Think Like A Tennis Player.
"I play each point like my life depends on it."
If you've ever seen Andy Murray play tennis, you'll know it's a sport where success is crafted in the mind. Over the years we've seen the Scottish British? No. 1 venting his rage at missed points into thin air, or screaming up to the skies, asking his maker why he made him a multimillionaire with a multitude of lucrative sponsorship deals. Now if you acted like that in public, you would end up in a being sectioned. But on the tennis court, this is standard procedure. And they all have their moments. Even the metronomic Roger Federer, the purist, the on-court conductor has lost it in the past.
One 'ah dem ones. *Drake voice*
That's because tennis is a game of one-on-none. You are your only opponent. On court, it's just you and your racket. Tennis players have to be completely self-sufficient, able to control and harness their emotions in a way that doesn't disrupt their flow, but actually feeds into it. It's a game of rhythm. So if your head goes for a wander, that will show in the quality of the tennis you are producing.
Tennis players edit their lives in real time. Never too comfortable with what they've created. A finger permanently hovers over the backspace key. Ready to erase it all and start over. Only better this time. Back and forth. Trying to craft a greater story. Relentless in their pursuit of excellence.
They don't dwell on their mistakes. Or wonder meekly about missed opportunities. They don't hold onto disappointments and ask why. They usually have a seat, drink some of that cloudy water stuff, regroup, and get back to business. They live in the moment, because they are the moment.
Watching the Wimbledon final last Sunday, and seeing Andy Murray complete his transformation from an angst-ridden teen into a less angst-ridden, triple grand slam winning man got me thinking. How tennis players deal with disappointments and learn from mistakes is admirable. And is a good blueprint for bad situation management in day-to-day life.
In-game, like life, it cant always go your way. But they recognize that sulking will only take them further away from their goals. And as frantic as a tennis match can be, they must locate small pockets of clarity. Tiny Skittles-sized moments of zen so they can make sense of what is happening in front of them and build strategies for success. All at the same time.
It's a tug-of-war of emotions on court, a sweaty cocktail of focus, drive, expectation and dreams. Whatever it is you're chasing in life, and whatever your Wimbledon might happen to be... When it doesn't go your way... Try to think like a tennis player.