Most players act like their tennis match is the most important thing in the world on the court. They’re fighting, complaining, fist-pumping, and totally focused on what’s in front of them. I don’t show a ton of emotion on the court and I have never really been able to do the last one specifically. It’s not that I’m watching other courts during my matches (although Horacio has caught me doing that). It’s more than I’m predicting the future before it happens and I do this too often off the court too. And believing i know what will happen.
Up until now i thought i should approach tennis with a certain perspective. One that puts tennis in its place. The sport is so insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It’s a puzzle. A game. And I care about my results, about getting a professional ranking, about proving myself on the professional stage. Honestly, I wish I didn’t care. I wish I didn’t give a shit because I’d do better. I know it doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things. Who will care if I get an ATP point after I die? I’ll be known as a good tennis player either way, and more importantly, people will remember how I was as a person and how I treated others. But yet, I want to do well so badly.
I used to think (aka yesterday) that because i know how insignificant tennis is in this world, it means i shouldn’t react. I should detach myself from tennis and not truly experience the emotions that come with it.
There’s a parallel between meditation and tennis, which I’m starting to realize. Stop being aware of what I’m doing and just get lost in it. Over the past few years, I’ve viewed tennis as a game. An unimportant one. And i still think that. But for some reason, something’s telling me to get pissed. Get excited. Don’t think about what your coach is thinking during your match. I admire players that forget there’s an outside world. I wish my mental default mode on the court was being present and animalistic.
In meditation, you’re not supposed to gain something from it. It’s a common misconception, one that I really believed up until recently. You can’t expect to feel differently once you open your eyes. You might, but you can’t think about what you’re doing as you’re doing it. You have to get lost in the act of meditating.
When I meditate, I’m thinking the whole time. It’s common for this to happen, but I’m pointing this out because I see a direct connection between the two activities. While I’m meditating, I commonly think things such as, “I hope I feel more relaxed after this”, “Am I doing it right”, “Wow I’m going to feel so calm after this”. Which weakens the purpose of meditation. I’m afraid to let go and just get lost in the activity. I say similar things to myself on the court too.
In meditation and tennis, I’m afraid to let go. I’m afraid to get lost in the activity. Here’s the conundrum: My mind is scared to fully let go of ego-centered efforts because I’m aware that it will help me. If I’m consciously aware of the mechanisms of the mind, they won’t happen by themselves. Being aware that you’re trying to let go is like forcing yourself to fall asleep: it won’t happen dude. The insecure part of my mind is aware that it’ll help me and it will not allow myself to just lose the self-awareness.
There’s nothing i can relate to more than this following quote. The mental wrestling i experience is exhausting.
Let’s get lost in the sauce Benny.