I could not have wished for a better first week. Striking the ball well. Very encouraging given that this is the first week back after lockdown. How we have all waited for this moment!
The off court work these past months has brought benefits that feel real now when I am back on court. Stronger, more flexible and lighter translating to small improvements in many areas of my game. That doesn’t mean that all those bad ingrained habits have gone away. More that I feel better equipped to work on them.
First coaching session back goes really well. The spring sunshine helps. Could not be happier with that. Big thanks to coach Woody for a great first session! And I am reintroduced to two important principles that need to underpin my game ‘easy power’ and ‘smooth strokes’. Little mantras that need to embed themselves in my tennis psych.
Seven hours on court this week. A little stiff after first session but otherwise feeling good. The body says …… legs generally ok, knees a little sore, still carrying sore right knee from running. Hope it will settle down. Some stiffness down the outside of left leg, calling for the foam roller at next stretch session. No stretching after tennis this week; need to bring it back from here on. How quickly I drop those good habits.
Hips and back fine. Upper body also good though slight forearm and upper arm stiffness. Nothing out of the ordinary. All in all pretty good physically after the first week I think.
On court there have been a few rare shots during this week, when the racket has felt like an extension of my arm and I have had total mastery of the ball. Pace, spin direction as effortless and certain as if writing them with the flourish of a pen. These ‘magic moments’ are both effortless in execution and have certainty as to where they are going.
To record several ‘magic moments’ this first week is very encouraging. I can normally go several weeks without a single ‘magic moment’. These moments are why I play tennis and I think are known and visible only to me as their creator. A feeling just for a fleeting moment that I can play this game. Let’s call these glimmers of hope.
Something now to work for. The immediate challenge this next week will be integrating off court and on court work. This makes it even more important to make each time I step on court count.
A rough schedule of off court work, on court and competitions has been sketched out, as the list of possible events continues to grow. Covid –19 allowing. Something to start to look forward to at last. If anything comes close to replicating the feeling I got from my first ITF event I will be very happy.
Mentally there has been a switch as well. It’s a subconscious thing, which has grown with each session on court this week. From working out in the belief that it would benefit my game. To now being able to feel and see the difference. Time to think about first competitions and begin to target my training in a specific direction.
To confirm the above and cement the approach into something tangible I clicked enter on my first competition of the restart today.
A really positive first week. Something to build on.