Colorado Tennis
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By: Ryan Segelke

Grand Slam Level Coach, CEO and

CO-Founder of High Altitude Colorado Tennis Academy

WARNING: The following article is inspired and intentionally geared towards one specific High Altitude Tennis Academy Colorado Tennis student (but ALL of the following is applicable to anyone reading who is looking to achieve more — young or old, tennis player or non-tennis player, scholar or executive). Reader discretion is advised.

“You are a LOSER.” Donald Trump has uttered these four words to numerous people during his current run for the White House. I would bet that Donald Trump would also call Donald Young a “LOSER.”

Donald Young has had a career filled with adversity. He has battled with the USTA over issues that I won’t go in to in this article (you can Google it if interested). He’s had coaching issues, hype, not living up to that hype, and tremendous criticism from peers and fans. Donald Young has been on the ATP Tour for 11 years. During his 11-year career, he has amassed 126 losses against only 76 wins, with a fat goose egg (0) for career ATP titles. To put it simply: for every 10 times he walks onto a tennis court, he walks off the loser more than 6 times (a 64% losing percentage to be exact)!

Donald Trump did not actually call Donald Young a loser, but nearly every junior colorado tennis player (and some tennis parents) likely would. I have a different perspective that I would invite you to consider: this is 100% NORMAL! Yet, it is my experience that the vast majority of players that apply and are accepted to HAT’s specialized colorado tennis program have an expectation that they are going to win all the time and rarely lose. This just isn’t true, and it is a very slippery slope for those who don’t learn to embrace daily growth over a results-oriented mentality.

It is difficult to win with this mindset. The feeling is that the results are never good enough, and it leads to frustration and eventually quitting for some. Life for anyone attempting to weave their way through it is filled with losses and failures that far outnumber their wins. Those who thrive have learned that losses are not failures but lessons. They are obstacles to conquer and mountains to climb, which, when accompanied by determination, discipline, and deliberate practice, can lead to great rewards. But this is only if you can endure the pain of the challenges put before you.

This means that nearly everyone who commits to the difficult journey will want to quit multiple times during the toughest days. Colorado Tennis Parents who fall into this trap get labeled as “shop and boppers” who forego loyalty for anyone willing to sell them on the “dream”. Donald Young could have quit, and no one would have blamed him given the tremendous pressure he put on himself and the pressure placed upon him by others – but he didn’t.

I would bet that, at more than one point in his life, he read a quote that also hangs from the High Altitude Colorado Tennis Courts: “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it will last forever.” Donald Young was willing to endure and step up to the challenges in front of him. He has built the character of a champion, and he is now reaping the rewards. He has made $330,000 so far this year and $2.4 million in his career. He just upset Thomas Berdych (currently ranked #6 in the world) in straight sets to advance to the round of 16 at the Rogers Cup in Canada. And he has something that will transfer to any career he chooses once his tennis career is over: the pride that he has earned, the respect of all of his peers on tour, his fans, and, most importantly, the confidence that he can do it.

“The darkest hour is just before the dawn.” What will you do colorado tennis player? Will you stay in a fixed, results-oriented reality? Or, will you follow Donald Young’s powerful example and choose to engage in the journey of focused, small, incremental improvements? It’s 100% your choice, and you will have to live with your decision. There is no one else to blame, no excuses to make — the choice is all yours. Let me know how it goes!! If this article hit home for you, share it with me. I want to hear it!


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