New & Noteworthy
Full Engagement Learned from Tennis Conference
March 20, 2015
The Professional Tennis team was invited to the 2015 Indiana Tennis Coaches conference in early February. Several students were chosen to display on-court games and drills, while other students listened to presentations on and off the court that discussed major aspects of the tennis industry.
According to Cole, the most diverse presentation was the one by Larry Lauer, PhD, and his discussion of Preparing to be Fully Engaged. Lauer’s presentation focused on the mind, and what happens to the mind of a player.
“The mental aspect of tennis is unfortunately one that often gets ignored or cast aside, although it is perhaps one of the most important elements in a player’s game,” Cole said. “This discussion on becoming engaged, fully immersed, and focused in the current experience, was one that definitely piqued my interest, as it was a concept that was somewhat unfamiliar to me.”
Cole noted that those who are engaged are willing both to experience and to fail. When one is truly engaged in tennis, they lose all inhibitions and feel free to attempt different tactics, to lose and win points without feeling extreme consequences. Lauer presented different methods that could help players stay focused: having players write in journals and his “Double B” method, which is “believe” and “breathe.” Engaged players strike each ball with intention, and they ask questions about a drill or something they don’t understand.
These methods are valuable to instructors, because it allows them to see whether players are really engaged or just going through the motions.
Corey said, “This presentation was vital in my development as a future professional. Obtaining more knowledge of the mental aspect of tennis will definitely allow me to be more helpful to my future clients, as I can accurately address whether they need to improve more physically, mentally, or both.
“As a student, it is important for me to obtain a great wealth of knowledge in order to become more rounded as an individual, and I felt this presentation helped me in doing so. Not only that, but I ultimately felt that I could apply the concept of full engagement to more than just playing tennis. In addition to my endeavors on the court, I can learn to become fully engaged in schoolwork and my career.
“As a tennis instructor whose goal is to teach life skills through the medium of tennis, I feel that when I graduate with my degree, I will be able to help my clients to be engaged in all their endeavors both on and off the court.”