One of the questions I get asked all the time is how I became so successful in tennis. There is a simple answer and a not-so-simple answer. I will start with the simple answer.
- Get Oracene Price and Richard Williams to be your mom and Dad
- Work your butt off and you even get to enjoy that most of the time
- Lift the trophy and show those pearly whites!
If only it were that simple! And clearly there are many champion athletes, so you don’t really have to have my mom and dad, promise :-).
But in all seriousness, one thing that all champions in life have in common is that they started at the bottom. No one started out great, and I think that is what people forget. In order to be successful, there is a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice that goes into it. You are going to spend time when you are not very good and you have to learn the ropes, and that takes time. That is why I always suggest that whatever you pursue, make sure it's something you love so you can enjoy the battle, because that is what it is, a battle. But if it's something you love, then it's easy to enjoy putting the work into it.
I love what I do. I love tennis. I breathe tennis. I don’t mind the work. I love the work because it makes me confident and I feel prepared and strong.
So parents, how do you get your kids great at sport? Start them at the beginning. That’s where we all start. Young folks, enjoy putting the work in. I promise you it will change your life on and off of the practice court or field. You will learn lessons you will use your whole life! And don’t forget to enjoy it!
As for me, I am currently obsessed with table tennis. I spent 3 hours in a hot garage playing this weekend and it seemed like 30 minutes. I love it. I love drilling. I don’t mind the work. So I guess I will be playing two sports at the 2016 Olympics! Stay tuned!
Enjoy the battle while you Look Good and Play Well!