Advantage Receiver

Most sports can be taken as a metaphor for life. Tennis is the game that comes to mind when I am thinking about facing a challenge with a degree of uncertainty.

I picture the guy at the bottom of the court, the receiver, bobbing up and down on the spot, waiting for the serve. He taps his racket on the palm of his hand a few times, then its bounce bounce bounce. “I’m ready for you. I can take anything you can send over here.”

Then BANG – the server has slammed the ball over the net and its heading at the receiver. All that pent up energy springs into action as he organises his body to get to where it needs to be to return that ball.

In the meantime, the roles have flipped. Now the server is scurrying into position to return the ball if it comes back to him. Thats what I like about tennis. I’m ready; Here it is. I’m ready; Here it is.  The back and forth of readiness and response until someone slips up and the point is won and lost.

The server has all the kudos. There’s drama in the prowl to the base line, bouncing the ball to steady the nerves, and ultimate exertion to belt the ball forward. But is the receiver that interests me. All he can do is be ready. He has trained, studied his opponent, and planned his tactics. But at this moment, all he can do is be ready and open to what happens next.

I seem to be playing tennis in slow motion these days. I am teaching myself how to be open and ready for what comes, but my response time is slow. I need time to work through the things that are coming my way. Maybe I will miss a few things as they fly past. I will let that happen, because I am aiming to improve my technique. I hope that in the long run, I’ll be a better player as a result.


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