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And … loving it!

I found a good way to stroke the ball better in squash: pretend I actually like to play squash. Then it feels more natural and more fun. It actually brought back a childhood feeling of play, with no thoughts of proper form or fear of negative evaluation by some authority figure … or myself. It was fun. It reminds me of the Nike commercial showing Tiger Woods bouncing the ball on his club — why would anyone practice that if it weren’t fun? And look where it led him … golf-wise.

This is another mental cue helping lead the student toward the no-mind state. Of course, it’s necessary to be mindful in the training up to that point, but the occasional foray into no-mind state can be quite beneficial. For example, I believe that all music students should be allowed to occasionally venture into a state of play between the more disciplined practice sessions. This would lead the student to develop the ear, something that’s especially important for jazz musicians.

Work hard, have fun. Refine and repeat, no?

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