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#429611 - 12/20/07 11:39 PM Connection between tennis training and piano practice.
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
In case you didn't know, I play a lot of tennis. I started playing when I was 5 and even though I was offered other sports (my mom played basketball in college and my dad ran track), I stayed completely obsessed with tennis. I consider myself a lot better at tennis than piano but I still have alot to learn in both.

Now, I have 2 quotes from my coach:

"If you hang your head like a loser, trip over your bottom lip like a loser, and walk like a loser then you'll be a loser.

But if you work like a champion, act like a champion, & walk like a champion then
you'll be a champion.

Don't accept defeat, grasp it, learn from it, work on it, and make it perfect.


There's no pitcher, goalie, reciever, or other people when you're on this court. It's you & only you. You win, then pat yourself on the back and do it again. You mess up, then it's your fault. Don't freak out but just give yourself a *light* hit on your side and soldier on.

Everyone here is a perfectionist, that's why we play this sport. Tennis is a perfectionalist's sport.

There's always hope. so what if you dug yourself a hole? get out of the hole, i
know you can do that, i've seen you do it. It's not over until you walk off that court.

With every forehand, backhand, serve, and volley i expect you to put passion into it and have fun with it. Do it because you want to and because you love this sport.

Act like a champion because that's what each of you are. You are a champion."

----------------------


"If there were ever a time to dare, to make a difference, to embark on
something worth doing, it is NOW...
Not for any grand cause, necessarily but for something that tugs at
your heart, something that is your aspiration, something that is your
dream. You owe it to yourself to make your days here count- Have fun,
Dig Deep, Stretch, Dream Big. Know, though, that things worth doing
seldom come easy. There will be good days. There will be bad days.
There will be times when you will want to turn around, pack it up, and call
it quits. Those times tell you that you are pushing yourself, that
you are not afraid to learn by trying. Persist, Because with an
idea, Determination, and the right tools, you can do great things.
Let your insticts your intellect, and you HEART guide you. TRUST.
Believe in the incredible power of the human mind. OF doing something
that makes a difference, of working hard, of haughing, hopeing , of
lasting friends. Of all the things that will cross your path this year.
The start of something new brings hope of something great. Anything
is possible. There is only one of you. You pass this way only once DO
IT RIGHT."

I'm finally starting to realize that pianists must push themselves as hard as athletes when they train. What do you think? Are we training and pushing ourselves hard enough?

Matt

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#429612 - 12/21/07 12:25 AM Re: Connection between tennis training and piano practice.
pianist.ame Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 1166
Loc: Singapore
my piano teacher tells me the same thing as your coach.

we do have to push ourselves very hard as well as it takes alot of discipline to sit down at the piano for hours everyday. sometimes I start to get lazy and i'll remind myself that it's my choice and if I want to achieve my goals I have to work hard
_________________________
Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata

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#429613 - 12/21/07 03:04 AM Re: Connection between tennis training and piano practice.
Ted2 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 790
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
I played tennis at a high amateur level for many years but I cannot see much resemblance between the two activities aside from both requiring a certain obvious minimal level of discipline. The mental processes required for tennis are extremely crude compared to those involved in the creation of music. Tennis for me, aside from embodying a certain pleasurable yoga of physical movement and coordination, had very little to do with the pursuit of beauty, while music has almost everything to do with it. Most of the time I do not have any sense of struggling or striving at the piano; I just play and let the ideas out.
_________________________
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

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#429614 - 12/21/07 09:21 AM Re: Connection between tennis training and piano practice.
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
I think your words are fine as far as they go.

But there is also a lot of wisdom in knowing your limitations, knowing when you are overstressing, and realizing that it may be best to adjust goals, or even change fields altogether, rather than ruining your life.

I'll bet that many of us on the forum who are older pianists have changed our goals and commitment vis-a-vis music several times during our lives, and are happier for it.

Also, the idea of "champions," and an in your face kind of competition, isn't really an integral part of the musical culture. Oh, we have our competitions, I know, and personal achievment is certainly a part of it, but it's not really about winning so much as attaining an impersonal cultural ideal and expression.

And I want to be a part of that cultural ideal and expression, even if I don't personally carry the torch to the highest level. That is why I strive as an older pianist. I probably could have gone much further had I taken your attitude as a younger person, but I still wouldn't have carried the torch to the highest level. And I wonder if I would have been able to pursue a love of music in the way that I do, at this age, if I had followed that path. I doubt it very much.

Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#429615 - 12/21/07 09:59 AM Re: Connection between tennis training and piano practice.
igobarefoot Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 3
Loc: Destin, FL
I'm surprised that no one haas already mentioned the book "The Inner Game of Tennis." One f my professors said that it was required reading for every music student when he went to school years ago. So I went and bought the book a couple months ago, and the whole book can be applied to piano study. It's very cool. It's definately worth a read.

-Sean
_________________________
www.SeanDietrichMusic.com

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind." -Ghandi

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#429616 - 12/21/07 10:42 AM Re: Connection between tennis training and piano practice.
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18292
Loc: Victoria, BC
There's much of this "folk wisdom" that can be put into analogies or parallels with any undertaking that requires long-term working towards a level of perfection.

There is, of course, much wisdom in what Tomasino says; we should know our limitations and while we work to continuously improve ourselves, to become as proficient as we possibly can be, our goals should be realistic. If we set pianistic goals for ourselves that are unattainable, we risk being constantly dissatisfied with our progress and frustrated with our inability to reach those goals. I might also add that one doesn't have to reach the status of a professional pianist to derive great satisfaction from what can be achieved while trying to master the art of playing the piano.

I think one of the big "flaws" in the goals of many young people studying piano is that they have their eyes on very lofty goals, such as the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto or the Beethoven "Waldstein" Sonata or the Liszt Transcendental Etudes, and they fail to aim for and value more intermediate, more realizable intermediate goals. I think this is an important key to our satisfaction in playing the piano: to appreciate and value those intermediate goals that we can achieve even as we aim for higher ones.

It's all very well to aim for mastering extremely difficult repertoire, but those who concentrate on that material as their primary goals are missing out on the sheer joy that can be realized by mastering technically less demanding but equally satisfying works.

I am not sure - since I'm not a tennis player - whether such stages of satisfaction can be reached along the way towards perfecting ones game. There again, though, what are the goals? Is the joy from playing simply in playing tennis well, or does the satisfaction come only from winning the game? I guess that depends on the player and on his/her goals.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#429617 - 12/21/07 11:30 AM Re: Connection between tennis training and piano practice.
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
The study of any sport is similar to the study of music. They both require discipline and focus on excelling and bringing one's skills to the highest level one can.

Unfortunately this concept is lost on the general public because playing a musical instrument looks easy compared to playing in a sporting event. The athlete may sweat more, but the musician is working just as hard mentally and sometimes physically just as hard.

The statements made by your tennis coach, Matt are definitely similar to what my piano teachers told me when I was studying.

John
_________________________
Nothing.

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#429618 - 12/21/07 11:33 AM Re: Connection between tennis training and piano practice.
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19643
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by BruceD:
There is, of course, much wisdom in what Tomasino says; we should know our limitations and while we work to continuously improve ourselves, to become as proficient as we possibly can be, our goals should be realistic. If we set pianistic goals for ourselves that are unattainable, we risk being constantly dissatisfied with our progress and frustrated with our inability to reach those goals. I might also add that one doesn't have to reach the status of a professional pianist to derive great satisfaction from what can be achieved while trying to master the art of playing the piano.

I think one of the big "flaws" in the goals of many young people studying piano is that they have their eyes on very lofty goals, such as the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto or the Beethoven "Waldstein" Sonata or the Liszt Transcendental Etudes, and they fail to aim for and value more intermediate, more realizable intermediate goals. I think this is an important key to our satisfaction in playing the piano: to appreciate and value those intermediate goals that we can achieve even as we aim for higher ones.

It's all very well to aim for mastering extremely difficult repertoire, but those who concentrate on that material as their primary goals are missing out on the sheer joy that can be realized by mastering technically less demanding but equally satisfying works.
[/b]
I agree completely.

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#429619 - 12/21/07 12:04 PM Re: Connection between tennis training and piano practice.
Stanza Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1458
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
I'm thinking golf is a better comparative sport. In tennis, you play against someone.
In golf you are the one in control. You hit the ball when you want and try to hit it where you want. Sometimes you take risks, other times play safe.
_________________________
Estonia L190 #7004
Casio PX 310
Yamaha NP 30

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