I love Tennis. And it has been a family tradition for the past 25+ years to watch the Men’s Finals at Wimbledon every year.
This past Sunday I watched the epic 4 hour and 27 minute match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It was the longest match ever played in Wimbledon history and it was the best match I (& John McEnroe!) have ever witnessed.
Even if you’re not a tennis fan, bear with me…you’ll see how this relates to VO in a bit.
The match started off with the Federer, the 5-time Wimbledon champ – being seemingly dominated by Nadal. Federer lost the first 2 sets (Remember you have to win 3 sets to win). He then fought his way back and won the next 2 sets in tie-breaks! In that time Federer managed to stave of not one but TWO championship points. Nadal could have won it in the 4th set, but no…Federer won the second tie break and forced a 5th set.
Finally despite an amazing effort by Federer, Nadal won the final point.
The match started at 9am Eastern Time and ended at 4:30pm – That’s 9:30pm London Time! They had to deal with two rain delays and played the longest match in Centre Court history.
Neither one of these guys gave up. Not once. They were both in it for the long haul and neither one was going to give up without a fight. Yes, one was eventually going to win, but it would never be for a lack of effort or grit from the other. I’m also sure they both had a lot of mental battles going on:
– Can you imagine what was going on in Federer’s head after losing 2 straight sets?
– Can you imagine what was going through Nadal’s head when he lost two Championship points?
– Can you imagine what they both were thinking when rain delayed the match a second time?
Neither one succumbed to these doubts. They just kept playing, and playing, and playing…giving us, the spectators, an amazing memory in the process.
In the end although there was a winner and a runner-up (there’s NO way Federer can be called a “loser!”) both players were gracious in their comments and you could feel the respect each of these athletes had for one another.
So…have you figured out what this has to do with your VO career yet?
Take a hint from these two tennis greats:
Are you in it for the long haul?
Are you willing to keep going no matter the delays or doubts?
Are you willing to be gracious to those you work with and those you’re “competing” against?
You’ll have a much better chance to “Ace” your career if you answer YES!