by Jo Karaitana
Director of Tennis- Box Hill Tennis Academy
This week the coaches and players at Box Hill Tennis Academy were joined by former world number 1 doubles player Cara Black for an on-court session. While there were so many takeaways from her session and Q&A, there was something she said that reminded me of an article I read a while ago.
She mentioned that the best players are competitors, they grind it out when required, they show grit, they control what they can control and they continue to show up with a mindset ready to give them the best possible chance to succeed. She shared stories of Pete Sampras winning Wimbledon when he was not able to practice or even warm up for his matches, highlighting the mental capacity of the elite. She shared some of her journey as a junior which showed her determination & work ethic to get the most out of herself. Although she is known for her 10 Grand Slam titles on the doubles & mixed court, she also reached world number 31 on the singles court, which is an amazing achievement.
In the coming week I will share more key takeaways from Cara’s session, but first here is the article it reminded me of by Allistair McCaw.
Here are seven key reasons why the best tennis players succeed:
- A successful athlete accepts that they are not going to perform their best level every time they step onto the court, track or playing field.
- They understand that success does not lie in a one-off upset against a big player or just having a few good results. It lies in consistent control of their emotions and mindset.
- A successful tennis player understands that in order to win on their ‘bad’ days, they need to always give their best and believe they can actually win.
- A successful athlete does not spend their time comparing themselves or current level to their greatest ever performance.
- The success of a tennis player lies in their ability to play ‘well enough’ to pull out a win on that day. They understand it gives them another day and chance to make it better!
- They do not ruin their chances of winning or playing better (even when playing poorly) by letting a negative or bad attitude get in the way.
- They know how to win ugly.