The Other Side of the Net

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Some time ago I was in Sacramento watching the Power Shares tour event – Courier, Sampras, McEnroe and Blake.

James Blake beat John McEnroe in the finals – Mac having beaten Courier, and Blake easily beat an injured Pete Sampras (who was looking very slow on court compared to the other three).

But as fun as the tennis was for me to watch, the interviews were very compelling.  Each player gave quite a few minutes to the press, with thoughtful and often engaging answers.

In particular, Jim Courier was very insightful.

He was asked about the best or at least most compelling coaching advice he had ever received.

Jim credited Jose Higueras with teaching him to look, to see, and to learn the value of the information on the other side of the net.

Meaning, instead of simply trying to blast winners, and in the process blasting himself out of some matches, Jose taught him to value the importance of the opponent’s errors, the value of consistency and patience over raw offense.

Consider for your own game – are you sensitive to the confidence, the demeanor, and to the emotions on the other side of the net? Can you tell when the opponent is about to crack?  Can you use “the other side of the net” for tactical and strategic plays based on your assessment of the opponents emotions?

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