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Deliberate Practice

Serena’s Secret Weapon

Serena Williams had just won the Wimbledon singles title, defeating her sister Venus.

The decision not only gave Serena her third Wimbledon championship, but also raised her record against her sister to 11-10 in pro matches dating back to 1998. Someone asked Serena how many championships she might have won had it not been for Venus.

Serena replied that her sister’s presence has enabled her to win MORE, not LESS,
because her sister’s presence helps raise her game.

Champions thrive on competition. They are at the top precisely because they have sought out challenges, not because they have successfully avoided them.

Pat Summitt, who has more victories than any Division 1 college basketball coach in history, long ago made the commitment to play the toughest schedule possible. This kind of schedule forces you to prepare in a special way, and to play on a special level. No wonder she has won eight national championships!

So here’s the difference between champions and others:

Some people believe you improve as much as you can, and then you play the best.

Champions understand that you become the best by playing the best


2 comments for “Serena’s Secret Weapon”

  1. This reminds me of the run the Pittsburgh Steelers made this year. They played one of the toughest schedules in the league. A schedule that made them appear to have too many “holes” in their lineup to make a big run. Did this schedule “expose” them, or help “solidify” them? I think we got the answer!


    Posted by CC | July 6, 2009, 12:33 pm
  2. Yes, it’s a perfect example. And the reverse is true also. Sometimes an NFL team will take advantage of an easy schedule to make the playoffs, but will not have the toughness to advance when it gets there.

    Posted by Coach Tully | July 6, 2009, 12:41 pm

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