It seems almost everyone wants to play with players better than themselves. The fallacy is that if I play with players better than me, then, by osmosis, I will also get better.
This is simply not true. In my understanding you can improve regardless of who is on the other side of the court in most situations.
The wise man learns from every situation, the fool blames everyone else and learns nothing, and it is never his fault!
Consequently, this week’s blog is about finding a way to learn and enjoy the game, even if you find yourself on the court with someone who does not play as well as you!
I would like to start with a funny (and sad anecdote!). I once put a group together and two different people came to me after the game and said, ‘please do not put me with that person again because she is much too weak a player for me’. They were talking, not about a third party, but about each other!
So, it is always good to keep in mind that our assessment of ourselves or others may not always be spot on. You may need to ask for an honest second opinion (not always easy to get!).
Regardless, the topic is how can we get the most out of every situation that we are placed in.
It is quite simple really, we just have to think a little outside the box or turn off one of the many minds (voices) floating in our heads.
Let us assume that your assessment is correct and that you are playing opponents that are much weaker than you. Once you recognize that, you have to turn off your competitive mind and now focus on how you can enjoy this experience and make it productive.
The first thing is if their backhand is weaker than their forehand, hit to the forehand! If they cannot move, hit to them! If they cannot handle your most powerful shots, hit at a pace they can handle!
I think by now, you get the picture. In this way, both you and your opponent can enjoy the game. They will get a chance to play and you will have a chance to hit more balls.
In addition, you can always try tactics you are uncomfortable with or try to hit shots that you are not proficient at.
Again, in my experience, my game only really jumped levels, when I was able to work some things out in me and was completely unrelated to my opponents or my hitting partners. As I got more comfortable with myself, I was able to execute my shots better; and the person on other side cannot help me get more comfortable with myself.
In short, in my opinion, there is a great deal of growth possible in YOURSELF in every situation.
Or you could stay the same and just blame the game-arranger!