Are you a Gladiator on the Court?

If you are like most tennis players, you think you are competing well because you are trying hard to win.  In reality, competing and trying hard to win are not the same.  Here is a little test for you to determine if you are a true gladiator or just trying hard!

The 10 “Do yous” …

Do you truly prepare for competition?

For most players preparation for a match means getting enough sleep, eating well and having a great warm up, but a gladiator takes another approach A gladiator does not prepare for a specific match, he/she is constantly and diligently preparing day in and day out by working to optimize everything that may give him/her an edge.  

Do you fight for every point regardless of the score?

During match play when a player leads, there is usually a point when he/she feels under control and victory seems near.  However, once in a while one faces an opponent, who does not seem to go away.  Regardless of the score, the player continuous to fight.  Those are the gladiators. 

Do you accept the circumstances and try to use them in your favor?  

There is always something that is not perfect:  too much wind, slippery courts, rain delays, etc. – uncomfortable situations that can’t be changed.  Most players always ask “why” and waste time answering that question.  Gladiators ask: how can I use this to my advantage?

Do you maintain a positive and confident body language at all times?  

Gladiators establish an imposing presence on the court.  Their body language exudes confidence and composure and indirectly whispers to the opponent:  You are in for a battle!!

Do you focus on solutions, not problems?  

On-court problems rattle most players: their serve is not working, their forehand is off, they got a bad call, they just missed an overhead, the opponent is annoying, etc.  Gladiators understand that the essence of match play is to solve problems.  You are on the court to solve problems. That is why you play tennis.  It is like entering a marathon and getting rattled because you have to “run far”.

Do you reflect on the past but focus on the future?  

The main goal of the gladiator is optimal performance every single point and that requires discipline.  Dumb mistakes and unfortunate situations are never easy to handle, especially during key moments in the match. However, gladiators never dwell on things they can’t change and always focus on the future.  They only use the past to better prepare for the future.

Do you constantly fine-tune your thoughts and emotions to achieve and maintain an ideal performance state?

The only way to play your best is by getting yourself into a mental state that facilitates optimal performance.  It is a state of focus, relaxation and confidence.  A match is foremost a battle against yourself and any gladiator knows that.

Do you view adversity as an opportunity?

Gladiators seek adversity because they know it is the only way to truly test themselves and improve.  They look forward to uncomfortable opponents and difficult situation. They thrive when things get complicated.  Gladiators understand that although it is nice to win 6/0 6/0, a closer match is much better for their development.

Do you avoid excuses?

Because gladiators give it their best every single time they play, they accept the result without trying to excuse their performance.  They may not like the result but they are able to analyze the match objectively and learn from their mistakes.

Do you regroup and look forward to the next challenge?

After a loss, gladiators are eager for another opportunity. They can’t wait to get a second chance. After all, testing themselves is what they enjoy most.

So, how did you do?  If you answered, “yes” to all these questions, there is one more critical question I would like to ask. Do you do all this with pleasure? In other words do you absolutely enjoy the battle?  If the answer is another “yes”, congratulations my friend you are a TRUE GLADIATOR ON THE COURT!