Words of Wisdom
There are many players who don’t want to either know about the style of their upcoming opponents OR how they could improve their own game. I am just the opposite… I want to know as much as I can on both counts.
At Fantasy Camp one year, I was standing next to my good friend Willy Hoffmann while Legend John Newcombe was telling him how he should change his service motion to improve it. “Ja, Ja.” Willy said as Newk walked away and I said to him, “You’re not going to change, are you?” And he just smiled.
There are certain top level players like my almost-partner Hank Irvine and Fred Drilling who, after beating you in singles or doubles, are very willing to give you advice on how you can improve your game – and both have been very generous to me that way (lots of room for improvement, you say??).
Years ago after he beat me easily in singles, Hank told me that he could read my backhand to know whether I was going down the line or cross court; so I immediately practiced hitting both shots with the same setup.
But there are many players who feel that winners giving advice is pretentious and are so wrapped up in their loss that they don’t want to even ask. And many who don’t want to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of upcoming opponents.
Thus, “Intelligence is contagious (except for those who are immune to it).”
Are you a listener, a sharer, or don’t want to know?
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