More than a Game - August 16

tennis-dome-down1Spiritual Truth #4—The process is more important than the outcome.

Athletes must seek to maximize their ability. To do this they must focus on specific short term processes, not the long term outcome of winning. In other words the processes we use in competition are more important than the outcome of winning.

A process is the specific methods, procedures and routines used to carry out a given task. They are the foundation that the task is built upon. There are many processes players use to enable them or disable them as they perform. Many of these processes are being done without the players knowing it. For instance there are shot selection processes players use, processes to be used between points, big point process and problem solving processes to name a few. Each one of these processes are critical to improving match and practice performance.

Players must realize that there are good processes and bad processes being used. Obviously good processes enable players and bad processes disable players. Only by practicing good processes and avoiding bad ones will players reach their full potential. Some of the bad processes include uncontrolled emotions, failure to learn from the past, failure to understand why you are losing points and not taking responsibility for your performance. These bad processes must be identified and destroyed quickly and completely so that right processes can take their place. Bad processes can destroy just as much as good processes can empower.

It has been said that 80% of what we do in our life is part of a routine (process) that we have established. This goes from the way we brush our teeth to the way we play tennis. Players must learn to focus on short term, enabling processes more than on the long term goal of winning. When this is done players focus on doing the right thing shot by shot and point by point much more than they focus on the long term goal of winning the match.

It is so critical and it touches all of what we do on the court. Processes are just another way to present this in the form of short term goals. Just like a football team focuses on running each play to its best ability more than they focus on winning the game.

Once you find the good processes in tennis the next key is to master them. People who have good eating habits are usually pretty healthy. People who have good investing habits are usually financially secure. So too tennis players who have good match habits (processes) maximize their ability on court and have peak performance on a regular basis. To be a master of the court you must be a master of the process.