Bay Area Tennis and coaching legend, and my martial arts mentor John Nelson writes a book about Martial Arts (and more) In the Mastery of Tennis.

Martial arts carries as integral components time-honored principles of personal mastery and athletic performance. Tennis, the sport for a lifetime, has much to learn from accepting and adhering to basic martial arts fundamentals, not only physically and technically but also personally, emotionally, and psychologically. Examining martial arts sheds light on common denominators of athletic performance, which transfer and apply to every sport.

An athlete cannot fulfill his potential without focusing on the full panoply of fundamentals: physically tangible and the psychologically and emotionally intangible. Mastering tennis requires completely committing to each and every fundamental, including those that improve attitude and learning skills.

Mastering each fundamental represents a journey into improvement and excellence not only for tennis and martial arts as specific disciplines but also for overall personal fulfillment and mastery in life.

Embrace a learning mind-set and look for the opportunity to learn from everything. Learn purposefully and with discipline. Stay in the present and focus on what is happening now. Dispense with your ego and go with the flow, fearing nothing. Stay calm and relaxed as the moment is the only thing. Feel yin and yang, flow and force. Breathe fully, relaxing in the present without the self, without fear, and with the mind and body as one. Be ready. Look to the greatest threat. Move from the ground, staying balanced. Set up, and use the earths power to stroke from the ground, driving and rotating through the legs, hips, core, shoulders, arm, and racket.

Mastering these fundamentals unlocks the power of action, unleashing the fulfilling power of the self. Paradoxically, dispensing with the selfs ego leads to self-actualization and fulfillment. Learn and master these fundamentals and youll not only become a much better tennis player; youll become a better learner, performer, and athlete. Much more importantly, youll become a better person.


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