"There may be people that have
more talent than you, but
there is no excuse
for anyone to work harder
than you do."
- Derek Jeter
I play a sport called Pickleball in my home town of League City. And I also travel periodically to compete around the country (Regional Tournaments, Nationals, and at the US Open Pickleball Championships). I know Pickleball sounds like a word I just made up, but it is the fastest growing sport in the world and is played by people of all ages. Check it out!
In doubles play, we like to blame our partners when we lose (mostly in jest). But in playing singles, win or lose, it's all on me. I know that there will certainly be athletes taller than me, stronger than me, and in better physical shape than me or have fewer injuries. They may have better equipment than me. But, knowing that only drives me to work harder and push against the odds.
But it isn't about trying your hardest. It's about preparation and training your hardest. And also, it's about learning from your failures. I remember my losses not as failures, but as opportunities for improvement.
What can I do differently to achieve my goals next time? What are some new shot styles or strategies I can put in my arsenal? Then I can go and train and work on those improvements. And I will be better prepared the next time.
The same philosophy holds true in all aspects of life. We need thick skin in this world. Success won't always come easy.