I played a set earlier this week with one of our junior academy players. It was my first in months, it was probably his umpteenth of the month! He's 14, I'm 51. He's on the up and I'm, well....on the down. As we pass by each other in these opposing directions, it was actually a pretty good match-up and we had some entertaining points.
The real battle however was with myself and my inner game in the knowledge that my outer game is not what it once was. The movement and footwork wasn't quite there, the eyes not as sharp, the legs felt a little shaky, and what was never a big serve lacked any bite whatsoever. Yes, the deficit column is definitely getting longer and I was in danger of beating myself up over this and playing the victim.
But this day I won that battle in the head, and managed to focus my attention in on what I can still do rather on what I can no longer do and found ultimately that I still have a few things in surplus. As Judy Murray has been quoted saying, 'It's not about what you have but what you do with what you have.' That was enough on the day, but will see what happens next Tuesday when we meet again!
That's a choice for us everyday I guess, and at any age. Focus on what's in your surplus column. Wasn't Katarina Johnson-Thompson's heptathlon victory last night a victory over adversity after a series of high profile 'failures' at major events? 'The low moments have helped me come back and look at myself' she said, 'This has been my dream. I've been trying to beat myself and I have found a formula that works. Everybody's got their journey and it's not been very straightforward for me. It's not been easy.'
Don't beat yourself up today over what is diminishing or what you don't have. Focus on what you've got and how to use it to the best of your ability.
Have a good one!