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jerryking : tennis   6

Keeping Cori Gauff Healthy and Sane
July 2, 2019 | The New York Times | By Christopher Clarey.

Cori Gauff studies the map of her predecessors' pitfalls

Tennis has its latest prodigy in Cori Gauff, the 15-year-old American who upset Venus Williams, once a wonder child herself, in the first round of Wimbledon of Monday......The list [of child prodigies] is extensive, punctuated with cautionary tales. As tennis has become a more physically demanding sport, these breakout moments have been trending later.......Corey Gauff, the player’s father, longtime coach and the inspiration for his daughter’s name, has attempted to do what he can to help her chances of long-term success. One of his self-appointed tasks: studying tennis prodigies extensively......“I went through everybody I thought was relevant, that won Grand Slams and were good young,” ....“I went through every one of their situations and looked at where they were at a certain age, what they were doing. I asked a lot of questions, because I was concerned about burnout. Am I doing the right things?”....“I studied and studied to prepare myself to make sure if she was able to meet these goals that we’d be able to help the right way,” he said. “That was important. I still sit there and benchmark: ‘O.K., we’re at this point now. How is she doing physically? Is she growing? This is what Capriati did at this stage. This is what Hingis did at this stage, what the Williams sisters did at this stage.’”....Great stories, which prodigies continue to be, attract not just attention but money from sponsors. Parents and advisers can get more invested in success — and continued success — than the young player, and the result can be traumatic......Some precocious talents have experienced physical abuse,.....There is also the physical and mental toll of competing against older, potentially stronger opposition......“The main thing I looked at was how do you prevent injury,”.........The family has sought frequent outside counsel: “It’s honestly been a village of coaches,” he said.

Cori Gauff chose to sign with Team8, the agency started by Roger Federer and his longtime agent Tony Godsick, in part because the Gauffs believed a long-term approach had worked well for Federer, who turned pro at 17 and is still winning titles at 37.
African-Americans  athletes_&_athletics  benchmarking  cautionary_tales  dark_side  due_diligence  injury_prevention  long-term  outside_counsel  parenting  pitfalls  precociousness  prodigies  sports  systematic_approaches  teenagers  tennis  women 
july 2019 by jerryking
Keep Calm and Carry On
May 31, 2013 | NYT |By TONY SCHWARTZ

I had been away much of the week, I was tired and I had several morning meetings the next day that I did not want to miss. I made an instant decision: I am not going to let myself get frustrated or move into victim mode. It’s something I have worked at for many years. ....The first technique comes from sports psychology--the best tennis players are meticulous about renewing themselves in the 20 to 30 seconds between points. The first thing these players did when a point ended was to turn away from the net.

I loved the metaphor: Turn away from the net. Let it go. Don’t dissipate energy on something you can no longer influence. Invest it instead where it has the power to make a difference. I came to call it the Energy Serenity Prayer....the Each of us has a finite reservoir of energy in any given day. Whatever amount of energy we spend obsessing about missteps we have made, decisions that do not go our way or the belief we have been treated unfairly is energy no longer available to add value in the world.

Worse yet, negative emotions feed on themselves and move us into fight or flight – a reactive state in which it is impossible to think clearly. Negative emotions also burn down energy at a furious rate. It is exhausting to be a victim.

The goal is to keep calm and carry on.

If I was to keep my composure at this point, I needed to find a new gear.

This is where the second technique came in. I have long recognized that one of the best ways to make yourself feel better is to make someone else feel better
I also happened to be in the midst of reading a book called “Give and Take” by Adam Grant, which makes a compelling case that people who give without expecting anything in return actually turn out not only to feel better for having done so, but also to be more successful.

Giving, Mr. Grant explains, does not require extraordinary acts of sacrifice. It simply involves a focus on acting in the interests of others. When takers succeed, there is usually someone else who loses. When givers give, it spreads and cascades. In my own case, the book served as a powerful reminder that the “giver” is the person I want to be....Rather than feeling sorry for myself, I decided to focus on making other people feel better.
inspiration  books  giving  work_life_balance  serving_others  beyond_one's_control  personal_energy  span_of_control  sport_psychology  disconnecting  affirmations  metaphors  athletes_&_athletics  finite_resources  tennis  missteps  Adam_Grant  high-impact 
june 2013 by jerryking

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