While the Australian Open is on in Melbourne at the moment, we've been thinking about the comparisons between the sport of tennis and business. Here's what we've discovered.
There are three types of players you'll come across in any given tennis competition. Now, while this is likely to be the case for other sports too, our focus today lies here.
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1) The Young Kid.
These are the enthusiastic crowd-pleasers out to make a name for themselves. They're full of crazy trick shots that get the crowd off their seats. The crowd gets behind them, they get through a few rounds and become front page news. However, it’s very rare that they will go all the way, they eventually come unstuck through lack of experience.
In business, they’re ahead of the curve - but they’re too focused on the outcome rather than the input. In sales, they focus on the monetary value thats generated rather than how many customers they’re speaking to, how many presentations they’re doing, or how many closes they’re making.
These guys get easily distracted, they haven’t locked in solid foundations, so their success doesn’t last long!
2) The Top Seed.
These are among the favourites to win the entire competition. However, one always goes out early because they get complacent - they get wrapped up in the media hype and forget the basics of what they’re supposed to be doing.
In business, they are a big name - they’re known for being good. However, all of a sudden they get complacent, and forget about the skills that got them where they are in the first place, which is keeping everything nice and simple. They stop pushing their boundaries every single day. Just like the tennis player, they find themselves knocked off their perch.
3) The Winner.
They are not usually the flashiest person with all the trick shots, but they know what’s required to win and do just that. Usually basic things, but consistently good. They end up winning and getting the trophy.
In business, this is the person that goes through ups and downs while still putting in a consistent amount of effort - and it shows. They put the work in where required, and master their technique. It might take them 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years to pick up a skill - but they KNOW that they will eventually learn it, and master it because they’re a student every single day.
These are the people that go on and achieve great success.