Tennis .. A racquet-ball sport played on a rectangular piece of land .. 78 feet in length and 36 feet in breadth .. the only thing you need to do .. NOT allow the ball to bounce twice in your part of the court.. 6 games in a Set .. 5 Sets in a match ..
Seems pretty mundane and shallow, eh ?? Well, there’s more to it than just the racquet work .
A game of Hope, A game of Opportunity
In tennis, you’re never out of the match .. Lost a point ? Win the Game and the lost point doesn’t even matter.. Lost the first 2 Sets ? Win the next 3 and the first 2 don’t matter. The hope on the tennis court never dies until the referee finally declares .. Game .. Set and Match ..
Isn’t life too, about having this hope till the very last breath..? A champion like Jimmy Conors looks at a tough situation as an opportunity to outperform himself.. and interestingly he did do it every time.. Coming back from 2 sets to 0 down, ending up winning the match in a GRAND SLAM SEMIFINAL on 4 occasions.. A fighter like Novak Djokovic comes back after facing 2 Match Points against the great Roger Federer to end up winning .. again in a Grand Slam Semi Final..
The significance of the lesson that these heroics give us is too big to get expressed in words.. Opportunity NEVER dies .. Unless You do ..
A game of Redemption
If you serve incorrectly, It is a Fault.. But then, first mistakes are always pardonable.. You get another chance to rectify your mistake.. Another mistake in serving.. Commit a Double Fault and you lose a point to your opponent..
We often make mistakes in life.. To err is Human.. But, to err twice is Stupid…
Tennis gives us this important lesson.. There cannot be an excuse to repeating your mistakes.. We have to keep on correcting our flaws and enriching our qualities..It is by Learning from the mistakes of our past and the mistakes made by our ancestors, we can think of improving as a society.. Repeating them again.. We’re giving away free ‘points’ to others…
A game of Discipline
The sidelines and the baseline sometimes literally haunt the players.. when on a given day every ball hit misses the line by millimeters.. The latest Hawk-eye technology must be really frustrating for players when they actually get to see on the big screen… by how little they missed to clip the line !
It does not matter by how much you miss the line .. By millimeters or my Meters.. An ‘out’ ball is an ‘out’ ball .. I think it is EXACTLY the same with life.. A person who lives a life of dignity throughout, but commits that one single mistake is in fact remembered for that very mistake that he makes.. as they say .. “Being a good person is like being a Goalkeeper … It doesn’t matter how many you save… People will only remember the one that you missed.”
We need to chalk out our lines of discipline and conduct for our lives similar to these lines on the court.. And, we MUST make sure we done cross those lines.. Not even by an Inch .. It is this discipline that marks the difference between many-a-talented individuals and the legends, that are so very few in number..
A game of Luck
Luck begins to play its part right at the very beginning at the toss.. and continues to do so throughout the game .. There have been incidents where ONE WRONG CALL has switched the hands that would have lifted the Trophies.. A doubtful ball may be called ‘in’ by one linesman and ‘out’ by another.. What makes the difference is having the right linesman calling your ball at the right Point..
Isn’t Life too about meeting the Right people at the Right time .. being in the Right places at the Right time… Sometimes it is the people around you that make all the difference .. Tennis gives us the lesson of Luck.. Sometimes with Fortunate Victories and Sometimes with Bitter Defeats.. But then, we have to embrace the situation as it comes… or I should say ‘shake hands’ with it… Similar to what the players do across the net after the match is over..
The Game of Life
How similar is a Simple game of Tennis .. to the entire Journey of Life.. This is precisely the importance of sports in life .. When life throws all these scenarios at you.. you get the feeling of having ‘been there before’… The confidence of pulling out a tight match.. stays with us when we have to deal with the low moments in life..
Life is a roller coaster ride and we must enjoy every moment of it.. The rise as well as the fall … Transferring all the guilt on destiny does not rectify what has already happened… we rather get the feeling of things being out of our control and into the hands of destiny for every next situation to come … We must remember that “we” have to hit those shots… “we” have to grind ..
“The ball is always in our court” .. what to do with it .. Is up to us decide !!!
Written by Aaditya Ranade