[In #FlashbackFriday, I share with you my most well-liked and appreciated emails from the past. I hope you like this one. It was originally posted on 19 Jan 2020]
Learning how to serve helps you win in Tennis.
If you’ve ever played tennis, you’d know that serving is the most difficult part of the sport.
But, why? You see, 90% of the sport is reactive.
Your opponent sends the ball to some area of the court. Depending on the location, trajectory and speed of the ball; based on your position relative to the ball; and (hopefully) considering your opponent’s placement on his side of the court – you return the ball. Your opponent also does the same after a couple of seconds.
Both of you keep doing this until someone can’t do it any more, and a point is scored. Every shot that either of you hit is a reaction to the previous shot hit by the other.
Only the service is proactive.
You have complete control over what you want to do. You decide how hard you hit and in which area of the court you attempt to place the ball. You have full freedom to do what you wish. You’re even given a second chance to do it, should you mess up the first serve.
But, that freedom comes at a cost. Proactivity is not easy. Choice can be crippling. Which is why most players struggle at serving well. Even though 90% of the game is spent in reacting to each other, usually victory is decided based on the proactive service.
Statistically, eight out of ten times, the winner in a game of tennis is the one who is better at service.
Life and career are like that too. If you can do proactive stuff more frequently and better, you’ll do well. It’s that simple.
Learn to serve better, and you’ll be a better player.