You can be shaped, or you can be broken. There is not much in between. Try to learn. Be coachable. Try to learn from everybody, especially those who fail. This is hard. Peers who fizzle or blow up or fall down, run away, disappear from the monthly ranking, drop off the circuit. […] Opponents. It’s all educational. How promising you are as a Student of the Game is a function of what you can pay attention to without running away. Nets and fences can be mirrors. And between the nets and fences, opponents are also mirrors. This is why the whole thing is scary. This is why all opponents are scary and weaker opponents are especially scary.
See yourself in your opponents. They will bring you to understand the Game. To accept the fact that the Game is about managed fear. That its object is to send from yourself what you hope will not return.
This is your body. They want you to know. You will have it with you always.
Here is how to sweat.
Expect some rough dreams. They come with the territory. Try to accept them. Let them teach you.
Keep a flashlight by your bed. It helps with the dreams.
This is also how not to fear sleep or dreams. Never tell anyone where you are. Please learn the pragmatics of expressing fear: sometimes words that seem to express really invoke.
This can be tricky.
Here is how to win, later.
Here is a set of keys about a stride’s length before you in the court as you serve dead balls, to no one. After each serve you must almost fall forward into the court and in one smooth motion bend and scoop up the keys with your left hand. This is how to train yourself to follow through into the court after the serve. You still, years after the man’s death, cannot keep your keys anywhere but on the floor.