“Pressure is a privilege”

Billie Jean King, Tennis legend and WTT Co-Founder

Billy Jean King once made a comment on the stresses and strains of tennis in which she remarked that “pressure is a privilege”. She was indicating that pressure is a crucial ingredient for achieving peak performance in the game, and that those who can harness and cope with it effectively usually end up winning. I would argue that this extends far beyond the court and is the #1 anecdote that I would use to describe where my head has been over the past few months. Nerves, tension, anxiety — these are all things that find me, shake me and rattle me and there has been a dramatic difference in a positive direction since I’ve put more time into tennis.

In the months that followed since Shara and Mike’s wedding, I not only made the West Coast Cup team, but was also promoted to the singles line up. Just last week, I was also informed that I would also have the opportunity to play doubles. Given that I had only made just a few teams in my lifetime, all before I entered high school and none during those years despite attempts with both soccer and volleyball, this for me is a pretty big deal. I’ve spent so much time trying to find happiness is various aspects of my life and nothing has given me more joy than being out on a tennis court, playing out points, competing hard and getting better. Tennis has been there for me when I needed it and it’s been great to help me make new friends in San Francisco. If you happen to catch this and you are free next weekend, come to Golden Gate Park to watch the GLTF team (myself included) as we face off against LA and San Diego!

It was great to see the singles gold medalists rise to the occasion in London this summer and make history. Andy Murray’s win over Roger Federer gave the Brits something to cheer about — it has been quite a while since there was a male winner on the grass of Wimbledon from the UK (even though the event was not Wimbledon). He went out there with a purpose and was determined to get revenge and put away the disappointment from weeks prior. I give him tremendous credit because the press, the fans, his family, even he himself have all been huge sources of pressure in his short career and this moment should bode well for more titles and the elusive grand slam. I can’t say much more about Serena than I have already, but her win was also special. Not easy to battle back from injury, nerves, a tough loss at the French and to win consecutive finals in singles and doubles on grass. These champions live for these moments; the opportunity to compete and win. After 32 years, I’m starting to enjoy what that feels like.

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