Pablo Picasso once said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal”.
To become the greatest tennis player or coach in the world, you already have so many footprints to follow. All you need to do is walk them. Then make them your own.
The data is all out there. From the hours a player should spend on court developing, or the number of tournaments kids need to play, the evidence has been formulated again and again.
So, what’s so hard about reaching the top?
Effort. Many people “like” the idea of becoming one of the greatest, but not many are willing to put in the work.
They understand the blueprint of 4-6 hours a day of work and the years it takes for that work to gain reward, but not many players or coaches can sustain the effort.
And so many try to find a shortcut.
“There’s got to be a better way?”
“I’ll work smarter not harder.”
And their effort goes into finding ways around the work instead of just doing it.
Working smart without the hard doesn’t lead to a successful career.
‘The ball machine is your boyfriend!” Nick Bollettieri once joked with Monica Seles after she spent countless hours on the court drilling.
Look back in history at the greats.
They all time spent years and years honing their craft.
Hours and hours per day on the tennis court.
Travelling to tournament after tournament.
So, are you desperate to be great?
Just walk in the same footprints as those who have done it before you.
Copy to become good, then put in the work to become great.
By Marc Sophoulis