Thursday, June 11, 2009

Give Me More Pain

I love pain! Actually, the more the better. I don't mean the physical kind... that hurts too much, and takes too long to recover from, now that I'm old. I'm talking about the mental and emotional pain that comes from improving. I'm finally learning that pain equals growth, which is counter intuitive, but so important to taking our mental game to the next level.

I was teaching a high school senior today with his serve (we'll call him Aston), and noticed how his excitement for learning a new stroke quickly turned into frustration. He wanted to master this new serve right then. Even though he knew this was an impossible task, he still fell into the trap of wanting immediate results, which instinctively made him mad... he was in quite a bit of mental pain... and I loved it! I loved it because I knew that the result he was striving for would ultimately come from that pain. The aggravation he was feeling will never be the problem, it's how he chooses to react to that aggravation in the future that will determine his results. Will he continue to practice this new serve, even though it causes him so much pain, or will he give in to the trap, and go back to his comfort zone?