Some lessons have more texture
Texture or distractions... Ethan is almost nine years old and has been taking
lessons since summer. He likes nature and is always distracted by the animals and squirrels that populate the wooded private
court where we conduct the lessons.
Today was especially taxing on the effort of providing a quality tennis lesson.
Focus needed to be maintained and Ethan needed to remain in a comfort zone for the best learning possible. First, I spent
45 minutes sweeping and rolling the court to dry the last puddles from the rain earlier in the day. I'm of course pleased
that the rain stopped by mid day giving me the opportunity to work with Ethan today.
Well, the cold temperature
was just the beginning. As the sun started to set a very bright sliver of sunlight pierced below the black clouds making it
impossible to see the shots sent in my direction. This sunlight heated the atmosphere enough to start the wind gusts covering
the court with 10 inch long pine needles and making the ball move in impossible directions. Then, huge drops of rain
shot down so hard it felt like it would turn to hail any minute. I persevered, and Ethan regained his focus revealing his
beautiful stroke shape and periodically hit a perfect shot.
Later, he struggled getting his serve to go far enough
to clear the net. The biggest distraction came when the wind dislodged a dead squirrel carcass (just skin and fur), from one
of the huge pine trees, and it came hurling down right in mid court. Not to break the rhythm of the lesson I just scooped
it to the side and kept going. Ethan was still curious, but we rallied for a while, hit for rhythm till he had to go to the
restroom leaving me to pick up all the balls myself, pack up and get out of there.
I told him what great kid he
was through all the distractions, gave him a Christmas gift of an orange and we agreed to meet again on Saturday.
Sometimes it is more than contact point, balance and rhythm.