Tennis is the one sport that most closely resembles life. The raw grit necessary to succeed on the courts is the same as what you need to succeed in your life. It’s about luck and genius and not giving up when you fall behind. 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, discipline, tenacity, and mastery of your emotions. It all comes down to how hard you’re willing to work to better yourself.
These are just some of life’s lessons we all can learn from tennis:
1. Playing tennis is more fun than watching it from the stands.
Are you a natural wallflower? Step 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 the sidelines…unless, of course, you are this dog.
2. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth crushing.
Seriously…if you’re not gonna give it your all every time, what’s the point?
3. It isn’t always about brute strength.
You can’t always muscle your way through life’s obstacles. Power is great, but sometimes, getting where you want to go requires finesse, balance, or, you know… whatever this cute little bird is doing.
4. Everyone slips up sometimes, but it’s how you recover that matters.
So you messed up at work or school. So what? Handle your mistake with grace and dignity (epic flexibility and agility are optional), and people will be pointing their fingers at you for a good reason.
5. 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.
6. 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. If you rock, then own it.
7. Winning isn’t everything.
Sure, we’d rather win, but sometimes knowing that you played a great game can be pretty 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 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.
8. You never know who’s watching.
New rule: Don’t do anything publicly that you’re not okay with the whole world (including Mirka Federer 😉) seeing.
9. 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 even sweeter when you have to work for it.
10. Even the pros have an off day now and then.
No one is perfect. I repeat, no one is perfect. Holding yourself to impossibly high standards is simply a recipe for unhappiness (and probably an ulcer or two.)
11. 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.
12. Exercise can make you feel better.
I mean, maybe not if you really, really hate exercise. But if you’re on the fence, give it a try. Physical activity releases a lot of feel-good endorphins… so get happy, and play tennis!