Picking Up Tennis Balls
In Each Experience, There Is A Lesson To Be Learned And Applied. We Just Need To See It.
This past week, I watched the last 30 minutes of my daughter’s tennis practice. I am amazed and proud as I watch her game improve each week. But this week, what caught my attention was at the end of practice. There were balls everywhere, and they needed to be picked up. Six girls each picked up a racket full of balls and stopped. My daughter and one other girl didn’t stop until all of the tennis balls were picked up. For me this was the highlight of the practice.
Later, my daughter asked me what I thought about practice. I told her she was hitting strong and moving around really well, but what I was most proud of was that she hustled and played all-in until the one-hour practice was up – right through picking up every last ball on the court. Practice was over when the work was done, not when the hitting stopped. I told her I was proud of her for playing through the finish when others checked out because the fun of hitting was over.
What’s The Lesson?
When you play all-in with a commitment to do your best, some parts of what you have to do might not be as fun as other parts, but they still need to get done. There are no hacks or shortcuts to growth… you’ve just got to do the work.
How Does This Apply To Business?
Things show up each day that we may not feel like doing. Recognize each obstacle as a test to go the distance (especially when it’s easier to lean out). By doing that, you build mental muscles for focus and discipline that will serve you well. When you do the reps required, you set yourself up for the breakthrough gains.
Picking up tennis balls isn’t the focus of tennis lessons. But, when you’re tired and you push through, you learn how to push past comfort and keep going.
Where Do You Have Tennis Balls Lying Around That Need To Be Scooped Up?
In going the distance, the details that may appear not to matter… Well, they matter. Often, the little details matter a lot. When you apply your effort and focus, you are honing skills. These skills set you up with a mindset and a process to capture future gains.