When I was around 19 years old a coach made me write down some of the things I believe and do that prepare me for failure. I noticed that many of these habits and actions were either directly or indirectly taught to me. Now, as a business professional, I can use this experience as an athlete and better prepare myself and my clients for success.
Seven ways I set myself up for failure as a pro tennis player:
1. Comparing myself to other players and not understanding why they were winning.
If you ready any article on ways successful people think, you find again and again that they do not compare themselves to others. Especially not in confusion or envy. They dissect the formulas that help others become successful and employ them.
2. Taking a bathroom break when I was down in a match.
My coach hated this one. When you are down, if you look for excuses to give yourself a break, how do you expect to overcome a deficit?
3. Defending myself with an arsenal of excuses to avoid taking responsibility.
Taking responsibility for messing up is the best way to own your mistakes and move past them.
4. Playing pro-ams and staying in housing to save money.
If you don't think that you are going to win the tournament and won't be able to afford the hotel stay, then why even compete? Buffering your self with "safe"options will only make you think like a loser.
5. Not being organized in practices because I "didn't know what to do." And, indecisiveness in tournament schedules and travel bookings.
If you don't what to prepare for battle, how do you expect to compete? if you don't know how to prepare, how can you think about winning? Preparation is everything.
6. Changing ideas, coaches, diets and beliefs every few months.
This led to having too much information and inconsistent values. It reminds me of a famous quote "If you don't stand for something, you will fall for everything." This way of thinking was one of the most frustrating things for me in my tennis career. Had I had the opportunity to trust in one coach/idea/process fully, it would have given me a lot of mental calm.
7. Over training and not resting enough.
We all know that quality always beats quantity. In an effort to feel like I was working hard, I was actually hurting my improvement. Too much busy activity without quality leads to burn out, low quality and frustration.