Love of the Game
This month’s article is a little different from my previous ones in that I am not really going to talk about fitness techniques, exercises or best practices. I am going to talk a little bit about what I have seen in my own personal experience that truly separates the most successful athletes in the world from the rest of the pack.
Throughout my training career, I have had the opportunity to train many National and International level athletes in tennis, swimming and various other sports. These include a 6’1” Chinese female tennis player that could do multiple sets of step-ups with a 50-pound dumbbells in each hand with ease, a Big 10 Freshman of the Year and contributing members of teams that have won 7 NCAA Titles as of the writing of this article. I have also had a lot of athletes that may have been more talented physically or maybe were one of the premier athletes in the country at a young age that never reached their full potential. Why not?
All of these athletes were obviously gifted with superior physical abilities that set them apart, but what was really the determining factor in their success was their passion for their sport. If they truly loved their sport, their work ethics and competitiveness were off the chart and fueled by this passion. It is important to note, developing this passion for tennis (or any sport) requires time and is different for every one. Some have the passion at 10 years old, some do not truly begin to love something until years down the road. It all depends on the student.
As many of you know, the #1 player in Peru, Marcos, just finished up his training block at High Altitude Tennis on Saturday to head back to Peru for his school year. One thing about Marcos that stands out is that he truly has a love for the game of tennis. When I took Marcos and two of our Full Time Students to a tournament a couple weekends ago, Marcos was so excited during the car ride up there, he could not contain himself: he was dancing, clapping and singing (shouting) along with every pop song on the radio. There was nothing else he would rather be doing than get out on court and compete – this will make Marcos successful in the coming years as he gets closer to his goal of attending and playing for an American college.
My advice to you is this: come to practice everyday, truly listen to what is being taught to you, smile and give 100% in every drill, exercise, rep and set. If you do that over a period of time, you will begin to love the daily grind and begin to truly enjoy what you are doing. The most successful people in every category have a love for what they do and if you can develop this same love for tennis, you will be successful.