One year, my daughter came back from summer camp with this great song – “Everybody Got Their Something” by Nikka Costa. It's a song about how everyone is special in some way. Obviously a great song for a bunch of girls at summer camp.
But, what a great tennis song! Because the reality is, no matter what level we're at, no matter how long we've been playing, we've all got something special about our tennis game. We just have to figure out what it is.
So what's your strength? Are you a great lobber? Then you need to lob your heart out. Because I hate playing lobbers. And so do a lot of other people. So don't be embarrassed to lob. Don't let people tell you that if you're lobbing, you're not playing real tennis. For gosh sake, don't avoid your lob. Use it to your advantage and wear people like me out with it.
Do you have a powerful but unorthodox first serve? I'm all about perfecting my form and service motion. But maybe you're not. And maybe whatever it is you're doing, it works for you. I remember playing a woman who had a toss that went up about 1 foot. No more than that. But somehow she was able to whip her arm around and hit that low toss and her serve was great! It was almost painful to watch and, after the match, she talked about her attempts to change her toss but it worked for her and so she ultimately just kept at it.
Do you have a lot of energy? Do you never get tired? This is how I like to play. And the hotter it gets, and the longer the match goes, the more energetic I try to get. I want my opponents to think I'm never, ever going to get tired. Believe me, I have won matches simply by running and running and tiring out my opponents.
So figure out what your strength is, what your “something” is, and use it. Don't avoid it.
And here's a link to Nikka Costa's “Everybody Got Their Something” on Pandora – just click here!
© Kim Selzman 2009
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