My husband once commented that I have been writing a lot about girly stuff. I think he is right (series on Organic Radiance and Make up Basics). So I decided to dedicate some posts on my passion which guys would be more interested in. It’s interesting how much a game can teach you about real life. All those who know me, know that I have been addicted to Tennis since I was a little girl thanks to Papa. For all those who didn’t know that, my next article will be on what Tennis means to me and how it became my passion. Stay tuned for that. For now, lets see what this game has taught me about life. Any guesses?
1. It’s mostly about the mind
A tennis match has a lot to do with your mind. If you are positive, you will win. If you are negative, you will lose. Never underestimate your power to win. Emotional intelligence may even be more important than your technical skills. All tennis players are a witness to the fact that it is a game you play with your mind more than your forearm. No matter how technically strong you may be, if you are unable to keep your composure when the stakes are high, you will not be able to win.
2. You are stronger than you think
Just when you think you are drained out and cannot possibly take one more step. After a few seconds break, breathing deeply or sipping a little water, you are able to gain your strength back. Even when we have muscle cramps, Tennis elbow or are exhausted, our body is designed to exercise under such extreme conditions and surprisingly we emerge out stronger. Your stamina actually builds up when you continue exercising when you’re tired. I was playing with a Korean player the other day and felt really happy when he told me I was too strong for him. Looks wise, I was literally half his size and my tiny slim arms were nothing compared to his masculinity. But if anyone saw us knocking, we both were equally good and I enjoyed giving him a competitive time.
3. Life can be unfair and we need to accept that fact and move on gracefully
There are times when wrong decisions are called at crucial points which ruin our mood completely. Yet we have to pull it together and keep our cool rather than sulk and ruin the rest of our game and momentum. We all face seemingly unfair moments in life when God forbid, we lose the love of our life, our parents pass away or we are diagnosed with a terrible illness. At such times, we have two choices, either sulk about it or accept it and move on.
4. Anger Management
Life is full of stress and we all need a place where we take out our anger. Many psychopaths take their frustrations out on their wives and kids. Some engage in road rage, swearing and even gang fights. I think the best way to take all your anger out is through sports. It gives you the perfect opportunity to bang, thrash and pound that ball. It actually is a therapy and makes you forget all your worries. It is the best way to keep yourself positive and away from negative thoughts that can ruin your (and your loved ones’) life.
5. Staying within the lines or limits
Some lines must never be crossed. If you do cross them, the consequences can be severe and devastating. Life is all about staying within limits. We must at all times stay within our senses and legal boundaries.
6. Working on our weaknesses
No matter how good our strong points are, unless we work on improving our weaknesses, we can never achieve that level of success. Working on our weaknesses has to be a constant effort. We should consistently try to get better and improve our bad habits in life. Thats the only way we can lead a successful life. Suppose a person is generous, loving, respectful, fair, compassionate, loyal and kind. His only weakness is that he lies. Unless he works on his weakness, he can never be considered a good person.
7. Regular practice
Practice, practice and more practice is the key. Thats what makes a man perfect. In a sport like Tennis, even a few days gap can damage your game so we must try to adjust it in our daily routine in order to be good player. Yes life is busy and work life and children can come in the way. But life is also short and we must make time for things that matter to us. Whatever we want to achieve in life, there is no shortcut to practice.
8. Confidence has impact
Your body language right from the start makes the real impact. Your confidence, anxiety and stress are all transparent. So make sure you have positive energy and vibe so your opponent can feel those too. Never ever tell your weaknesses to your opponent even if you’re friends. Its like telling the answers to students before they take the test. Or a wife telling her husband how ugly her feet are. Everyone has weaknesses but no need to talk about them. Just be confident and stay positive.
9. Risk, Calculated risk and Profit
The most risky shots are the ones which will give you easiest score. If you aim for the lines, its risky but if you hit it right, its pretty much impossible for your opponent to return it. Playing safe won’t give you any bonus points as the opponent will return easily. However, in certain conditions, playing safe is the only option. Similarly, the most risky professions are often the most profitable.
10. Outdoor is better than indoor
Staying indoors all day can make you feel depressed. Spending time outdoors has a positive impact on your body, mind and soul. It refreshes you inside out. A healthy sport like Tennis is the ideal way for you to keep in touch with the outside world and stimulate your heart and soul at the same time. It also is a great way to meet people and increase your circle of friends.
11. Learning to accept defeat
Never make excuses for losing – The score is self explanatory. If you lose, just know that it is a game and keep trying harder and harder. Always congratulate your opponent and comment on their good shots throughout the game. Always keep a friendly environment and don’t get agitated no matter what.
12. Avoid getting hurt
Injuries are costly. A real sportsman keeps getting injured. But injuries can be expensive as one needs to rest afterwards and if you get injured during a championship, it is deadly. We can actually minimise chances of injuries by taking care of our selves and being proactive. As we grow older we realise that our old wounds or scars never really leave us. Whenever we have another fall on the same muscle or bone, we will start facing signs of our previous wound. I know some parts in my body which have become weak due to repeated injuries or falls. The best way is to be careful and avoid getting injured altogether. Health is the most important thing.
13. Dealing with competition
There will always be competitors in your life. People don’t always cheer for you and you have to deal with that. In spite of their negative vibes, you have to play your best game. In life, work and business, there are competitors who try to knock us down but we have to focus on our game and do the best we can.
14. Say No to Stress
Stress and tension are two things which can ruin you completely. In a match, it is natural to feel the nerves, specially in tie breakers when the stakes are the highest and one point can literally change the whole scenario. Its natural to have jitters and not be able to play your own game. In a match, a tennis player only plays 60-70 % of what he is capable of. If he is too much under pressure, he may even lose 100% of his game and give in to nerves completely. Relax and enjoy your life and do what you love doing without overthinking.
15. Eat and drink healthy
We are what we eat. It is natural not to be able to perform in the tennis courts when one is under nourished. A tough sport like Tennis needs strength which we can get from a healthy diet and at least 8 glasses of water everyday. We must try to avoid fizzy drinks and stay away from junk food. Whether it is for a match or for our own betterment in life, we must make an effort to eat and drink healthy.
16. Give it your best shot
In a match, when we are desperate for points, its natural to pull back and try to only return the balls safely on the other side. However, thats not how a real player wins. Rather we have to give our best shots. That way we will not only enjoy but also have a much better chance of winning. Playing too safe will not get you anywhere. In life, when we’re doing something, we must do it wholeheartedly and give it our very best.
Would love to know what you have learned through sports about life. What sports are you into?