- ETI 039 Improvise (when necessary) on the tennis court
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A few years ago I was encouraged to take a class in improvisational theater. It took me months to find the courage (stage fright and more) but I finally enrolled and then thoroughly enjoyed this class within the Stanford continuing studies program.
Amazing teacher – Patricia Ryan. Incredible book – Improv Wisdom.
Improv, as I learned and continue to learn – is about paying absolute attention to everything. Being precisely in the moment and no where else. Saying “Yes” to any situation you encounter. Being willing to fail. Within improvisational skits and more, the players (actors) enter a scene without preconceptions, and wing it. Always within an evolving scene, where each response and action builds upon and within the scene,
Truly fun. Unexpected. Challenging.
Tennis is very much the same. We must be paying absolute attention to everything. A wandering and unfocused mind truly ruins the game. We must be precisely in the moment. We cannot dwell on past points won or lost, and cannot jump to the future with expectations of winning or losing, but must play each point one at a time, and really each stroke one at a time. In order to play well, we must accept the possibility that we may fail (lose) but only know that as a possibility but not something foretold. But finally, we must play with another and build something with that player in the flow and tactics of the game.