Winners and Losers
As we are in the Florida tournament season, many players will soon view themselves as either “winners” or “losers”, but is that what we should really be doing?
The Inner Game
Here is a great passage from the classic book, “The Inner Game of Tennis.”
“Who said that I am to be measured by how well I do things? In fact, who said that I should be measured at all? Who indeed?
What is required to disengage oneself from this trap is a clear knowledge that the value of a human being cannot be measured by performance—or by any other arbitrary measurement.
The grade on a report card may measure an ability in arithmetic, but it doesn’t measure the person’s value. Similarly, the score of a tennis match may be an indication of how well I performed or how hard I tried, but it does not define me, nor give me cause to consider myself as something more or less than I was before the match.”
So, as we walk off the court after that “important match,” remember that you are still just YOU.
And another of my favorite principles, don’t ask your friend, “Did you win?” Rather ask, “How did you play today?”
What do you think?
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5 thoughts on “Winners and Losers”
Another important point to always consider as we take the court–able to play in our 70s–is that we are already winners. Best! Phil
Phil, i agree … just being playing tournaments at our “ripe old age” is great! thanks, george
That goes for guys in their 80’s like Zenon Matkiwsky, Alan Goldberg, Cliff Hagan, Dick Martin, King Van Nostron, Harry Hill, and yours truly playing out of Vero Beach and most of them at Sea Oaks B and T Club. All of these guys can still run too.
Gene, keep on doing what your doing! george
Winners or losers…that’s a Trump concept!
Spike, even tho we disagree on politics… i will post this comment. george
George, one of your best articles ever. That is the essence of the experience. You are either playing from your ego or your Higher Self. We all struggle with it and whenever I get caught up in whether I am going to win it immediately takes away the joy. I find myself getting more detached from the outcome as I get older. That’s why I stopped playing tournaments because the tendency to win is dramatically heightened and I wasn’t having fun. Sometimes when I am playing non league games which mean nothing with good players and there is always this friendly banter I am having my best time and the tennis is high level at the same time.
Dave, i had that same conversation this past week with a mutual friend of ours who said, “I don’t need/want to play tournaments anymore. They are not as much fun as playing with my friends.” george
is a tournament-level, senior tennis player who lives and plays his tennis most of the year in Naples FL and the summer months on Lake Sunapee, NH. A professional writer who owned and ran a direct marketing company for 30 years, George writes the popular tennis web site SeniorTennisAndFitness.com and authored the book "Senior Tennis."