“You fight, you try your best, but if you lose, you don’t have to break five racquets and smash up the locker room. You can do those things, but when you’re finished, nothing’s changed. You’ve still lost. If something positive came from that, I probably would do it. But I see only negativity.”
— Rafael Nadal
Spanish Professional Tennis Player
What an outstanding leadership statement. We all have times that something challenging happens. Do you tear around, pull your hair out, snap at someone?
What will you do? Spend your anger until you are tired. It’s all about you and you expressing anger.
Turn away to a calmer state, one that benefits all. Remember, you are a leader to others. Everyone is.
Everyone is a leader to someone, simply by our daily actions. So if that business partnership doesn’t come through, do you slam the door? Or do you sit down calm with your team, thank them for their efforts, and discuss lessons learned? If you didn’t win the election, do you set the stage on fire? Or do you rally the troupes and thank them for all their efforts and have a come-together-let’s-appreciate-all-our-work-together dinner?
Losing is an attitude. Not an action.
There actually is no loss. That’s in your mind.
So take the lessons learned, and have a winning mind.
Even if you didn’t win, you still won knowledge. You learned how to do something better! Share that with yourself and the team. Celebrate that next victory for you know you are going out on court to do better the next time!
Smashing rackets wastes time. It deletes reflection. It’s no model for others up and coming in the world.
Hold your head high humbly proud about your effort. You did your best. Then, listen, learn and keep going higher!
Rafael Nadal was born in Mallorca, Spain, on June 3, 1986. When he was 3 years old, his uncle, Toni Nadal, a former professional tennis player, started working with him, seeing an aptitude for the sport in young Rafael. At the age of 8, Nadal won an under-12 regional tennis championship, giving Uncle Toni the incentive to step up his training. When Nadal was just 12 years old, he won the Spanish and European tennis titles in his age group. He turned professional at age 15. At the age of 19, in 2005, Nadal won the French Open the first time he competed in the tournament, and his world ranking shot to No. 3. With his powerful topspin-heavy shots, speed and mental toughness, Nadal reigned as one of the \”Big Four\” of men\’s tennis (along with Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray) for the next several years. In 2010, he was triumphant at the French Open and Wimbledon, and his subsequent win at the U.S. Open made him just the second men\’s player to achieve the career Golden Slam—victories at all four majors, as well as Olympic gold.
The 2016 season, after suffering a first-round loss at the Australian Open in January, he rebounded to win titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. However, Nadal\’s attempts to play through a nagging wrist injury took its toll, and he was forced to pull out of his favorite tournament, the French Open, after two rounds. Nadal took part in Thailand\’s \”A Million Trees for the King\” project, planting a tree in honour of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on a visit to Hua Hin during his Thailand Open 2010.
Outside of tennis, Nadal is close with his parents and younger sister, María Isabel. He has a deep love for football and supports Real Madrid. In 2007, he founded Fundación RafaNadal to support young adults and children. Since then, he’s also created a tennis academy for disadvantaged children called “Anantapur Sports Village”.
Fig¹. Retrieved from Carine06 on Flickr, Fig². Photo by Robert Salinas on Unsplash, Fig³. Photo by Rawpixel on Unsplash