What has “The Wizard of Oz” got to do with Tennis?
The answer lies in Building Character!
Most people have qualities to be successful in anything they do but only by experiences in life are these character traits ever developed and used. That is why so many people believe that it is adversity, not prosperity that breeds success. The character building process is about putting people in situations or circumstances that draw these qualities from deep within themselves to the surface.
The ability to think, concentrate, focus, have guts, determination, passion and emotion, courage, patience, composure and persistence increases as a person is placed in a situation where they have to use these qualities in greater quantity and under more intensity and pressure. Obviously some people due to genetics and their particular upbringing in the early years acquire these traits to varying degrees. Therefore some students need more development than others.
We like to use the story of the Wizard of Oz, where the Tinman seeks a heart, the Scarecrow would like a brain and the Lion believes he is a coward and badly needs to find some courage. It is the battle to reach the Wizard and to survive the attacks of the Wicked Witch of the West that put these characters to the test. In their bid to help Dorothy whom they come to love with great passion, the 3 heroes develop all the skills and character traits that are needed not only to succeed, survive, save Toto and reach the Wizard, but also to satisfy their own insecurities. Dorothy shows great patience and determination and dedication to her cause and acts as the catalyst and in many ways a teacher and mentor to the trio.Dorothy, the Scarecrow the Tinman and the Lion gain these qualities from life experiences and it is quite painless because they are rewarded with brains, heart and courage without even knowing they had earned them from their endeavours. Due to their love and consideration for Dorothy, and Dorothy’s determination, the foursome set goals and together they eventually conquer them. Having acquired their dream, the three heroes found the answer to their questions. They had learnt to believe in themselves.
Overcoming our greatest fears, setting goals and achieving them are among the most satisfying, enjoyable and healthy activities in life. This process is necessary build a strong, rich and resourceful individual capable of getting through the many obstacles, ordeals, problems and disappointments in life. One must be enabled to enjoy life, love, happiness, ecstasy, success, winning, excitement, and fun yet also live through and accept injustice, defeat, failure, uncertainty, pain, sadness, despair, loneliness and death.
Our answer to all this lies in belief, resourcefulness and the strength of mind to combat every possible situation that can arise in the many twists and turns of life. Only the toughest will survive. So Mental Toughness, a key word in anything, especially tennis is something that needs to be taught, found and developed in the case of every student.
We ask that each generation of students here evolves and then passes their knowledge and experience down to the next generation of students, creating a clear path to guide each of us to wherever we wish to go.
Good luck & Best wishes,
Coaching Director, Tennis Blast