Tennis has been a huge part of my life and will forever be. Without tennis, I would not be where I am today, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Sports shape lives and turns young kids into the hardest workers in today’s world. Tennis, among other sports, builds strong character traits that mold young children into successful adults. For those who have been blessed to be a part of the sport know how tennis molded them into their own unique being.
Like many players, I have been playing tennis for as long as I can remember. For me, my first tournament was when I was nine years old. I still remember my first match, like it was yesterday. I have grown not only physically, but mentally throughout my career. Tennis has shaped me into the hard worker that I am today.
From junior tennis to college tennis I have had to learn many things. Although there have been bumps in the road, I would always find myself back on the court.
Lesson 1. Resilience
Tennis teaches one how to be resilient. It is an individual sport where you need to overcome difficulties on your own, without anyone else’s help. Injuries occur and they can end careers at will. However, it is how athletes react to these injuries that make them resilient. I have had many injuries throughout my career, but my love for tennis has pushed me to fight through them and work hard to strengthen those areas. Tennis teaches you to never quit.
Lesson 2. Hard Work
That leads me to the next characteristic that tennis builds. To be good at any sport, one must be willing to put in the hard work. This comes from within. Others can help push you, but you must first be willing to push yourself to achieve your goals. Tennis is such a difficult sport, both mentally and physically. The countless hours of training and competing required each week to transpire into other areas of an athlete’s life. Tennis turns human beings into hard workers. This is a character trait that everyone wishes to be known for.
Lesson 3. Patience
Understanding that your time will come is tough for many athletes. Tennis has taught me to be patient on and off the court. Being patient is crucial in the sport of tennis because one must calculate every shot they hit and look for the right time to hurt their opponent. This patience that I have acquired from the sport has trickled into other aspects of my life. It has helped me in the classroom, my profession, and in relationships with others.
Lesson 4. Respect
Tennis teaches you respect for yourself and for others. As badly as I want to beat my opponents, tennis has taught me to respect my opponents at the same time. If you go into a match without respecting your opponent they will catch you off guard and take the match from you. The sport has taught me to love myself and others around me. Being able to love yourself is the first critical step in self-sacrifice.
Lesson 5. Sacrifice
The fifth life lesson tennis has taught me is self-sacrifice. To be the best version of yourself you must be willing to sacrifice other areas of your life for the sport of tennis. If you do so, the sport will bear many fruits. This article explains some examples of some that I have gained from tennis. Throughout my life, I have had to sacrifice friendships, time, and opportunities to achieve new ones. Sacrifice meant playing many tournaments on the weekends instead of doing other activities that teenagers enjoy doing.
Tennis opens doors to valuable opportunities for those who are willing to invest time into the sport. My love for the sport has allowed me to compete at a college level and translate that into college coaching. Through college coaching, I was able to become a teaching professional. My goal in life is to help guide others in the sport of tennis so that they too can bear the fruits that the sport has to offer. There is more to tennis than how to hit groundstrokes, serves, and volleys. Tennis has taught me how to be resilient, hard-working, patient, respectful, and sacrificial. I encourage you to think deeply about life lessons tennis has taught you and how they translate to your everyday life.
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I look forward to hearing the life lessons you have gained from tennis down below!