Tennis like Life –what kind of “game” are you playing?


I really enjoy playing tennis.

Last night, I was playing with one of my daughters and as we got started, I thought to myself what fun I was having. However, about two to three games into our match, I realized this was a different kind of fun I was involved in.

Let me explain, sometimes my wife and I will play tennis with another couple. We keep track of the score, but its a pretty relaxed game. We talk with each other during the game, we smack the ball back and forth to each other, and laugh. Its a very enjoyable time as we are “playing”.

However, I realized in “playing” with my daughter who is very good, as are all my five kids. there is a whole different kind of level of “playing” tennis involved.  What I was doing with my daughter was more intense and required a stepped up effort, both mentally, as well as physically.

I noticed that:
– I had to move my feet much more than I was doing

-I noticed that the balls were being hit at a much faster pace and with my poor eyesight, I needed to concentrate much harder on keeping my eye on the ball

– I needed to push myself to be more patient and intentional about hitting smarter shots, not just whacking the ball

– I also needed to play with much more intensity:

– I had to anticipate where my daughter was going to hit the ball (and get there)

– I couldn’t just slap the ball back to my opponents, I had to concentrate on:
– how I was going to hit the ball (forehand or backhand, with      spin or without, lob or line drive)
– where on the court I was going to hit the ball back to her
– what speed I was going to hit the ball back to her
-I also had to be aware of what part of her game was working and also not working (it turned out – she didn’t have too many weaknesses)

Playing at this higher  level would be fun, but only if I was going to work hard enough to win.
Let me explain this last sentence a bit more clearly. My daughter and I would complement each other when a nice shot was made. We laughed at times. We were having fun. However, although we were enjoying ourselves, we also wanted to win. We were competing.

With that in mind, I realized that just playing a casual, non-thinking game would not work against someone with the tennis ability like my daughter. If I just passively lobbed  the ball back to her and didn’t move much from the baseline, she would consistently put away her shots (which she did often ) —ugh 😦

As all these thoughts were going through my mind last night (during and after the game), I found it interesting to think about the differences in “playing” tennis (one game was very casual and relaxed , and the other was intense requiring a high level of physical and mental effort).

To be successful against my daughter and if I were to win, I had to evaluate my game accurately and be intentional about my behaviors. I also needed to not only come up with an effective strategy for how to play her, but  I needed to continually monitor that plan and make adjustments when necessary.

If you think about it, those same disciplines are necessary for living out our lives.   People have a choice in how they want to “play” the game of life.  They can live life casually without giving much thought to why they do what they do? or  what their vision for success looks like.  Unfortunately, I believe as they live like this, they will experience many regrets.

Another way of living life, which is where my passion is focused is helping others “play” in the game of life with intentionality and much effort.  The life coaching I do centers around 5 key areas: taking time for evaluation, seeing all the areas of responsibility, making priorities, setting goals, and managing the process.

I want to be successful and be the best  I can. I also want the same success for each and every person–to be their best.  When you get a chance, make the time to evaluate what kind of “game of life”, you are playing.

If you have any questions about the life coaching I do,  and/or would be interested in a FREE, 30 minute consultation please e-mail me at

Thank you.


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