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Player Advice
I Practice All The Time, So Why Am I Losing?

  • “Just work hard and the rest will take care of itself.”
  • “All you have to do is believe in yourself and anything is possible.”
  • “Stay positive, set goals and get a little bit better every day. Do this, and your dreams will become a reality.”

We have all heard clichés like these throughout our lives. While they can be inspiring and comforting, are they really true for everyone or apply to just some people?

Dave Mullins

When I was 12 years old, my mother managed to get us onto the grounds of Wimbledon the day before the main draw matches started. We stumbled across Stefan Edberg (my childhood hero) practicing with Michael Chang. I studied every move they made for the next 30 minutes, but the one thing that stood out to me more than anything was the size of their calf muscles! I don’t know why, but as I walked around the grounds that day watching players get ready for the biggest tournament of the year, I started checking out the players’ legs.

Sure enough, all the male players had monstrous calf muscles. Based on this experience, I believed that one ingredient to becoming a professional tennis player was to have big, powerful legs. I assumed that with the right training, nutrition and commitment, I too would someday have calf muscles that size.

But for me, that day never came. You see, I have more of a long distance runner’s body. I wasn’t built for power, I was built for endurance. It did not matter how many calf raises I committed to doing, I was never going to replicate the same powerful, tree trunk legs of the players I saw strutting around the courts of Wimbledon years earlier. Why?

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Page updated on Sunday, September 16, 2018
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