24 September 2010

Do You Practice Guitar Like Rafael Nadal?

"I play to continue to improve myself, to try to be a better player. I don't go to training just to train, but to learn something new." - Rafael Nadal comments the improvements to his game after the US Open 2010.

Rafael Nadal's recent victory in the US Open took his tally of grand slam tennis tournaments to three this year. He won Roland Garros, Wimbledon earlier in the summer in addition to his US Open victory. He might be forgiven for thinking he's about as good as he could be as a tennis player, but Nadal doesn't seem to think that way.

"I didn't serve very well in the tournaments preceding the US Open, so I decided to change my grip two days before the start of the competition and I immediately started to serve better. Now, I know how to change the rhythm of my shots, I serve better, I win more cheap points thanks to my service and I play closer to the line at the back of the court."

Thanks to that change of grip Nadal's average service speed during the US Open tournament improved to 192 km/h, compared to 172 km/h last year. Wouldn't you like to improve your guitar technique by a similar amount?

As Nadal's example shows, even if you practice the same basic skills - service, forehand, backhand, volleys... or scales, chords, bends, vibratos... - there is always a new way to play them. A small adjustment could bring about a big change in the results you get... if you're willing to experiment...

What about you? Do you practice guitar to learn something new each time? Or do you just repeat the same exercises, out of habit or routine?

Let me repeat that quote one more time,
"I don't go to training just to train, but to learn something new."

I plan to burn that into my mind and keep a "Nadal attitude" each time I practice guitar.

Nadal quotes translated from Yahoo sports.

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Photo by Charlie Cowins.

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