Friday, March 4, 2011

Playing tennis like the "wild thing" in D.H. Lawrence's poem

An interesting thing happened recently at a practice clinic.

One of the players was definitely not playing very well. It was not her best tennis.

Her timing and rhythm were off. Her footwork and quickness were not sharp. Her mind was not focused, and her strokes were tight. She started moping, groaning and just generally feeling sorry for herself.

The teaching pro then quoted a poem by the famous British poet D.H. Lawrence.

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

What did it all mean?

I think he meant to send a simple message:

Play tennis like that "wild thing" in nature.

Don't feel sorry for yourself on court. Live in the moment.
Accept whatever comes your way with grace and dignity.
Spring back from injury, hurt or temporary failure.
Exist and survive with natural strength.
Avoid self-doubt and remorse.


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