Tennis is an odd sport. You tend to represent yourself (not your country), you are constantly hopping across the world to verse the same players, and you are working with the weirdest point system – did someone say LOVE?!
Yet, it is the only game I can sit and watch with complete focus – totally absorbed in that little yellow ball and the strength at which it is propelled across the court. It’s the perfect distraction in January, particularly for those (like us at generationYOU), who are watching the Australian Open in the office!
Entertainment value aside, there is an ultimate life lesson from tennis: play each point like it’s your winning one.
This might be true for every sport – every second counts, every play counts, every point counts. However, as tennis is played to a fixed number of sets, not to a fixed time, there seems to be a shift in the dynamics of the game.
You might be losing and losing badly, however play one point well and suddenly your opponent is frazzled and you’ve blazed through the rest of the match on a second powerful whirlwind!
It reminds us to push hard ALL the time, even if you feel like you are losing … to remain focussed on that one point in front of you, play that well, and then focus on the next one.
Game by game, set by set, this is how you will win the match.
Whether we like it or not, life is a game … as is work and our careers. We often think that games are trivial or that they rely on luck so we are hesitant to think about something as serious as our life as one.
We forget that games are also joyful, strategic, collaborative and offer numerous paths to victory: you are also never out of the running. You might lose a match and a tournament or need to sit one out due to injury – however there is always another opportunity around the corner.
Point by point.