Comprehending our capabilities and our limitations is an important part of being comfortable with our surroundings in all aspects of life.
For instance, in order to remain in my comfort zone if I am driving down a crowded freeway or interstate in rainy or icy conditions—versus driving on an open road on a nice sunny day—I need to slow down, give myself more distance between other vehicles, and pay more attention to my surroundings.
In comparison, comprehending our capabilities and our limitations during competition is vital to our abilities to confidently execute shots under pressure and remain in our comfort zone.
In the same way, I adjust my driving strategies and apply the necessary skills required in accordance to the conditions of the road I am traveling, on the court I need to adjust my strategies and apply the necessary skills required in accordance to the conditions—aka skill level—of my opponents.
On the road, the capabilities of my driving skills are challenged by weather–related conditions, aka Mother Nature.
In sports, the capabilities of my playing skills are challenged by strategically related conditions, aka my opponents.
The success of both my driving skills and my playing skills are directly related to the conditions I face and adjust to accordingly.
On the road, because of the pressures and challenges put on me by the wet or icy road conditions, there are driving maneuvers I may not—necessarily—attempt that I would on a nice sunny day.
On the court, because of the pressures and challenges put on me by my opponents, there are shots that I may not—necessarily—attempt in an open championship level match, as I would in a 4.0 level match.
Just like driving in inclement weather conditions, when I feel more stress and pressure, I need to stay within the boundaries of the limitations of my capabilities in order to stay on the road. In competition, when I feel more stress and pressure, I need to stay within the boundaries of the limitations of my capabilities in order to stay in the game.
So, be aware of your capabilities and your limitations both on the road and on the court and stay in your comfort zone.
Wayne Clark is a professional tennis instructor with over 25 years’ experience coaching players on all levels of the game. Wayne is also qualified in pickleball instruction and is on staff as an instructor with The Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida at East Naples Community Park. Contact Coach Wayne by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone or text at 239-450-6161.