Setting goals, working hard for them and ticking them off the list are some of my favorite things to do.
Yep, I'm a little extra goal driven ✌️! And you should know it by now!
If not, then it means you haven't followed the blog series about tennis goals. And if I were you, I would go back to the first episode and start from there. (Who watches a TV series starting from the end?! 🤔).
But just in case you want some anticipation (no spoiler, I promise 🤚), here are all the episodes so far:
- EP #1: My long-term and short-term goals post comeback [Oct 2019]
- EP #2: 2019 in review + Tennis goals update #1 [Jan 2020]
- BONUS: My intentions [Jun 2020]
- EP #3: Long-term tennis goals checkpoint + Tennis goals update #2 [Oct 2020]
Btw if you’re new on this blog and have no clue about who I am, I'm Elena Margaria 👋🏻 and just like you, I'm on a mission to become the best tennis player I can 🥇. Even without a fancy team, or too much talent. Just with a huge desire to make it.
That's why Tennis Rematch exists: to share everything I learn along the way 🤓, so you can get better faster, and together we can prove that we can achieve anything we set our mind to 🔥.
But ok, back to business!
So... here I am, reflecting on what happened during this crazy 2020 (my first full-year post-comeback!), reporting on my last 3-4 months progress, and planning out my next goals!
You ready?! Let's go!
My 2020 in review
2020 started strong, and I mean literally. I had just got the High Performance Tennis Fitness Program as Christmas gift 🎁, so I couldn't NOT try it right away!
New year's resolutions, no tournaments in sight... everything seemed to say it was the perfect time to step up my fitness. And indeed, it was!
Too bad that just when I was ready to collect the fruits of what I'd planted 🌱, Coronavirus happened and in a blink of an eye tennis was on pause and tournaments were canceled until summer.
Not that perfect timing after all 🤦♀️!
My original plans fell off and I spent the next 2 months at home, trying to stay fit with home workouts, improving skills I never have time for and basically waiting for the storm to pass.
Then life and tennis finally resumed and, surprise surprise, I started getting little injuries 🦾🦿 every other match. What-a-comeback 👌!
I let you imagine my frustration. You can't do what you love for 3 months and when you finally can, your body rebels and gets in the way. AWFUL 🤬🤯!
But somehow I kept going, trying to keep my head down and work even harder to prevent this from happening again. And suddenly things clicked, and everything seemed to go my way!
Just take a look at this post from the end of the summer 👇.
And things just kept getting better and better from then on, like my hard work paid off with interests, huge interests! It was crazy: I was feeling unstoppable 💃🏼!
And with good reason I'd say, when I look back at the results I got during those months: 2 silver medals 🥈🥈 and 7 gold medals 🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇, with a total of 34 matches won out of 45.
But let's now forget about results, and focus on goals instead.
Did I achieve my latest ones? Or miserably failed?!
🎯 RANKING → SUCCESS #1 ✅
Back in October, my ideas were pretty clear on the ranking I wanted to reach by the end of the year: "My goal is to reach B2 in the Finnish ranking and be top 110 in Finland."
At the same time though, I wasn't very confident I could tick it off the list. "I might make it happen, or I might miss this goal badly." That's what I was thinking back then.
But here I am 🙋🏼♀️, happy to report that I did make it happen! My new Finnish ranking is B2 and my position is 111!
(Wait. Is this a joke?! Last time my goal was being top 170 and I had made it to 171, and now I'm missing one position again?! Let's just turn a blind eye, please 🙄.)
🎯 GAME → SUCCESS #2 ✅
"My goal is to generate more power with my shots, serve included."
I still remember, back in October I was very pleased with my game and pretty proud of my capacity of exploiting my opponents' power, yet I wanted more: I wanted to get good at generating power myself.
And ladies and gentlemen 🥁, YES: there's definitely been lots of progress on that! Of course, there's still a long way to go, but I'm already super satisfied of my improvements so far.
I even broke my serve record and finally hit over 140 km/h (143 km/h)!! Yayyyyyyy 🥳!!
🎯 ATTITUDE → SUCCESS #3 ✅
Even though I think it's actually one of my strengths (I can pretty much keep cool 🥶 in any situation and sustain my focus for a veeeeery long time these days), there's always room for improvement, especially when it comes to my confidence!
That's why last time I set a goal for my attitude I decided to try to change my beliefs about myself. It's ok to consider yourself the underdog 🐶 in most of the occasions, what's not ok is to think the underdog is supposed to lose!
