The Pathway of Courage

People have asked me over the years “What do you believe is the secret to producing successful young tennis players?” for many of these years I have answered many different things, all which can improve tennis and maybe win Regional tournaments/national tournaments or even International tournaments. 

However my answer after 22 years of coaching is now blindingly obvious the true secret to success is COURAGE

The true secret to success is courage

The courage to dream big. The courage to ignore all those people who tell you that what you’re doing is impossible, those people that judge you to others and make comparisons. Even your own negative, limiting inner thoughts and beliefs. The courage to approach key people that you will need to help you on the way. The courage to plan and repeat great deliberate practice often for many, many years.

The courage to commit to what you love doing to your entire life, and also the courage to say NO so nothing comes between you and your dream.

The courage to be honest that you are truly doing enough, and not just going through the motions. The courage to deal with setbacks and failings, then wake up the next morning and get back on the practice court. The courage to have patience on and off the court and having the discipline to keep doing what works. Then the courage to remain humble and not get complacent when you start to succeed.

Courage is the most important emotion you need to learn to control

Courage is the most important emotion you need to learn to control in your life and tennis. For example, the score is 6-5 in the final set and your serving at 40-30 and you are on the verge of winning a national title and your opponent is somebody you have never bet, and your opponent’s coach is standing on the side of the court that has always indicating that his “player” is better than you. For you to find your “go to” serve and execute it well you need courage.

Many tennis players experience times when they struggle. It is then that they must have the courage to be patient and keep moving forwards and keep trusting, investing, practising and performing to keep the dream alive. Often at this point many give up. However those who hang in there have the courage to push through the hard times can end up succeeding beyond their deepest expectations.

The Courage Pathway Principles:

Here are my Courage Pathway principles try rating yourself out of 10, if it’s not a 10 you now have a challenge!! 

1. EMBRACE FAILING - by pushing limits and live on the edge of your potential, not short of it (empty the tank)

2. DEVELOP VALUES - I was at a conference 5-6 years ago and I learnt that Rafa Nadal’s values were Honesty/Hard working and Humble. I adopting these values at both Academies I ran in UK. What are your values? Narrow it down to 3 or 4 and stick to them

3. DELIBERATE PRACTICE/PLANNING AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL- If your dream is to become a world class tennis player what does a world class player look like? Watch videos and create a blueprint in your mind, and seek a great coach to help you develop those tools

4.) TAKE RESPONSIBILITY/BE ACCOUNTABLE - Here are some golden rules on this principle//

a) Be honest with yourself and others- no excuses

b) Do what you believe is right, never give up!  And no whining

c) You generate your own proof that you are good enough to reach your dream, don’t seek reassurance

d) Give everything to the dream and expect nothing in return.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them”

This is the first of a series of monthly blogs providing insights into modern junior tennis development strategies. Make sure you subscribe to the tennis Brothers newsletter to be informed when my next blog comes out. 

Kind Regards

Nick Jacques  - you can find me in Facebook under @NickJacquesTennis