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Ten Lessons from Wimbledon in Progress

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Simona Halep defeated China’s Peng Shuai 6-4, 7-6(7) to enter women’s singles last 16 at Wimbledon 2017. Photo: Twitter

For fans watching the tennis championships at Wimbledon for the fortnight that started July 3, there are likely to be several lessons one might take away from all the goings-on there in England. For example:

  1. The margin error is so slim that losing concentration equates to a quick exit the tournament. Fortunately for the fans, the players all seem to be in thrall, like a savant when they find their niche.
  2. Participation in social media IS, more often than not – recreation.
  3. When interviewed, the humility of the players runs high – it is not often that fans can be reassured by the spit in their voice.
  4. Decorum is at a premium at Wimbledon. Only rarely will you see anyone headed about at a parade ground clip, apparently looking for a proper villain.
  5. In this day and age, there are too many opportunities in sports and recreation for tendentiousness to be acceptable, especially amongst the media.
  6. Even though devotion is evidenced on the playing grass, humans are not meant to live and be totally alone – when they do, they pay a terrible price.
  7. Dedicating one’s actions to prepare to succeed is more important than the will to prepare to succeed. To believe otherwise can be likened to having a pet dog name “Lion.”
  8. The will to please has lead people to compromise as much as lust for money or power has. If you operate in an unhealthy “will to please” environment that has the added feature of being ensconced in fear, you run the risk of becoming just as unhealthy yourself.
  9. The athletes at this tournament are so good that the winners among them would scarcely lift their eyes if an angel were to suddenly appear, and sit down amidst the crowd. Similarly, losing at Wimbledon resonates with virtually the same tone as the bang and clatter of an angel running to ground.
  10. While the media does an admirable job of humanizing the players, and bringing to light their many features of good-naturedness, wouldn’t it be great to just be watching as one of them takes a bite of a cookie, smiles as they turn to a mate nearby, and with a flash of delight in their eyes says – “These are crack!”

By Dr. Rodney J. Blackman

Dr. Rodney J. Blackman is the Chair of Recreation Management at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at rblackman@ussa.edu.

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