Calling the Shots by GC Cava

Guest blog by Coach GC Cava

I’m still learning that part of life is a never ending process. I’m still making mistakes and failing in some form or fashion everyday, but I’m choosing a positive perspective of being okay with those failures. Over the years I’ve seen almost every variation of how a tennis player can move and strike a tennis ball. I can often predict exactly the result of a stroke, a rally, a point, a game, a set, a match, and so on so forth because of my experience as a player but more so as a coach. I’ve been through so many instances of failure, you often learn immediately what’s wrong with a situation before you know how to find a solution.

I’ve come to this point of being able to predict the outcomes of most tennis situations precisely because of these moments of failure. I’ve been on the court with my students during their greatest achievements but mainly their monumental failures. I choose not to hide from these trials and tribulations but confront them with my students so that they gain perspective and learn from their mistakes and fears. If athletes aren’t performing to their standards it’s often because they haven’t accepted that mistakes and failure are part of the process of learning. When driven solely by results you forget to balance the risk versus reward issues. As one of my mentors said, “What’s the fun in the sport if you don’t miss?!?!?”

It’s similar in CrossFit as you’re all trying to find the balance of “going to failure” or just “practicing” at the gym. Is there potential to get better by going all out or is it detrimental to your progress? Did you take a step back to go forward or did you take two steps back and knock your confidence so far down that it’s hard to recover? Or is it just that your approach and perspective were misaligned? Through the past month and half I spent a majority of my day at UCLA Tennis Camp trying to coach kids of all ages about perspective. I went over which shot selections were correct even though they made mistakes and which decisions were not worth the risk. All the students were at different stages of learning, but most had no idea that missing and “losing” were part of the process of making them better. They didn’t understand how I was able to assess their strengths and weakness during drills within 5 minutes, and they didn’t understand where I was trying to lead them during “practice”. During point play when winning or losing were part of the equation, I started to call out play by play the outcome of each rally and point. They were taken aback by how accurate I was and initially perceived it as me being harsh, but it got their attention because what I was saying was going to directly affect the result of their desired outcome.  During the skills/drills they paid no mind to the coaching, but during match play when something was on the line they hung onto every word and became more intrigued. My point was that they needed to pay attention during the drilling/practice portion of the day so that they could get over that fear of missing and learn how to develop their games so that they could have more consistent results when under match pressure.

The perspective you gain from missing or failing on a daily basis is a positive, and it just takes the right approach to flip that switch from being “this is impossible” to “this is going to take time, but I can see it happening with more practice”.  I’m always looking for coachable moments because I’ve seen failure, I’ve been through failure, but I’m going to be better by trying to find a solution. And when I do, I will most definitely share that information with you — though I can’t share anything with anybody if they’re not willing to accept failure. Once you’ve accepted that there is no easy way out, you’ve prepared yourself for change in a positive direction regardless of result. Michael Jordan said, “You miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” So why not call your own shots, take them, and just live with what happens next.


Friday’s Workout

200m Farmer carry (55/40)
30 Alt DB Single-arm clusters
400m Run
50 CTB pullups

Saturday’s Workout

The start of “Crush Cancer Saturdays!”

The Crush Cancer WOD
3 Rounds
1 Min. Each Station – As Many Reps As Possible:
Power Clean 95/65
Kettlebell Swings 24/16/12
Shoulder to Overhead 95/65
Double Unders

Sunday’s Workout
5 rounds
Partner A: 2min row for calories
Partner B: Amrap 2min 6 oh plate lunges, 12 Russian twists(1 count) 45/25
Rest :30 then switch stations. Continue where partner left off.

Monday’s Workout

Labor Day “Trevor Win’E” (no regular classes – come at 9am!)

Teams of 4 together perform the following, 2 people working at a time:

For Rx/Advanced Teams:
300 Pull Ups
400 Push Ups
500 Sit Ups
600 Squats

For Intermediate Teams:
225 Pull Ups
300 Push Ups
375 Sit Ups
450 Squats

For Beginning Teams:
150 Pull Ups
200 Push Ups
250 Sit Ups
300 Squats

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