I took tennis lessons for years when I was a kid, and they were boring and mostly ineffectual, as evidenced by my weak tennis game. So when I signed up for my first lesson in 25 years while on vacation in Mexico, it was due more to boredom than to any thought that it would seriously improve my skills. I told my instructor, Rick, a crusty former touring professional from South Africa with a right forearm like Popeye and a complexion like tanned wildebeest hide, that based on past experience I didn’t expect a lot either from him or from myself. Rick asked me what my previous lessons were like, and I told him they had involved lots of verbal instruction and artificial drills. He laughed and said, “Don’t worry, doc, I don’t think you’ll have that problem today.”
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