Tennis is the one sport that most closely resembles life. The raw grit that’s necessary to be successful on the courts is the same as what you need to be successful in your life. It’s about luck and genius and not giving up when you fall behind and things get really, really hard…it’s about discovering your strengths and strengthening your weaknesses.
Playing tennis teaches you a lot about yourself: the depth of your inner strength, your discipline, your tenacity and the mastery of your emotions. It all boils down to how hard you are willing to work to better yourself…and win.
These are just some of life’s lessons we all can learn from tennis:
Playing is more fun than watching from the sidelines.
Are you a natural wallflower? Try stepping out of your comfort zone and into the middle of things. Life is SO much better when you’re living it and not just watching it from a distance…unless, of course, you are this dog.
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth crushing.
Seriously…if you’re not going to give it your all, then really, what’s the point?
It’s not always about brute strength.
You can’t always bulldoze your way through life’s obstacles. Muscles are great, but sometimes getting where you want to go requires finesse, balance, or, you know, whatever this cute little bird is doing.
Everyone slips up sometimes, but 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 a good reason.
It’s okay to have fun while you’re working.
Work (or school) doesn’t have to be pure drudgery. You can be seriously committed and still find ways to enjoy yourself.
It’s also okay to celebrate your successes.
Remember when everyone said girls were supposed to be demure and humble and downplay their accomplishments? Screw that. Male or female, if you rock, then own it.
Winning isn’t everything.
Sure, we’d rather win, but sometimes knowing that you played a great game can be quite satisfying. Maybe you didn’t double fault once, or your backhand was spot on, or you had the most aces you’ve ever had in one match. So you didn’t win, you still kicked ass…embrace your personal achievements.
Whatever you do, do your best, and be proud…and let it inspire you to do even better next time. And no matter what the outcome is, remember to keep it classy.
You never know who’s watching.
New rule: Don’t do anything in public that you’re not okay with the whole world (including Alec Baldwin) seeing.
There is always time for a comeback.
You might be down, but you’re not out…not unless you take yourself out by giving up.
Dig deep! Victory tastes better if you have to work for it.
Even the pros have an off day now and then.
No one is perfect. Repeat, no one is perfect. Holding yourself to impossibly high standards is just a recipe for unhappiness (and probably an ulcer or two.)
Success means keeping your eye on the ball.
Or the target. Or the goal. Or the hot guy or gal in gym class. Focus matters, especially in a world full of distractions.
Exercise can make you feel better.
I mean, maybe not if you really hate exercise, but if you’re on the fence, give it a try. Physical activity releases a lot of feel-good endorphins.