new can for a practice session with my tennis coach. Maybe why I do it is not as important as recognising this pattern and allowing myself the option of a new path to explore.
Starting today I give myself the permission to change. I will treat myself to the pleasure of a proper bounce and the smell of fresh tennis balls whenever I want. Not just for a “proper game” but also for a knock with the coach. Every game is precious and I need to remember that.
Not only will it improve my game on that day and in that practice session but it will also set me up better for match play. The feel of the game changes when I play with new balls. And keeping my practice session as close to a proper game will help me play better.
Do I do this in other spheres of my life? Am I saving the new tennis balls without realising it? I am sure this must be true. Sport is a great mirror it helps me see myself better. Where else do I save the new tennis balls? Possibly when it comes to clothes and aftershaves. I save the best for special occasions. Every day can be special if I choose to allow myself permission to use them.
I guess what I am telling myself is to enjoy the moment. Enjoy every moment. Maybe that way I will permit myself to open a new can of tennis balls in different spheres of my life. What self-limiting belief do you need to let go of? What small change can you make that will improve your game?
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