For the past few months, I’ve played in a lot of tournaments and seen all kinds of tennis players. Along with those tennis players, came a variety of personalities and attitudes. One thing that frustrates me about some tennis players is their lack of self-control, class, and sportsmanship.
It’s hard to understand why some girls appear as sweet and friendly when they’re up and turn into jerks when they lose a game or even a single point. As soon as your opponent pulls out their claws, you know you’re in for as show. They start yelling at themselves, hitting themselves, abusing their racket, and using profane language. They lose all sense of control and even begin making bad line calls. They might even start questioning your calls.
This can be hard to cope with on the court, especially when you’re winning. It can be difficult to keep yourself optimistic when your opponent is acting like an animal. When I played a girl like that in the past few weeks, I struggled to keep the anger that was building inside of me contained. I was able to because I was disciplined and had class, but that wasn’t the case for the girl on the other side of the net. While I may have been winning for a while, I let her ridiculous actions get the best of me and had the match slip from my hands. So what.
A lesson came from that match and it is something I’ll never forget. Regardless of the outcome, I know I outclassed her and acted like one should on the court. If your opponent begins acting like a monster, ignore it, be yourself, and kill them with kindness. Allow your opponent to dig themselves a hole and self-destruct. Never let that kind of silliness get to you. When you play your best and ignore your opponent’s actions, you’re going to succeed.
Just remember this, play with class. If you choose to lose self-control and respect for your opponent and yourself, remove the “c” and the “l” and now see what you are.