“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.”William Arthur Ward
Opportunity is the one thing that will arise in any difficult situation. However whilst you may have an abundance of difficult times, the opportunity within is often the hardest to realise. Opportunity is the intangible gold, and the key to improvement, and so you must take them by the scruff of the neck and make the most of them. Although, these opportunities only come by rarely, and they stick around for less time than they’ve even been made known to you, this is where the catch-22 comes into play.
A life changing opportunity that occurred in my life popped up for me in March 2018. A high-performance tennis program had just partnered with my school, and so they were recruiting some players to join, they had invited me. They had directly called my mum to invite me, and I remember after mum had got off the phone, she was so ecstatic for me that she was jumping around the house, and I didn’t even know what was going on!
Needless to say, after conferring over the information we had received in a subsequent email, I was elated too. And this was the first real opportunity I had realised in my life. Yet whilst the fees were hefty, mum knew that the program was something special, something we couldn’t pass up.
It was a mixture of squad and private training, with gym, nutrition, and motivational sessions. 10 hours a week on court, training at the home of the Australian Open, Melbourne Park. I absolutely loved it, to say the least. It was hard, don’t get me wrong, but in about 6 months, I had increased my game ten-fold, and had somehow got a fairly fit physique going (compared to the fact beforehand I had fat stores so large I could almost hide a credit card somewhere in there!). I was on top of the world and feeling healthier and happier than ever.
However now that I have pulled out of the high-performance program due to a couple of injuries and surgeries, and have had time to reflect on the whole experience, I’ve found that the program was about more than just tennis. In fact, it would be a complete understatement to merely say that I gained more benefit in the life-skills aspect, than I did on my general tennis ability.
This opportunity, it taught me the value of being a leader in creating good culture, it taught me the overwhelming power of persistence and resilience, and allowed me to develop a level of discipline of which I never thought I’d have. All three have translated seamlessly into my every-day life, and are a big part of who I am today. When this opportunity arose 2 years ago, I never would’ve thought that it would change me (for the better) as much as it has, and I cannot help but think of what state I’d be in physically and mentally had I not committed to the program, if I had not taken this opportunity.
When you get opportunities in the future, don’t waste them, be proactive, grab them by the balls and make the most of it. They are ever so rare, and it may be the best thing that ever happens to you. “The best things in life are often the hardest to come by”.