I hope that I can drag you along through this metaphor that might help to navigate the tretcherous territory between WINNING and DEVELOPING.

Imagine for a moment that you had been stuck in the woods for a couple of weeks, and you have stumbled out of them, on the verge of starvation. Your VALUE for self preservation is operating at full power.

You happen to see a basket of food that does not belong to you lying there, the owner off on a hike perhaps. Your VALUE for not stealing now comes up as well. Steal and live, or not steal and die? You now have a VALUE conflict.

I will very sneakily leave the decision on what you would do in that situation up to the reader, but move on to how it relates to tennis:)

We have two very important Values that are destined to collide. One the value for winning, and the other is the value for implementing changes and growing.

If I implement new things which I have not yet perfected, I will proably not be as successful, throwing my WINNING VALUE out the window.

If I do what I know works all the time, I wont try anything new, throwing my DEVELOPMENT VALUE under the bus.

We see this as a particular challenge with top juniors, they get really used to winning and their reputation, and the pain of losing the third round of a tournament they won last year, stops them from sticking with their new stuff and reverting back to the old. This might work on the day, but eventually they wake up at 18 with no transition skills, no great serve, no slice or continental grip skills etc.

The reverse of this is the player who is always going for the amazing techincally perfect forehand, always trying the new stuff, and always underperforming in the wins category.

I believe in HARMONY here. You must develop the ability to make a Value choice, "This tournament is all about survival, grit and competing, whatever I have to do I will do."

Next tournament might look like this " This week is all about working on transition. Its is my primary goal and winning is not my focus."

Being able to choose what the purpose of each match or tournament is, determining when is the right time to work on each value, so they are both strengthened will eventually lead to a marriage between the two, and the ability to win with the new stuff.

Feel free to send any comments or questions you might have.

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