"In golf your strengths and weaknesses will always be there.
If you could improve your weakness, you could improve your
game. The irony is that people prefer to practice their
strengths." --Harvey Penick
This quote is from Harvey Penick, one of my favorite coaches
from the world of golf. His book has many pearls of wisdom
that apply to tennis. The name of his book is "And If You
Play Golf, You're My Friend."
Every tennis player understands if they would improve their
weaknesses they would improve their game. Do they do it?
No! Why not? When practicing they would much rather
practice what they do best. It's easier and it feels good.
Not exactly a formula for success. And that's the point!
How do you ever expect to be a notch or two above the next
player if you are doing the same thing he is -- practicing
your strengths. You must be different to separate yourself
from the other players. And different, oddly enough, is
practicing to improve your weaknesses.
Tennis lessons can help improve your weaknesses, but the
problem is most players consider the lesson to be their
practice. In between lessons they go right back to
practicing their strengths. That's why I have labeled a
PRACTICE MATCH an oxymoron. There is a MATCH all right,
but there is very little PRACTICE. Everyone is trying to
win! As a result they are always practicing their
Let me challenge you to begin practicing your weaknesses
and separate yourself from the rest of the players. How
about this? Let's do a little test. For one month go out
and practice any weakness you have for 15 minutes a week.
That's right, just 15 minutes a week! Watch what happens
at the end of a month. You may be thinking, "that's not
much time at all." My answer to that is, "you're right,
it's not much time, but it's a lot more than what you're
doing right now! :)" You will be shocked at the
improvement you will see. Remember, most players will not
even spend that much time on their weaknesses. If they
would, Harvey Penick's quote would not be necessary. DARE
TO BE DIFFERENT!
Harvey Penick's book can be found at: