Revealing the True Colors of Your Opponent

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.

revealing the true colors of your opponent and tennis

The Importance of Self-Control

Currently in my language arts class, we are reading an article titled 8 Ways to a Happier You. The article summarily describes, explains, and gives tips on how to exhibit eight character traits that will help a person reach their potential and become a happier person. The first trait was self-control which is a crucial character trait to have as a person.

Self-control is the ability to control your own ideas, attitude, and actions in order to reach goals, despite distractions and temptations to stray.

This character trait is important to have because it allows a person to stay on task in work, school, or sports, follow rules or certain guidelines, complete assignments and study for school in a timely manner, get up in the morning and go to bed at a reasonable time (I struggle with this), have discipline, go to the gym, accomplish goals, and so many other things.

Unless you were born a genius or super fit, and strong person, it will probably be impossible to get good grades in school or lose weight and become stronger if you don’t study and work hard or push yourself to run and get to the gym, as an example. Having the self-control to take time out of your day to complete homework, read your textbooks, or run a few miles and maybe work out at the gym will help you accomplish your goals of being a successful student or a stronger, fit person.

Self-control is an important trait to have because it “pushes you to make the difficult choice over the immediately appealing option for a result that will eventually pay off” (Janes). Self-control forces you to work hard, challenge yourself, and make tough decisions. Once you’ve decided to challenge yourself and have self-control in one area of your life, you can move onto another aspect of your lifestyle and challenge yourself there. You’ll already know what it feels like to have self-control in a particular area of your life, so you should have the confidence and mindset that you can actually accomplish your goals and whatever you’re doing will get easier with time.

So if you don’t already have self-control, work towards developing it! Talk about your goals and ideas and follow through with them. You’ll become a happier person in the long run because you were able to set goals for yourself and actually accomplish them.


Janes, Beth. “8 Ways to a Happier You.” 2016. Print.