Winners and Losers

Steve Lunsford and Don Long

As we are in the Florida tournament season, many players will soon view themselves as either “winners” or “losers”, but is that what we should really be doing?  And what happened in this week’s tournament?

The Inner Game

Here is a great passage from the classic book, “The Inner Game of Tennis.”

Who said that I am to be measured by how well I do things? In fact, who said that I should be measured at all? Who indeed?

What is required to disengage oneself from this trap is a clear knowledge that the value of a human being cannot be measured by performance—or by any other arbitrary measurement.

The grade on a report card may measure an ability in arithmetic, but it doesn’t measure the person’s value. Similarly, the score of a tennis match may be an indication of how well I performed or how hard I tried, but it does not define me, nor give me cause to consider myself as something more or less than I was before the match.”

So, as we walk off the court after that “important match,” remember that you are still just YOU.

And another of my favorite principles, don’t ask your friend, “Did you win?”  Rather ask, “How did you play today?

What do you think?

How Did WE Play?

In this week’s tournament at the World Tennis Club (in the opinion of many, this is the best run tournament), Matt and I had mixed success… being seeded #5, we had a first round bye; then faced the challenging Marco Island team of Rick Eichmann and Ray Jean.  We were solid throughout and cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 victory.

In the quarter-finals vs. the #2 seeded team of Don Long and Steve Lunsford, we lost a close first set 6-4 (service break at 4-5) and found ourselves down a break in the second set, with Don serving 3-1, 40-Love.

We maintained focus to come back to win that game … hold a tough service game … then break Steve’s serve to go up 4-3.  But is was not to be: they broke back and went on to win a squeaker, 6-4, 7-5 (in just under two hours).

For full results and today’s schedule of singles and doubles finals, click HERE.

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6 thoughts on “Winners and Losers

  1. George,
    Important things to consider and great match vs. Don and Steve!
    Another important point to always consider as we take the court–able to play in our 70s–is that we are already winners.
    Best! Phil

    Phil, i agree … just being playing tournaments at our “ripe old age” is great! thanks, george

  2. That goes for guys in their 80’s like Zenon Matkiwsky, Alan Goldberg, Cliff Hagan, Dick Martin, King Van Nostron, Harry Hill, and yours truly playing out of Vero Beach and most of them at Sea Oaks B and T Club. All of these guys can still run too.

    Gene, keep on doing what your doing! george

  3. Winners or losers…that’s a Trump concept!

    Spike, even tho… i will post this comment. george

  4. George, one of your best articles ever. That is the essence of the experience. You are either playing from your ego or your Higher Self. We all struggle with it and whenever I get caught up in whether I am going to win it immediately takes away the joy. I find myself getting more detached from the outcome as I get older. That’s why I stopped playing tournaments because the tendency to win is dramatically heightened and I wasn’t having fun. Sometimes when I am playing non league games which mean nothing with good players and there is always this friendly banter I am having my best time and the tennis is high level at the same time.

    Dave, i had that same conversation this past week with a mutual friend of ours who said, “I don’t need/want to play tournaments anymore. They are not as much fun as playing with my friends.” george

  5. George,
    I always noticed your most admirable quality. You are remarkably egoless in your relationship to tennis. You don’t have an inner list of who you think is better than you or you are better than and are detached from that . You really are the shining example of the joy of tennis and it really affects everyone you come in contact with especially me. I thank you for that.

    Dave, wow. Not sure i deserve the praise, but thanks! george

  6. Spot on blog, George. I started playing tennis in my 40s and will probably never reach the skill level of you and your pals (maybe next life?). Nevertheless, I really love the game! I didn’t realize just how much until I was sidelined for several months by a couple of surgeries a few years ago. Getting back on the court was a major goal that helped me keep pushing through my physical rehabilitation. I like to win as much as the next guy, but I’m also really happy just to be out there trying my best to improve my game. (P.S. Good luck to your beloved Pats next week.)

    Joe. Good goals… including the pats! George

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