Ready, set, go except in a tennis match, it's game, set, and match. There are 56 female competitors in the draw here in Fukuoka with 60 percent of the players from Japan and the remaining 40% from other parts of the world. Yet, only a handful of them plays with an identity.
Establishing a strong identity, knowing with absolute certainty what you're about, gives you the competitor's edge. It's a trust that you have with yourself that when push comes to shove you can depend on you to show up to fight until the very end.
In a tennis match, there are three situations that take place to test your tennis identity.
Identity #1: toe to toe
You're both on even ground score-wise, skills wise, mentally wise, emotionally wise. You're on a deadlock keeping pace with each other waiting on the first one to falter.
Identity #2: when behind
Great competitors when playing from behind turns into this fighting machine that says "never say die" attitude. They get every ball back making you hit another ball and they refuse to lose. You will have to beat them because they are not throwing in the towel. They have this mentality of "the tough get tougher."
Identity #3: when ahead
Oh boy, look out. There is no stopping them. They are relaxed. Arms loose. Laser focused and they are not holding back. They see the finish line and they are going all out.
Tennis is a small world. Almost everyone knows everyone directly and indirectly. Players and coaches formulate their opinions on their fellow competitors very quickly. Be sure to establish a strong one for obvious reasons.
End of Day 3 - Fukuoka, Japan