Increasing Awareness – helping children find the answers.

My passion for tennis was ignited at around the age of seven, after finding my mother’s tennis racket gathering dust in our garage. With no access to any tennis courts, my neighbour and I would regularly practice our tennis skills in the road where we lived.  On one particular day, an elderly lady who lived opposite us and who had reputedly played at Wimbledon in the 1930’s stopped to watch us as we were honing our shots. After a few minutes, she politely suggested to me, that I should try to create a more lifted swing with my racket and she demonstrated what she meant with her walking stick. I can remember thinking,  ‘what does she mean – I am doing this’, and subsequently ignored her. However, fast forward thirty years to warming up before a match against a friend of mine, in which I found myself dumping the ball into the net. After several shots, my friend suggested that I should try hitting up a bit more to get the ball over. When I watched him demonstrate with his racket what he meant it was as if a lightbulb went on. What he said immediately connected with my awareness.  Several shots later I felt like I had finally found the answer to an old flaw in my game. It seemed so simple and yet this information, until now, hadn’t connected with my awareness.  As a child, I can remember others telling me what I needed to do or how I should be if I wanted to master something and be successful. Although their intention behind this style of communication was well meant, it also had the effect of diminishing any awareness that I had. As coaches, teachers and parents if we can help our children at an early age to increase their awareness, then they wont have to wait as long as I did to find the solutions to their problems. 🙂