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Life Lessons of Tennis

Twelve Life Lessons of Tennis (and a bonus)

Compiled by Marsh Riggs

1. Skill Development – A developed proficiency; deftness in execution or performance. Tennis is unique in that there are six completely different shots, each having multiple variations. The skills learned in tennis have huge carry-over effects to other areas of life.

2. Positive Thinking –Concentration on what is good or hopeful; confident in opinion or assertion. Positive thought makes many things possible in tennis and in life.

3. Determination – The mental habit of settling upon some line of action with fixed purpose to adhere to it. The mental fortitude learned while playing tennis can have far-reaching consequences.

4. Self-Control – Control of oneself or one’s actions and feelings. Tennis is such a mental game that being able to control one’s emotions is paramount to success. Composure is key. Learn it here, and it can be with you forever.

5. Self-Reliance – Dependence on one’s own powers and abilities. In tennis, no one can do it for you. Tennis can help develop self-sufficiency and resourcefulness.

6. Sportsmanship – The exhibition of qualities esteemed in sports, such as fairness, self-control and courtesy. In Junior tennis, High School and collegiate tennis, in contrast to other sports, features no referee or umpire. Players must call their own lines. Honestly and respectful behavior are critical.

7. Responsibility – The capability to make ethical or moral decisions and the ability to answer for one’s behavior. In tennis you are accountable for your actions. Tennis has always been and is still considered a gentleman’s game.

8. Dedication – To give wholly or earnestly; devotion to a purpose. Tennis is one sport where almost literally anyone can be as good as they want to be. Those not easily satisfied can go a long way toward excellence.

9. Confidence – Full belief in the trustworthiness or reliability of a person or thing. Success in tennis is all about confidence. To have confidence in tennis you must be sound in skill, solid in mind, and strong in body.

10. Perseverance – To continue resolutely in any enterprise undertaken, despite difficulties encountered. If one can stick to tennis through trial and tribulations, ups and downs, highs and lows, wonderful things can happen.

11. Competitiveness – A trial of skill proposed as a test of superiority or competitive fitness. Tennis is such an individual one-on-one contest, those that can learn to enjoy the tough battle of a close match can benefit greatly for the experience.

12. Strategic Thinking – The science of forming and carrying out any project; a method or plan to achieve some goal. Tennis is about formulating a game plan, and then carrying out that plan to victory.

13. Love – In tennis, ‘love’ means zero. However, that is a complete and total misnomer. When one learns to love tennis and all the things that surround it, a unity is achieved of mind, body and spirit. A completeness and fulfillment that few endeavors can match.

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