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Tennis in the middle of winter

 

You may think I am obsessed with weather patterns and updates. The truth is I am concerned when the weather gets so cold: all sidewalks and runners’ paths become icy and treacherous. It is indeed very hard to maintain a regular work-out routine in New York City when one does not belong to a gym.

 

This is exactly why Brian Lutz founded TennisTip.com a company that sells group lessons, clinics, and tennis socials in New York and Miami. The clinics began in New York a few years ago and before branching out to Miami. No rain, snow or other extreme weather phenomenon will prevent TennisTip.com staff from showing up at the designated locations (with indoors courts) to teach New Yorkers, young and old, a good top-spin or slice.

 



 

 

(Post by Thomai Serdari. Email us at: workoutworkup@yahoo.com)

 

 


Doing leads to confidence

    In one of my earlier entries I mentioned that I teach. I teach senior Honors students at NYU. They are working on their Honors Thesis and I am teaching them methodology and writing, particularly as they pertain to art history, architecture, and urban design topics. Today, I came out of class—dedicated entirely to presentations on each student’s topic—and realized that the value of presentations so early in the semester is that it forces students to summarize their work for their colleagues and communicate their ideas and concerns within a limited amount of time. The problem is that no one likes presenting. The truth is that they are doing a much better job than what they think and the reason is simple. Doing leads to confidence.

 

    This is a fact that I noticed only a few years ago and really, not too long ago. I realized that instead of saying “I would like to do this…” or “I wish I could do that…” I could instead announce that “I have started doing this…” and “ I am doing that…”  This is what got me to playing tennis. I always envied the agility of the great tennis players and the power of their stroke but felt intimidated and hesitated playing, especially because I had never held a racquet before. I did my research and found tennistip.com a great company that organizes tennis clinics and games in New York City and Miami. The strength of their method in teaching tennis derives from the simplicity of what happens on the court: the instructor throws balls at you and you are holding the racquet to return the ball to wherever the instructor has indicated. Running is involved. Stopping and changing direction is often required. Moving your feet a lot is mandatory. I had never connected in my mind the fact that tennis is not only striking the ball but also running to it or away from it. But being confronted with the balls the instructor was feeding at a steady pace, I realized I had to move and did it well because I had never considered running a challenge since it was not part of my definition of tennis. Ignorance led me to doing, and doing led me to gaining confidence about hitting the ball correctly.

 

    I saw a lot of this taking place in class today even though no tennis racquets or balls were involved, just pictures of art and architecture arranged according to students’ storylines. While I will never tell them that I intend to throw them into similar situations again where they will have to think quickly and on their feet, I strongly believe that what sports teach us about our abilities is ten times as powerful as any other medium. This is because we perform physical activities with our bodies and we tend to take our body’s abilities for granted. We often end up doing things because we never knew how challenging they are and as we do things we gain confidence about our ability to participate in any sport we choose. The same applies to life.

Post by Thomai Serdari (We welcome guest posts. Email us at: workoutworkup@yahoo.com)