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Thump Article Series 2,

Episode 2 : 6th November - Mr Miyagi...


I just have to share this one. It was one of my first tennis lessons I remember.

I was watching a match many many moons ago. It was one of my first interclub matches in an adult team and I had already played so  I watched my team mates battle it out. Back in my day there was a massive process to go through to play adult tennis when you were a junior. This included putting a proposal together, going to a committee meeting for the discussion, having an adult in the prospective team vouch for you and agree to take responsibility and I had to reach a certain age (15) at the time. If you hopped on one leg and the wind was blowing at 10km/hour then you were granted the honour of playing Senior tennis by the committee at the time. Ha. Back then there was a wait list to join the club as well. Wow! A back in my day story...jeez I'm old! 

Anyway, back to the story of the day. Adult male approximately 40ish (I'll call him Mr Miyagi) vs a 14yr old boy. The Dad of the boy was loving how the kids got to play more experienced players who don't hit the ball the way kids are used to playing. Slice n dice, no pace, lobs and using their head to get the result to go their way. Fantastic practise for the kids who are used to balls being hit at a certain pace at a certain height with certain spin. 

14yr old boy loses the first set 6-3. One of the adult team members pops across to see how the match is going. When 14yr old was asked how he thought he was going, he said"good". Mr Miyagi was getting in the boys head. Telling 14yr old how well he was playing, so the boy thought he was doing well even though he was getting hammered. 

Advice goes back to 14yr old along the lines of...if you were playing well you'd be winning. Make him run and play your shots! Get your head out of your butt and win the game. Believe it or not, that was the nice version. 

Mr Miyagi stopped talking to 14yr old for 2 game change overs and was down 4-1. Then he starts again. He continues to talk to the boy on the change over and on a couple of occasions even puts his racquet down to clap the 14yr old winner. Praising him on how well he is playing. Miyagi employs the death by a thousand drop shots and moon ball technique on 14yr old. Mr Miyagi is up 5-4. Over comes the team mate that got 14yr old to focus earlier asking him not to talk to the owner of Miyagi Do Karate because you are getting schooled. Mr Miyagi ends up wining the set and match in a breaker by saving his best for last. He employed the death by a thousand slices technique. Very effective against a nervous 14yr old who was just trying to get the ball in.

14yr old comes off the court, goes to his Dad and says, that was a really nice guy Dad. I really enjoyed that match! The Dad replies I'm glad you had fun son. What a great Dad I thought. Pretty sure mine wouldn't have said that...aye Dad.

After the match I shared a drink with Mr Miyagi. I asked how he thought the match went. He said with a smirk on his face "I was clearly not the better player out there, but you don't have to be to win this game" That has stuck with me for many many years. One of my first and most important tennis and life lessons. Mr Miyagi at his finest. Everyone goes away feeling happy. By the way, 14yr olds team lost by a set on count back. Mr Miyagi's team ended up staying in the grade because of it and 14yr old team went down a grade...Maybe one side was happier than the other. Ha.

If you'd like to see more of these articles, please like our Facebook page and buy gazillions of our products. Ha. Our NZ exclusives spotlight this week are the back packs. 3 pack bags are out and backpacks are in this season so take a look at the biggest and best we have :

Head Tour Team Back Pack Bl/Wh

Next week will be some helpful hints on saving money in tennis. 

Till next week, keep on Thumpin.