Tennis is one of my all-time, favorite spectator sports. Long, long ago my grandmother sent me to a tennis academy where the pros were thrilled when I told them I was only there for the first session. Yeah, I was that bad, but I loved it!
Later in life, I discovered I had something in common with the amazing Rafa: though right handed, I was better on the court when I played left handed. Still, the sporting world is far better off when I’m watching the action on the court than trying to be the action on the court. 😉
One thing sports taught me as a participant and a spectator is that much of an athlete’s success is mental. Beyond the years of commitment and practice, beyond the strategies and soul-deep desire, athletes must believe that they will be victorious when the race, game, or match is over.
In the women’s championship match of the US Open, belief became a real, if invisible, participant on the court.
Both competitors worked to get there. They struggled, they made the commitment, and they knew triumph was possible. All true competitors want the win, but it comes down to believing on this day, this effort, this moment belongs to them.
In a post-match interview, when asked what she was thinking about on the court when she was down in the third set, Serena replied that she was actually contemplating her runner’s up speech between points. Then it hit her, she only needed twelve points to win it. “Just a break, a hold, and a break…”
She believed. Down according to the scoreboard, she wasn’t out of it. The match wasn’t over. She knew what she was capable of and she believed enough to get the job done.
Believing in yourself is vital, no matter what your career goals or personal dreams. Belief is power to keep you going when times are rough and to keep you grounded when you’re flying high. Believe in the talent and skills that are uniquely yours – and follow Serena’s example and believe enough to play your best game!
Live the adventure!