Tennis and I have a very complicated relationship. I love to hate it and I hate that I love it. It’s been 5 years since I stopped playing professionally and it wasn’t easy. Throughout all the drama I’ve managed to keep myself in the game. If tennis was an extremely good looking Punjabi munda, he and I would be in one twisted relationship. With every year that passes and with all the new experiences life has brought me, it amazes me how drastically my perspective on the game has changed. I recently played a match while visiting my home in Boca Raton, Florida.
Here are 5 lessons I’ve finally learned from tennis that I’ve been able to apply to business:
1. Playing every point with a clear strategy is highly effective. Now that I can’t rely on brute strength, the ability to run down balls or endurance, I’ve had to create my winning opportunities with repeated effective strategy.
2. Setting realistic expectations of yourself and your opponents relieves a lot of stress. Is a scorching running forehand winner down-the-line a realistic expectation to have of myself today? No. I have not practiced it in years. Is my opponent realistically going to hit winners on a neutral ball deep down the middle? No.
3. Trusting in yourself is the most powerful mental attribute to own. You have to earn it from yourself though and slowly.
4. Going for your opportunities but not winning them hurts a lot less than being hesitant and letting the moment pass you by.
5. Accepting your errors and learning from them quickly is the key to accelerating your success.
What are some life applications you have learned from the game of tennis? Share them with me.