Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing blog series by Weil Academy player Nima Movassaghi of Eugene, Ore.
By Nima Movassaghi
Competitors in any field start their week by asking themselves what they can do to make the new week better than the last. For many student-athletes at the Weil Tennis Academy, that inquiry is flawed. The correct question is to ask yourself how you can be better than you were yesterday. It starts with a simple goal: 1-0.
1-0 sounds like a win-loss record. Either you won your match or you lost your match. Perhaps you had a good practice or a bad practice. However, applied to daily life, 1-0 is whether you accomplished your goals for the day or not. How did I make today better than yesterday? How do I make tomorrow better than today? Boom! That’s the question.
“What are the positives from my match?
How can I improve my nutrition and match preparation from last week?” said sophomore Joel Hug.
Fellow teammate Annika Bassey, pictured at left, echoed his thoughts: “I try to focus on what I did well and then improve on my mistakes with the next tournament in mind.”
The two-hour drive back to Ojai after a tough loss in the closing hours of the week may ultimately be the most important two hours of the week. No matter how excruciating a loss may be, our minds never waver. We know that the next week is going to be great because we reflect, plan, and make adjustments that affect the results we produce.
Different student-athletes handle their situation differently. Junior Alexis Alvarez reflects on his matches by not worrying about the result, but instead on his development.
“I strive to do the right thing regardless of the outcome,” said Alvarez, pictured below with Weil Head Coach Mohamed Badran.
There’s a natural competitively spirited desire to never feel the same way as you did over or after a tournament weekend where the result was less than desirable. That feeling of emptiness and disappointment after a loss, or after a poor performance of any sort, deeply affects the competitor within. A champion must move on and look forward. Even winning must be met with a short celebration, then it’s back to business. The greatest champions are the ones who are able to digest those feelings and use them to make bigger strides through adjustment the next day.
As Monday sets in, the next opportunity to 1-0 arrives, and the most driven student-athletes have already planned for success. I have my nutrition for the day pre-planned, my workouts organized, and my points of emphasis for practice hammered into my brain. I believe that I’m going to go 1-0 the next day. It sounds naïve, but it’s what allows athletes like myself to blaze through each challenge with all of the confidence imaginable
To most it will sound silly, but visualization is one of the most important elements of going 1-0. As I strike each ball in practice, I’ve already hit that ball hundreds of times just by visualizing it. Visualization the difference between having the faith in yourself to step up in the 11th hour to win a big point, and shying away from the moment.
There’s no such thing as going 2-0, 3-0, 10-0. Each day, each match, and each practice is its own individual moment. The battle is simple. You versus yesterday.