Scotland Garapedian, a
junior on the Pepperdine men's tennis team, provides this update after the
conclusion of the Waves' fall schedule. He writes about an example of how the
tennis program is preparing him for the real world:
For the 2 1/2 years that I've been part of an elite Division I program, I often find myself asking the question, "How will I use the habits learned on the tennis team, and apply it to the real world, or better known as -- life after college?"
It was just about a month ago where we had a conditioning session that required each player to be ready to go by 8:30 a.m. That morning we had each player show up before 8:30 a.m. except for one ... He arrived at 8:30. Showing up on the time you are supposed to is considered late on our team.
Why? Let's take this scenario: Say you have a job interview one morning and you have to be there by 8:30 a.m. The other guy you are interviewing against arrives 10 minutes early, and you rush into the door at 8:30 a.m. Automatically, the odds are against you because you were not early and prepared. In the words of our strength and conditioning coach, Tubbs, "Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail."
Our team has learned a lot about a situation like this by the fact that we have done a lot better job of showing up not only on time, but arriving 10 minutes early to all of our workouts. Because of that, showing up on time now means showing up 10 minutes early. A simple habit like this is something we can use for our careers in the real world.
Now, I can go on and on about other habits I have learned on the tennis team that will help me in my career, but it is most important to realize that I have learned just as much about bettering myself as a human being, than I have learned about bettering my tennis game. Our coach preaches to us on a daily basis that the habits we create here on the team will correlate to how we will manage our lives out of college.
It is scary sometimes thinking about getting out of college and having to deal with the stresses that will come with a job and career. That is why our program prides itself not on how many wins we get in a season, but how many players will be successful years after they graduate. And by success, I don't mean money, I mean leading a happy and purposeful life.
I truly believe this can be achieved with the simple little habits we implement into our lives, such as showing up on time. But we can come to know that these habits need purpose. That purpose is different for each person on the team, but leads to the same direction ... and that is to better ourselves as human beings. The real world is something we as players on the team will be ready for.