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Every December the United States Tennis Association generates rankings for all its players based on that year’s level of play.

 

I got bumped to 4.5.

 

If you’re unfamiliar with adult club tennis, being a 4.5 is the real deal. It means you’re good. Really good.

 

Last year I played 20 matches and won all my 4.0 level matches and half of my 4.5 level matches.

 

But I didn’t start out like that. The year before I played 16 matches and lost about three-fourths of the time.

 

In 2017, when I started playing tennis again, I played 13 matches and only won twice.

 

You know why I love these numbers?

 

Because its statistical proof that failure is key to success.

 

There are a lot of club tennis players who dislike match play. They go to drills. They hit with friends. But they don’t play competitively.

 

Fear of failure, people.

 

These are the exact players who don’t rank advance.

 

I had to lose over half of my total matches – half the time! – to achieve 4.5 status. When I started I was barely able to beat a 3.0 level player.

 

You want to succeed?

 

Stop being afraid to lose.

 

Stop pretending like you are playing the game when you’re really just hitting with friends.

 

Get you ass on the court.

 

Learn from your losses.

 

And EXPECT to fail until you start winning. 🎾