Look at the ball. In some ways I want to end this article right there. Look at the ball. Those four words are powerful. Look at the ball.
When I say these words to a professional tennis player, they are taken very seriously. If I am saying these powerful words as the player’s coach or advisor, the pro player immediately focuses every fiber in their body towards allowing their eyes to look at the ball. Look at the ball.
I have seen players of all levels improve and break through plateaus simply by learning to look at the ball.
And a player really does have to learn how to look at the ball. It takes focus to look at the ball. Eye focus. Body focus. Mind focus. Emotional focus. Look at the ball.
In my over 20 years of experience as a coach and advisor, I've learned that everything in tennis should revolve around looking at the ball. Footwork, timing, shot selection… All workouts in the gym, sprints, plyos… Nutritional schedule, sleep schedule, sport psychology…
All of this is to help a player look at the ball.
A player must develop eyes to see. The eyes are everything. Quickness, anticipation, instinct all comes from the ability to relay information from the eyes to the brain to the body. Look at the ball.
Life is like this. Do you have a dream… a goal… something that you want to accomplish? Look at the ball. It is the same. Look at the ball.
Is your dream big? Look at the ball. Is your goal seemingly unattainable? Look at the ball.
When a player has a focus, their goals and dreams come into focus. What do you want to do with your life?
Do you want something more? Do you have a special dream few know about? Do you feel you are overwhelmed? Look at the ball.
You can accomplish all things. Look at the ball.
Focus. With focus a player can develop a plan. The plan develops the dream. The ability to look at the ball brings the dream to reality.
I had a dream. I wanted to stay alive. My life as a young person was difficult. In my early 20’s I didn’t think I was going to make it. Life was hard. I had a coach in my life that refused to let my life slip away. Look at the ball.
This coach didn’t play tennis. But his words of wisdom echoed in my heart. He taught me to focus on his advice to get me through. I listened during that critical time. Thank God he was there. Look at the ball.
Look at the ball. Those four words are so powerful. Focus. Dream. Look at the ball.
Mr. Paschal, I just discovered Faithwriters.com. I was looking for encouraging and uplifting articles on setting goals. I came across your article, and enjoyed this interesting way to to look at staying focused on one's goals. I grew up playing softball and a little tennis, and that may be why I relate to the the clever analogy of learning to keep your focus on the ball, to keeping your focus on your dreams and goals. I also found it interesting in your profile that you set a goal and established a Christian tennis academy. Have you seen advantages as a Christian coach giving training advise from a positve standpoint such as in this article? I look forward to reading more encouraging articles by you, the Christian tennis coach at Faithwriters.com, since I have decided to join as a member also. For now, thanks for the advise to keep my eye on the ball, I have been needing some encouragement to refocus on my goals lately.
Amy, Scott Paschal of the Christian Tennis Association here. I just noticed you posted here as well. This must be your first post on one of my articles as I answered your others. That said... thanks for your tremendous critique of my article. I'm glad you discovered faithwriters.com. I discovered it over a year ago when a friend posted an article, but wanted to wait until the time was right for me to post. Well, I waited and God blessed and now I'm posting. I do work to stay focused. I focus on God and let Him fight my battles. Years ago I began working with abused junior tennis players and their families. From this I began to be attacked by abusive people. Everything about my life was attacked... my reputation was slandered, my family was slandered, my ministry was slandered, i received hate emails and phone calls! In fact, I have several phone calls recorded from a man who claims he was a pastor and is now a Christian tennis coach... yet this man's voice recordings are quite disgusting and abusive. In addition, one of my former students was having sex with her dad. Not good. As I discovered his sexual abuse of his young 14 year old daughter, he took her from my academy asap and began slandering me saying i was a terrible coach. But, this is ok, I don't mind. Someone has to stand up to the abuse going on in tennis and it may as well be me! Yet, in addition to myself I have two amazing staff members who are Christian tennis missionaries, Rachel and Melody Snelen, and their mother who is a Christian chaplain, Joy Snelen. All of us work to help abused people. I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts, Amy.