I’ve been learning to play tennis since the last couple of weeks. I’ve been using extra raquets with my coach. I wanted to buy a new raquet for myself.
I went to the best/closest tennis store that I could find and saw the options available for a beginner. I saw some of the options. The options available were all the same weight - slightly heavy at least what I thought. My arm’s been hurting so much these days - possibly because of the different raquets that I was using - or because of my poor form and just going at it mentality.
So I’m at the store - and I have three options to choose from. I spend my time on the internet researching and comparing the options. The racket that I ended up purchasing - the Head Attitude Tour - had the best marketing material. It had words in it’s marketing material like
This racquet will make sure that your first steps on the tennis court won’t be your last.
The amazon reviews looked great, It was rated as being good for beginners and intermediate level players. Had diagrams about how it was the best value and had the right sweet spot for the ball. It was cheaper in this store than on Amazon. Plus it had this amazing colour. These things matter to me.
So I bought it. I was kicked about this purchase.
There’s an excitement to new things that just makes it better for me.
The day when I took it to the court for the first time - I met the assistant coach first and I excitedly told him about my new raquet. His first reaction to this was that it was heavy. It was 275 gm on the label - but this coach found a marking of 300gm on the raquet itself. Said that he would have preferred that I bought a lighter raquet. He talked about how it was not the nano material that the other Head Ti S6 model was made of. Mine is graphite. He said the balance was wrong - and I would need to get used to the heavier intermediate level playing style. He heard the price wrong and thought it was Rs. 47,000 instead of Rs. 4700.
I was a little dejected - but I’d made this purchase so I started with my drills. It was alright while warming up. I was a little less pumped but still excited about playing with it. I would be able to get used to something good. Sure it wasn’t the greatest. The group and I played some games - I was ok. My arms were beginning to get sore again.
Then the head coach came in. He’s a jolly - excited about life kind of a guy. He told me that I have to give him a party for buying a new raquet. Picked up my racket and said it was excellent. When I told him the price - he asked if I held a gun to the shopkeeper’s head - that the price was really low for this kind of a raquet. He played a few shots with my raquet too. I asked about the weight and he said that this is a little on the higher end but still the right range for a beginner.
On hearing this I was ecstatic. My soreness reduced. I felt more confident while playing. Even my shots connected slightly better.
This basically goes to show what a few words of encouragement can do to you. It might have helped that it came after words of discouragement from someone who I respected more than the first person. Words are powerful though and the right words can make someone’s just easier. Everyone is struggling slightly and getting better is within reach for most with the right mindset and getting that external validation can help make the journey smoother.