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Monday, 8 March 2010

The Natural Tennis Player Theory

I often hear certain people referred to by others as being “natural tennis players”. It is as if anyone who plays well was just born to play tennis.

Associated with these concepts is the common belief that good players were born good or at least at some stage they automatically became good.

Firstly no one is a “natural tennis player”. Highly skilled players are invariably naturally talented athletes who if brought up in a different sporting environment would almost certainly enjoy a high level of success in that particular sport. Naturally talented athletes would logically have the potential to excel in a wide range of physical activities. I have a strong belief that if even the very best players eg Lleyton Hewitt were not introduced to tennis, then of course they would not even play the game let alone excel at it.

In Lleyton’s case I am sure he would be capable of achieving a high degree of success in a number of other sports eg football & golf.

With reference to the “natural tennis player” there is no such person – anyone who plays the game well has achieved that situation by endeavour – thousands of hours of hard work. The combination of natural athletic ability, opportunity & a passion for the game leads to success. Some people have similar theories related to certain sections of the game. For example, some players are described as “natural volleyers” – again a misconception – there is no such player, only those that don’t volley well & those that do (very few I might add) & all of these develop skills in the area by sheer hard work.


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