How to Win in Tennis? A Manifesto

Sergio gives advice and ask some serious questions. Are you a winner? Are you going to succeed? Let’s talk about it

Surrender yourself…

What does it have to do with tennis?

Do you serve or return? Do you give or receive?

In the abstract, any activity is a type of commitment where you both give and receive some kind of energy or value.

In tennis, I see so many players who train hard with strong dedication: constant practice, mental preparation, long matches, and grueling tournaments.

It’s a difficult job and an even tougher commitment. It demands all kinds of sacrifices. The excitement of victory and moving up the ranks will inevitably face the frustrations of harder competition, self-doubt, or injury.

I’m talking about the desire to win in tennis, which is the focus of these posts, but it’s the same when we look at the bigger picture of life. It is the path we all take to stay healthy, earn more money, become successful in our careers, or find the best partner. 

And what do we wish for our friends and family? We also hope that they will find happiness, love… and success.

Success is always the result of adding (or subtracting!) some action, behavior, words, or intention to our current path. You can see the goal, the objective to achieve, and you go for it! That is visualization, but what is the action? What price will you pay to reach your goal?!

Action is what you deliver. What exactly do you give? Visualization of the goal is not enough. At the beginning, you must understand clearly whether you are asking or giving. If you are asking for something, then you are already lost. No matter how much you visualize, want, or desire, your goal will remain distant, no matter how hard you try.

You win in tennis by giving. But it starts with giving something to society, how you help others, and how you share your knowledge and skills.

I once trained a young, talented, and incredibly hard worker who got very frustrated because he wasn’t winning any tournaments. I asked him:

“What do you give to tennis?”

He didn’t understand the question.

“You want tennis to give you money, victories, ranking, and fame…But what do YOU give to tennis?”

He replied, “My dedication, my effort.”

“Everybody does that. Do you make tennis better with those things? Tennis doesn’t care about your commitment. Tennis is looking for something you can give back to it.”

Let me explain…

Rafa Nadal makes tennis better with his ability to fight. He teaches never to give up. He gives his energy and his health.

Photo by Moises Alex on Unsplash

Roger Federer gives tennis elegance, class, and an ability to concentrate in extremely high-pressure moments. 

In short, you must give more than you ask for. Honestly, give a part of yourself.

Our environment teaches us to take and receive. The more, the better. We receive salaries. Children receive gifts. We receive information and emotions from our phones. We do not learn to give. 

Sure, it’s nice to give money to someone on the street in need, but I’m talking about more, giving part of yourself, your thoughts, actions, deeds, and energy to something you truly believe in. Start with that, and it will lead to giving more in life, to the community, and on a global level.

Giving has benefits for both society and the individual. You feel personal satisfaction and see a tangible result.

You feel happiness when you give the money in your pocket directly to someone in need. But in reality, your contribution stops there. The effect of GIVING does not continue or multiply.

Faithful “GIVING” bears much greater fruit of results and benefits if it is based on giving beyond the immediate emotional satisfaction of helping someone.

You can perform every action from the approach of RECEIVING or GIVING. Do you expect something in return? Or do you deliver something that matters to you, a piece of yourself, for something bigger?

Think about that before you step on the court. Find that special and unique treasure that you can give to tennis.

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