Lately I’ve been playing more tennis as a way to increase my level of joy. While I never played competitively, I grew up around the courts because my dad played a lot. I’ve had lessons, clinics, and seriously love cardio tennis.
In my Drill and Play class a couple weeks ago, the tennis pro coached me to aim my serve for the triangle. It took me a while to actually SEE the triangle – an area where the halfway point of the net creates a visual diagonal from the center service line to the service line. You have to stand in a particular position and really look for it through the net vs over the net, where my eyes naturally go.
I laughed when he suggested this, not only because I’d never heard this advice before, but because I’ve been helping my daughter with 6th grade math (simple geometry), and expounding about my newfound love affair with triangles.
Did you know that when looking at a triangle, it’s really half of something else? Half of a square, a rectangle or a parallelogram? (My daughter is WAY less excited about this discovery than I am.)
The important thing for me with both of these stories is that something you’ve stared at a for long time, always done or thought about the same way, or dismissed for simplicity, may have new angles for exploration.
The purpose of aiming for the triangle in tennis is to hit the ball over the lowest point of the net, meaning, hopefully, it’s more likely to go in! Knowing that the triangle exists gives me a specific point to aim for and the potential to improve my game.
The purpose of looking at a seemingly boring triangle in a new way, as half of a bigger shape, leaves room for delight. What might there be to discover or learn or understand in the space that you haven’t looked at before? What possibilities exist in the larger area of space?
If you’re hesitating or stuck on what’s next in your career – I encourage you to give the triangle a new look. Take what you think you know, then double the space–what else is there room for?
Put your target inside the triangle and aim your serve there.
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