Playing Tennis is a great way to keep active in a fun and entertaining way, but what many don't realise is that in order to win, it involves extensive mental and physical preparation. We've put together the top lessons we can all learn from the game of Tennis.
1. When you start anything in life, people may or may not cheer for you
Do your best anyway and don’t let what others think of you or their lack of support bring you down. It’s always nice to have people by your side. But sometimes people will root for other people’s work or ideas, and you've just gotta get over it and play your A game anyway.
2. Sometimes, life will be unfair
You just have to suck it up, move on and not let it impact your performance. Sometimes, the chair umpires in your life will make the wrong call – and you will know it is wrong – and you won’t be able to change it. But there is something can do: you can make a choice to sulk and ruin your game or accept the call and not let it destroy your momentum. You are in control.
3. Your natural abilities and strengths can only get you so far
You might serve very well, but other people might have a strong forehand. Ultimately, the person who wins is the person who uses his or her competitive strengths but also works on the things he or she is not good at. Those who succeed are the ones who have the most grit and perseverance and have the ability to power through weaknesses.
4. Your emotional intelligence is as important, if not more, than your technical skills
Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. A lot of tennis players on court lose not because they are technically weaker, but because they are unable to take the pressure and they fail to regulate their emotions in the moments when the stakes are at their highest.
5. Never make excuses for losing
There will be many times in life when you will not achieve your goals. Perhaps your goals weren't realistic. Or not specific enough. Instead of complaining and blaming external things, accept what you did wrong, what was in your control and do better at it next time.
6. No matter how successful you become, treat others who work for you – the ball boys, the linesmen, your manager, your physio, etc. – with respect
You might be at the center of the stage, but there are others who work hard and contribute significantly to your success. So give them their due and treat them how you would like to be treated yourself.
7. Everyone slips up sometimes. It’s how you recover that matters
So you screwed up at work or school. So what? Handle your misstep with grace and dignity (epic flexibility and agility are optional) and people will be pointing fingers at you for the right reason.
8. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth crushing
If you’re not going to give it your all, then really, what’s the point?
9. And most importantly, enjoy what you do!
Smile when you fall, acknowledge when you win a point by chance, cheer for your opponent when he smashes that ball oh-so-well, and cry if you want to when you win. Believe in the power of your work and believe in the power of the game.