My Tennis and Tai Chi Experience
As hard as it is for me to believe, I've been playing tennis for over 40 years. I started before entering high school
and continued through much of college. After a short break away from the sport I picked it up again and haven't
looked back. I have attended many instructional class levels as a student of many good teaching pros. I continue to play, coach and teach in the Carolina Beach area. Please see Lee Atwater Tennis.
In addition to tennis, I have practiced the art of Tai Chi for more than twenty years and have taught hundreds of
students this ancient Chinese martial art and moving meditation. I have participated in numerous workshops
taught by master Tai Chi practitioners and have led many local classes, run workshops and performed
demonstrations. I currently teach at a local health & wellness facility, continuing education classes and privately at home. To learn more about my Tai Chi experience, visit www.taichilee.com.
How Did I Conceive of Tennis Tai Chi?
Although I've been practicing Tai Chi for over twenty years, it has been only over the past several years that I discovered the vast similarities in
the movements of Tai Chi and tennis. These similarities are not necessarily in the outward appearance of the Tai Chi postures, but rather in the
inner quality of the postures and the manner in which one performs them. I frequently tell my
students that when learning Tai Chi, it's all about the quality of your form, not the quantity of
movements you know. And in Tai Chi that quality must emanate from our internal being - our spirit, our source, our chi.
Couldn't we say the same thing about tennis? We can hit 10,000 balls a day but if we continue to
simply swat balls over the net we're really not paying attention to how our bodies are moving. Most
of the time we completely forget about our body movements because our mind is barking
commands at us like - "racquet back", "stutter step", "follow through", "lift the ball". All of these demands only serve to tighten our muscles and
block the flow of natural energy from the ground.
How we use that natural flow of energy is what Tennis Tai Chi is all about. First we focus on our root or our ability to ground and center ourselves.
Then we relax and open our stance so that energy can flow up our legs. Next, we harness that flow of energy and control it with our waist - and if
our upper body is loose and relaxed that internal flow of energy will reach our fingertips. It's that easy!