How Will You Play the Game?

Recently I watched a clip of a tennis match on LinkedIn.  I re-shared the clip because it was an amazing display of not giving up, giving in, or quitting.  I watched it over and over because I thought it was unbelievable how the one player kept the other player (I believe it was Andy Roddick) running ALL OVER the court and Andy never gave up.  As Andy wins the point, the commentator comments, “Champions find a way, and that’s one of the greatest points in the history of the US open.”

While I’m sure everyone was watching Andy run all over, as was I, the other player was simply standing by the net, returning volleys.  Until, of course, Andy hits one past him. So, there are actually two very important messages in this clip of play.  The first one that resonates and inspires a lot of people; Champions find a way, never give up, always give 100%!    Whatever game we choose to play in business or life, these reminders are inspiring and help us keep our heads in the game,  When situations seem completely hopeless, as they sometimes do, watching something like this reminds us that hard work, mental tenacity, trust in ability and grit will keep us in the game. As the arms flew up in the stands, you knew greatness presented itself. 

But there is also another very important message in this clip.  While Andy was fighting for victory, running all over the court, the other player was somewhat stationary in his stance to receive the volley.  Tennis is a game that moves!  Standing in one spot, with little to no movement, well guess what-that match point is going to fly right past you.  This is a truth in business and life.  There is nothing static, especially in the techno age, in life or business.  Even our much sought after balance is dynamic, always moving, if even slightly.   When we get use to things coming ‘to us’ we become complacent, just taking what’s coming our way, and well, that’s when someone else  wins the game. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a competitor by nature, so it’s not about the winning.  I much prefer to achieve based on what’s important to me.  So, in the context of achievement, here’s what I’ve experienced and what this clip demonstrated:

  1. When I give 100% to my commitments, I trust myself. In this play, Andy gave 100% and whether he won or not, he could trust that he gave all his effort.  Self-Trust is the foundation of confidence. 
  2. When I maintain focus on my priorities, I lessen the chance that I’ll be standing by the net watching the winning point fly by me! Maintaining focus helps to build mental tenacity.  The more you build this muscle, the less your doubts run the show.  You believe in who you are and what you are capable of doing. 
  3. And finally, when I serve my passions and purpose with courage, follow through, resilience, perseverance, and strength of character, I’m demonstrating GRIT and GRIT equals excellence in all you do.

Confidence, believing in yourself, and demonstrating excellence-not a bad way to play the game, whether its tennis, business or life.

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