So the goal I set for myself was this: "My goal is to always step on the court confident that I can find a way to win, whoever I play, and never lose a match without trying all my options."
And I can assure you this goal is not achieved, more than achieved 🔥!
In fact, for some unknown reason, lately I completely changed the way I see myself and my tennis, and I now never believe, not for a single second, that I cannot beat my opponent!
And if you've watched my first video on YouTube, the one where I tell you about my whole tennis life as an underdog, you know this already. That I feel so strongly about this that I even made it my mission 💘 to show you that no matter what you can always find a way!
🎯 FITNESS → SUCCESS #4 ✅ & FAILURE #1 ❌
"My goal is to get even faster feet 👣 and get stronger overall 🏋🏼♀️."
And here we are, with the 50/50 completion rate once again.
(Will I ever get to 💯%?! How hard can it be?!?)
Anyway... back to the 50/50: I did get faster feet, there's no doubt about it, and I did get a little bit stronger overall, but not as much I would have liked.
What a surprise: when you don't constantly train off court, what can you expect 🤷♀️?!
And yes, I do have a quite valid reason for not completing the High Performance Fitness Program I had promised I'd do, but let's adopt the no-excuses policy and just try to do better next time!
Sooo... facts and figures 📊 say once again that 87.5% of my goals were smashed, and only 12.5% were missed. What can I say: not entirely satisfied, but not bad at all. As always, baby steps are better than no steps at all!
But now, time to look ahead and plan the next 4 months!
For the first time ever, I won't set a ranking goal. Sad 🥺, I know. But tournaments are canceled until the end of April, so there's really no point. I'll still be B2 and rank 111, and there's nothing I can do about it: that's how it is!
Good news is, I'll have more time ⏳ and energy 🔋 to dedicate to my other goals. So can't complain after all!
🎯 GAME → My goal is to get better at finishing the point at the net, always take the ball early with my groundstrokes and consistently hit 140 km/h serves 💣 (and why not, maybe even get to 150 km/h. Am I asking too much?!).
I've always loved going to the net (and my volleys are not even that bad), but when I get those easy, soft balls that just need to be killed, I usually panic and end up doing massive gifts 🤦♀️.
Honestly? I've had enough: not going to miss another single one of those!
Taking the ball early... I'm already doing that most of the time, as my feet are basically stuck on the baseline even when doing a step backward would be a wise idea. Yet sometimes I still miss opportunities because I don't move forward early enough 😏.
So need to pay more attention to that and blow on my opponent's neck alllll the time.
Serve... well, nothing to add. Just that my obsession for my serve continues as you can see! But I'll have a killer serve one day, I promise 😅.
🎯 ATTITUDE → My goal is to take more risk and care less 😎*.*
Because... c'mon, I can't always play it safe: need to be the brave one sometimes! And be comfortable with it.
This is quite a big goal to set for myself and to be honest I'm even surprised I came up with it 🤨: you know, I'm the one who forces errors, not the one hitting winners right and left!
But I want to explore a bit and who knows, maybe I'll find out I actually feel good in these new shoes 👠! Well, I see it hard... but never say never!
🎯 FITNESS → My goal is to get even faster feet 👣 and get stronger overall 🏋🏼♀️*.*
But wasn't that my latest fitness goal?
Yes, it was. And since I'm not 100% satisfied of how it went, I want to try again and smash it as I say! So... High Performance Fitness Program here we come, once again!
This time though, I won't obsess about completing it all in one shot, without skipping a single day.
It's clear that, as it is, it's not sustainable for me and for my life right now (too many attempts failed for my tastes: enough of banging my head against the wall!). So instead I'll be flexible and adapt it to all my other practices, without feeling like a slacker!
And voilà, now you know exactly what I'm gonna work on in the next months!
Do you think I'll make it this time to smash all the goals I set for myself, or will I fail miserably once again❓ Be honest, I won't take it personally!
After all, whether it's 100% or 87.5% or even 75% of the goals, does it really matter? Not really.
What matters is to practice with purpose, do your best every single day and track progress so you never forget how far you've already come ✨.
Cheers to baby steps 🥂! ALWAYS!
I'll keep you up to date, I promise. Most likely, beginning of May 📆! And in the meanwhile, go set your own goals and work hard for them: you can do it!
Take care, ciaoooo!
Then you're one of us! We're a community of passionate and motivated tennis players who work hard every day 💦 to reach their goals, motivate each other 🔥 to keep going when things get tough and share their own experiences 💬 so everybody can get better faster.
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