Tennis Identity

Sir Richard Branson confirms, tennis serves up success.

In tennis it’s you against the other guy/or gal, with no one else to blame. (Well, John McEnroe might disagree on that.) Interestingly, because tennis really is a game of strategy and mental control, many high level execs have found that lessons they learned between the lines apply to life off court and in the office.

Billionaire mogul/entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson (“Virgin” everything), for example, recently weighed in on the topic and reports he learned quite a lot from playing tennis:

“Tennis, like business, moves so quickly that if you dwell on the past for even a few minutes, an opportunity will have passed and the moment will be lost,” Branson explained to CNBC.

Then there’s Venus Williams, who knows a thing or two about competition. She covered this very topic in her 2010 book “Come to Win.”

Come to Win by Venus WilliamsV’s book which was recently updated includes anecdotes from leaders like Meg Whitman (CEO of eBay and HP), Phil Knight (founder of Nike), Jack Welch (Chairman and CEO of GE), former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Senator and NBA star Bill Bradley, designer Vera Wang, and President Bill Clinton.

Each individual interviewed touted tennis (and sports) as instrumental in their success including:

•   the importance of visualizing success

•   how to learn from losses

•   time management

•   how to focus on the task at hand minimizing distractions

•  the importance of preparation.

Need some more insight? Dr. Jonny Bowden discusses this topic here.

Richard Branson feature photo from Mother Jones.

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