Lessons from Andy Roddick

I've never seen Andy Roddick play such amazing tennis as he did in his attempt to beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon. Federer won, but Roddick outdid himself in ways I thought were not possible for him. His concentration and spirit, along with his game, were incredibly consistent, compared to times when I've seen him be brilliant and then lose faith/concentration.

He was also serving 135 MPH serves after 4+ hours of hard playing. What does that say about his form? Beyond his form, what does it say about his efficiency of use of his body?

Two lessons:

1- Efficiency. When you practice, ask yourself if you could play for hours without serious fatigue. If you answer no, then ask why and what things would weaken first. Then ask, "How can I play more efficiently, and use myself better?"

2- Spirit/Attitude. When something is difficult, how do you approach the solution? Do you give up and say you're not good enough? Do you say "It's hard, and I need to play it many more times". Or do you ask yourself, "Why is this hard, and how can I improve my self-use/efficiency/concentration to improve my overall skill?"

The first option is defeatist. The second is better, but can lead to re-enforcing bad habits, beating your head against a wall, so to speak.

The third option is the real solution, and will not only help you become a better player, but will also strengthen your spirit. By always believing that a solution is possible, you will never have reason to give up.

Andy Roddick played well today by never giving up on himself or his game. And it showed.

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2 comments for “Lessons from Andy Roddick

  1. July 8, 2009 at

    Hi Patry. As you imply, the ideas in this post apply to any subtle artistic endeavor. Nice to see you.

  2. July 7, 2009 at

    I'll be thinking of this when I pick up my" instrument" (a laptop) tomorrow. Thank you.

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