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First Step: Awareness

balancing awareness with intentionality

Have you ever become aware of an issue in your playing, and as you begin to work on it, it feels like you're getting worse? It feels like it, doesn't it? What's actually happening is that we become hyper-aware of the issue and hand, and therefore start to realize our own habits that were there all along. Convincing oneself that this awareness is actually the first step to improving is crucial.

As we are building our new habits into our daily routine, there is a natural tendency to be overly intentional. This is where I am currently looking for a healthy balance. How do I ask my body to do what I know what I want it to do without becoming too negative when old habits creep back in. I'm reminded of body mapping class with Dr. Andree Martin where she highly encouraged unlearning an old habit via awareness (I need more practical help on this...). I also read recently in The Inner Game of Tennis, "Rhythm can never be achieved by being overly purposeful about it; you have to let it happen. But sensitivity to rhythm developed through concentration helps" (Gallwey, 90). So my personality wants me to be intentional about this habit building (not a bad thing), but much of what I study says to focus on the awareness of what I'm currently doing. Potential solution: Be really clear in what I want the end outcome to be, but focus my mind on what I'm currently doing; become very aware of what my natural rhythm is.

Time to keep exploring,

Adam C White

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