Growing up, many kids latch onto one or two sports and play them throughout their adolescence. I was no different. My sports were basketball and baseball, and I loved both of them equally.
Then something happened. College. Everything changed.
This story isn’t going down the path you’re probably expecting. College for me wasn’t exclusively about crazy nights and sleeping through 8 am lectures, but there was an element of that. No, what I’m speaking about is the discovery of tennis in my junior year—a sport that I never enjoyed or cared to learn about growing up.
Little did I know, that discovery would change my mindset for the next several years.
Here are some things I’ve learned from the great individual mind-f*** that is tennis.
1. Making Things Work on Your Own
When you have ZERO teammates to chat to, rely on, and strategize with, the burden is entirely set upon you to figure things out. Otherwise, you lose. It’s frighteningly simple but is the difference between winning and losing against high-quality opponents.
The idea of having to make sudden strategical adjustments isn’t only true on the tennis court, it’s a facet of our everyday lives. We’re often faced with changing circumstances at work that cause us to make alterations to our strategy. Tennis is a way of helping me work out those “strategy muscles.”
2. Winning the Mental Battle is Only Part of It
There are two essential battles you must win whenever you take to the court. The aforementioned mental one is hugely important, but there’s also the physical struggle at play.
The good players are excellent at one and pretty good at the other, while the great players are outstanding at both. The problem for most people is finding the time to get into good enough physical shape so that you don’t have to think about your movement on the court as much.
This ain’t exactly easy for most of us, with work, life, and deliciously fattening foods getting in the way a lot of the time, but it’s important if you want to ‘level up’ in the sport.
To this point…
3. Become Regimented
Success in tennis, and once again, life, is contingent on being regimented. No matter what you’re doing, develop a plan and stick to it as best you can. Tennis hasn’t taught me this idea from scratch, but it has helped me cement it.
Achieving excellent fitness, improving stroke accuracy, and increasing serve speed are all vital to one’s overall game improvement… and life improvement as well.
— Sam Begg – Tennis (@hitwithme) August 22, 2017