I believe you can become awesome at the stomping unicorn backhand–or many other things–in just one day. Here’s how.
I heard a great story once.
A visiting instructor once gave a two-day seminar at my tennis** club, and he told us about a similar seminar he’d given at a different club.
** The sport has been changed to protect the identities of the innocent. I don’t know tennis from snail polo.
On the first day, he’d taught the class a move called the stomping unicorn backhand. Most of the more advanced students were familiar with the stomping unicorn, but it was sparkling new for the less experienced students.
The students all had a go at the stomping unicorn, and some of them kind of pulled it off.
Then the instructor taught them to defend against the stomping unicorn. Did I say “defend”? Tennis players use that word, right?
The students’ exchanges for the next half hour went something like this. Stomping unicorn! Stomping unicorn defense!
Frustrated (and kind of whiny) student: Why didn’t my stomping unicorn work?
Instructor: Your opponent defended against it.
Frustrated student: So how do I make it work?
Instructor: Go home and practice it a thousand times. You’ll get to know it so well you’ll be able to pull it off no matter what your opponent does.
Frustrated student: …
The next day the instructor watched the students play a few matches and noticed that two complete beginners were using the stomping unicorn every second move and even the advanced students couldn’t defend against it.
He gathered the class together.
Instructor to two kick-ass students: What did you do to get so good at the stomping unicorn?
Kick-ass student: We did what you said–went home and practiced it a thousand times.
Why this story rocks
I love this story because it shows you’re in control. If you want to be amazing at something, work at it. It doesn’t have to take forever.
If you can’t go home and do it a thousand times in one night, maybe you can go home and do it a hundred times. Then you’re only a week and a half away from amazingness.
So if you’re stuck at home with too much time on your hands and not enough books to read, decide what you want to be great at and do it a thousand times.
** Yes, I know worldwide coronavirus doesn’t make it an apocalypse and it really does suck. Doesn’t mean you can’t learn a new skill.
What new skill do you want to learn?
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