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Learning: the Role of Academia in Sport and for the Tennis Player

With ‘education and sport’ remaining such an in-depth topic that is rarely afforded the attention it deserves, this is a follow-up to our most recent Blog on ‘Education and its Role in Aspiring Tennis Players and Athletes‘. As the former looked at education more broadly and its applicability to building a player’s capacity and how education can be leveraged to enhance player/athlete performance, here we’re going to dig a little deeper. Most simply, education and academia fall under the same umbrella. Education can, however, be viewed as the initial learning years that are ‘mandatory’ for those who have access to these frameworks. Academia can then be viewed as ‘non-mandatory’ and rather used as a complementary tool to enhance performance and continue along a similar trajectory as The Pathway but with a more purposeful outlook.

By this it can be implied that academia is an individual’s personal desire — to learn, to continue their initial education into a more formal area and being immersed in academia in and of itself. However, for the tennis player this can be shaped as a continued ability to leverage their education and continue to do so in one or more of their peak areas of interest. Recall that through the initial formative years of a player/athlete their is limited choice of the actual framework, in most cases, as they are encouraged to learn a multitude of subjects to set them up for their later pursuits in life and/or prepare them for a more in-depth learning process in academia (i.e. University). However, this isn’t the premise.

The premise is centred around a player’s ability to ‘learn’ laterally and contextually by varied means with the tools at their disposal and in this case, using their education and the multitude of subjects they’re learning to tap into ‘other’ elements of play. And this is where the 7 Keys can amplify a players performance.

But there’s no mistaking the complexity that underwrites The 7 Keys and for a player/athlete to have a reasonable understanding of their initial education to better grasp and understand the topics to concepts to be presented in academia. By taking the next step in education, this can be assimilated with a player’s performance advancing in unison whilst their habits remain true. In other words, the structure of formal education can be integrated into the life of the player/athlete to afford a sense of normalcy and control — structure, that allows them to continue to follow The Pathway without losing sight of their end goal; becoming more susceptible to this when that structure is no longer in place.

A more prominent benefit nonetheless of academia is for the player/athlete to ‘finally’ study what they’re most interested in and/or inclined towards. On this premise, academia can be leveraged as a balancing act in more than one way whereas the player/athlete is continuing to reach new heights as they follow The Long Game and progressively ascend towards the Top 10. This ascension can occur in conjunction with the player/athlete and academia — using academia to offset this greater ‘progressive’ load and keep their intellectual advantage that has been honed over their schooling years and is now being maintained and equally ‘progressed’ in their academic pursuits for the ‘win‘.

Tune in to Beyond Top 10 Tennis for this week’s episode to learn more. And if you enjoy the episode, be sure to like, follow to subscribe or even a few stars or five! In the interim, catch up on the episode notes for all of our social links (or simply scroll to the bottom of this page).