Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Forget Perfection, Just Practice

You've probably heard the old adage "practice makes perfect" or its seemingly more enlightened correction "perfect practice makes perfect." When it comes to tennis, both of these do more harm than good.

Perfection is not the goal, not in practice nor in play. The goal is to improve. The only way to improve is to practice. If you buy into the first adage and think that practice will make you perfect, you will surely be frustrated. There’s never been a perfect tennis player and you’re not likely to become the first. If you buy into the updated adage and think you need to practice perfectly, after a few imperfect practices you’ll abandon practice altogether. I can assure you that zero practice will be worse for your game than imperfect practice.

Nope, the only adage that makes sense is "practice makes better." To which I think it's fair to say, "better practice makes even better." By all means get together with a coach who can help you make your practices better, but don’t let all this nonsense about perfection get in your way. Forget perfection. Just practice. You will improve.

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