Lewis Fletcher at the Deaflympics My first Deaflympics

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Lewis's Blog

21st Deaflympics Taipei 2009

Hi everyone - this is Lewis Fletcher. Heres a little insight to my experiences over the last year.  It was my first deaflympics event and it has been a real learning curve for me not only as a player but as a person. In my blog i have subheaded each section with words that have held such importance over the last 12 months.

Routine

My routines were very much intact throughout the whole duration of the trip.  It was very much repetitive but it contributed to the confidence i had in myself and my tennis.  The same breakfast was eaten, i did the same stuff on court - certainly with my warm up and cool down/recovery routines.  Even to the smallest detail like in between points and at the change of ends.  It all made a big difference to my mentality.  Bangkok was an opportunity for me to really get a feel of what i was going to be up against.  The external factors eg heat, humidity as well as the internal factors , my state of mind, mentality and how i feel physically.  Obviously my routines started a year ago but it was really as the time was drawing closer that i was fully trusting and appreciating my routines.

Discipline

The reason my routines were so important was because i trusted it and had the discipline to do it every single time.  Therefore i never panicked or got nervous because i was focusing on doing the simple things.  It was the whole package, it was also having the discipline with food, packing our bags the night before, preparation - all this was my attention to detail.

Accountability

I was accountable to myself, my coaches (Roger Jones +Lucie Ahl), my trainer (Richard O'Connor), the tennis foundation, my teammates and my family/people i work for with then the officials.

Responsibility

I had a responsibility firstly to myself, which is where my routines and my discipline came into the equation. My primary responsibility was to be in the right frame of mind to go out on the tennis court and perform to the best of my ability.  The highlight of the trip for me was knocking out the number 2 seed in the singles. I was secure with my game and took this into my doubles games. I had a responsibility to my doubles partner, we had to work together as a team to get to the semi finals.  We had chances and opportunities in the semi final match against an Australian pair.  Unfortunately we were not sharp enough and it didnt go our way. We had everything to play for in the 3/4th playoff - we wanted to come away with a medal. I was gutted when we lost to an Austrian pair 5-7, 2-6.  We had chances in the first set, had we clinched this I truly think the outcome would have been different.  Everything I have done this year, Ii have left out on the court - I gave it my everything and I have learnt that as long as you give it your all there is no room for regrets. Obviously it doesnt hide the disappointment but its a very small consolation! Disappointment will make me stronger and more hungry.

Attention to Detail

Everything you do has to consist of attention to detail, there are no shortcuts and this trip, amongst many other things has taught me that. The moment you start taking shortcuts is the moment you start having doubts on court. They are the moments that you wont trust yourself when you are 4-4 in the third set.

After Darren and I lost our semi-final match we spoke about the match and he quoted "Its not the actual Gold medal that counts, its what you learn, what you have been through, and what you take away from it - the respect, the integrity and that is the Gold medal itself."

 

Id like to say a huge thankyou to everyone who has been on this journey with me and for putting up with me when the going was tough, it has had its ups and downs but it was a journey of a lifetime and i will take good and positive memories away from this.  It has made me a better player, person and a better coach; but above all it has made me a professional!

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