Pressure

Pressure.

It will always be a part of our lives. It helps us grow, but can also hold us back. We feel it interviewing for a new job, taking exams, asking a girl out, and in competition (professional or recreational). You have seen it time and time again from Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan in playoff pressure situations. The best of the best can take that pressure and perform at a level even they didn’t know was possible. But we have also seen pressure get the best of us. Former University of Michigan basketball player, Chris Webber (part of the fab 5 run) famously known for calling a “timeout” with 11 seconds left in NCAA Championship game with no timeouts left, therefore costing the game and season. Pressure clouds our judgement, but it can also bring out the best of us.

Two days ago after qualifying in China I was placed in the very top half of the draw. If I won my first round I would have the opportunity to play Yen-Hsun Lu (Taiwan) who is currently ranked in the top 50. I started thinking/dreaming of playing that match and if I won how much that would change my tennis career. Not just confidence wise, but putting my name on the map. With all these thoughts I still had to play my first round, and I knew better than to think ahead. Let’s just say my match yesterday was filled with pressure that clouded my judgement. My legs felt heavy and my mind was nowhere to be found.

I put all this pressure on myself to win, then what? Play another match. Another tennis player. Is it really true that some matches/games are more “important” than others. Finals of Wimbledon to the Superbowl. Yes they are important, but you can’t get there unless you win your 1st, 2nd, 3rd round. I’ve played thousands of matches and should know better to put one match more important than the other. It really is true, “One match at a time, one point at a time.” That’s all you can really ask for. You put in the work and compete then let the rest take care of itself. Seems easy of enough, but I guess that’s what separates good from great.

Thanks again Kerry for being so supportive of my journey thus far.

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Thanks to my uncle David in Hong Kong and his whole tennis crew in China I now have quite a big following.

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I have slept in three different beds in three nights (a record for me). I have made it to Hong Kong (2nd home) and will be flying out to Taiwan tomorrow morning. I couldn’t be more excited to be in Taiwan, it’s been over 7 seven years since being in my parent’s homeland.

 

 

 

See you in Taiwan!

 

 

JJ

 

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