Above the Net - Tennis Tips for Life

Devotional

Be Ready, Stay Ready

Whether you are preparing for a tennis match or a regular day, there is much to gain by being ready and staying ready. If you have a match, are you ready to play? Does your bag have everything you need? How about your briefcase, backpack, or purse on non-play days?

Have you ever arrived at a match and realized, a bit too late, that you forgot your racket, water, or other crucial gear you needed? Did you eat well the night before as well as the day of your match? Did you allow time to let your food settle? Are you hydrated?

Coach Melissa told me once she can often predict who will win by watching the players before the match. The most prepared and focused player usually has the most success. Great players have routines that get them ready. Some routines are mental; others are physical. Beneficial routines involve both stretching and resting. The best players are well-prepared and ready.

Mary prepared her heart to be the mother of Jesus. Noah prepared to build the ark despite what everyone around him was thinking. King David’s years of preparation fueled his confidence to fight Goliath. Jesus prepared his disciples to share His good news with the world. They prepared for three years. When the time came, these heroes of the faith were ready for the task before them.

In a match, staying ready means returning to the ready position. You can’t play singles from one side of the court. The player who consistently “returns to ready” wins the match. I used to say “focus, footwork . . . back to center,” often in my head during a match. Getting back to the ready position after every shot is crucial.

In your tennis matches and in life, you don’t always know what is coming. Be diligent about your routines for play and rest. Read encouraging scripture. Listen to motivating music. Worship overpowers worry. Surround yourself with a strong team and community. Plan ahead, always. It’s much better to live and play offensively. Having a game plan to be ready and stay ready optimizes your best chance for success.