Preparing For Success

bigstock_Are_You_PreparedChapter Six

PREPARING FOR SUCCESS

“The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win.”  – Bobby Knight

We’ve all heard from others in the past that success doesn’t come overnight. What does that mean? Well, if you have been honest with yourself to this point, then you have admitted that you are in a battle. However, to enter into battle unprepared is suicide. (You wouldn’t show up for a match without your rackets, would you?)

You didn’t know you were in a battle before, which is why you never thought of preparing for it. Now that you are at the point that you know you are in a battle, you must be willing to prepare for it. Earlier I mentioned that some very well-meaning people in your life have failed, seen failure and have associated pain with failure.

Perhaps, in going for their dream at one time (if they ever did at all), these people did not have a plan, or had poor plan, and never even got out of the starting gate because of it. Many of these people who failed didn’t lack the WILL to succeed, but rather they lacked the WILL to PREPARE to succeed.

This is where the enemy inflicts the most damage to players who want to boost the level of their game, but it is also the place where you will realize your biggest breakthroughs.

Here come the tools you need and the techniques to utilize them.

Visualizing Your Desires

The first thing you need to do to prepare to succeed is to visualize exactly what it is that you want. Is it a better serve? Better volleys? Better footwork? This is where we need t o start.

Remember the engineer and the building example from earlier in this book? We will do likewise, starting from the finished product.

However, we are special people, and we do things right. We do not languish in the wayside, wishing to win the tennis‘lottery’ and suddenly be able to play like Justine Henin or Roger Federer.

No.

You start with the visualization of a small goal.

This is a huge key to your success.

Your tennis goal can be anything you want it to be, but it must start with the following:

1) You must declare your intentions. You must clearly state what it is that you want, so that your subconscious mind is able to come up with a plan to get it. Write down what you want, or where you want to be.

Do you want that powerful serve?

Those crisp volleys?

Federer-like footwork?

Also, ask yourself why you want it; in other words,what is the expected benefit to your game?

Get a pen and paper and declare your intentions and why. Do it now. Take as much time as you need. Do not continue reading until you have done so.

Your Reticular Activation System, Or ‘Hey, I Saw That on TV!!’

Okay, on to the next step.

The next thing you must realize is:

2) Your goal must be extremely detailed.

For example, if your goal is an awesome serve, you must visualize exactly how that serve would look and perform for you, down to the most minute detail. This is a must. The reason this is so crucial is because you have in your brain the power to bring it about if you have the discipline to visualize it in a detailed manner.

Remember earlier when you learned that your subconscious mind cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality? Since that is the case, when you focus on your goal and visualize it in every detail, then your True Self can set about the task of making it a reality.

This process is done via a part of your brain called the RAS, or the Reticular Activation System.

Your Reticular Activation System is extremely powerful. You probably never even knew it existed, but it is there. A display of it’s power can be seen if you’ve ever learned a new word and then heard that word used three times in the next three hours by someone else, or on TV.

Its power is also displayed when you buy a car and then see the same kind of car everywhere you look. Ditto with that new racket you bought.

The reason this happens is because even though you’ve probably been exposed to these things before, you were not mentally focused on them, therefore your brain filters them out as unnecessary ‘noise’. When you focus on something i n your tennis game that you desire, it is amazing how quickly and with what force that thing can be made to appear. What exactly will you visualize?

Don’t mumble to yourself what you think you can visualize. Get your pen and paper and write down what you visualize, period. Then,while still visualizing, write down how it will make you feel once you’ve achieved what you’ve visualized. Make no mistake – visualizing how you will feel will give you the will to make things happen. You are using your emotions in a positive sense by doing this. Put down all the details. Make it specific. Do it now, then come back and you can continue reading.

How Are You Going To Get It Done?

3) You must ask yourself ‘how am I going to do it?’

As long as your tennis goal is consistent with your True Desires, this is your next step. A good example would be that you really want to get a strong second serve that you can rely on consistently. That is an attainable goal that can be broken down into mini-goals to help you get there faster. Your mini -goal could be find some resources that will teach you how to hit a great second serve, followed up by another attainable mini-goal of putting into action the first step of whatever you learned.

How are you going to do it?

List your skills, assets, knowledge, and contacts that will allow you to attain your goal. If you need to take a lesson to get some knowledge about how to hit that second serve, where will you get it from? Online, or on the court? Write it all down. You know the drill – do it and then come back. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here waiting for you. Do it now.

You Need Measurable Results

4) Your progress toward your tennis goal must be measurable.

This is important because you need to gauge what is working and what isn’t. You need to be able to see how far you’ ve come in a particular amount of time. Are you finished getting the knowledge you need to improve your second serve yet? How will you measure your progress? These are powerful questions that you are asking yourself. These are now the new questions that you ask yourself when you look at the “Man In The Mirror.”

Will you measure by days or weeks?

Months?

Will you measure your progress in match wins?

By how many consecutive second serves you can hit to the backhand side of the ad court?

However you choose to measure, the progress must be measurable in someway. Write down how you are going to measure your progress. Do it now.

Keepin’ It Reall

5) Your goal must be realistic.

Is your goal realistic? Again, you must face the ‘Man In The Mirror’ and ask yourself this question honestly, without emotion. If you are having trouble making the high school team, you should not be setting goals to play in the pros right now – you should be setting the attainable goal of making the team. Measured steps give you measurable results. The answers you give yourself will tell you whether or not you have been focusing on what you’v e been reading here. If you need to revise anything you’ve already written up to this point, go do it now and then ask the question again. These are powerful techniques you are learning here, and these are important steps. Go do it. Now.

Give Yourself A Deadline – And Stick To It

6) You must give yourself a deadline.Write it down. Make yourself commit to a certain time frame .There’s that old phrase about being “careful what you ask for…you just might get it.” Write down your time frame. Give yourself a reasonable – but strict – deadline for achieving your goal, no matter how small. Don’t dwell on past failures and don’t worry about what happens in the future if you don’t ‘make’ your dead line. As the old saying goes, with one foot in yesterday and one in tomorrow, all you can do is piss on today! Go set a reasonable deadline for you goals and mini-goals. Do it now.

In the next chapter, we’ll talk about the power of ‘why’ – and how to use it to accomplish your goals on the tennis court!

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