In 2017, I graduate with a bachelors degree in business and commerce from Western Sydney University and begin a new journey as a graduate in one of the big four accounting firms in the world – Deloitte. I am both excited and humbled by this opportunity and will endeavour to bring forth the same energy and enthusiasm towards this role as I have done in each of my roles in the past. In addition, I will continue mentoring and coaching junior tennis players and hope that I can continue to connect with professionals who can inspire and support both my students and myself to become all we can be! – Originally posted on 20 January 2017
I began my role as a graduate at the accounting firm in March 2017. I can recall being so excited about this opportunity ever since I was accepted into the program over 1 year ago! Has it really been that long? Wow
I feel as though it is only appropriate to reflect on this new chapter in my life, having been with the firm for three months, by commenting on what I believe are the challenges, positives and negatives of this role going forward into the future.
- The inability to predict my workload
- Not being my own boss
- Getting at least 7 hours of sleep per day
- Ensuring that I can continue to mentor and coach junior tennis players and adults throughout the week
- Being social (since I am an introvert, naturally)
- The ability to work amongst likeminded individuals
- Making an impact that matters
- Learning new skills on a daily basis
It’s quite clear to see, just from my quick reflection on my experience at Deloitte thus far, that there is no perfect role, situation or environment. That goes for both your work and personal life. We will always face challenges and have experiences that are both positive and negative.
In my opinion, the way to keep winning at life is to learn from the negatives, embrace the positives and face the challenges. There really is nowhere to hide from them because they are the recurring themes in everything we do. I will keep you all posted 🙂
A national championship for an Australian junior tennis player is one of the biggest events in the year. This is the moment you can assess where you stand as a player on a national level.
Many parents and players think that these events are a “be all and end all” as such, however it certainly isn’t the case. In the larger scheme of things, any strong result at a national championship will be remembered as a great accolade on a players CV but other than that, it doesn’t hold much more bearing.
I believe that the purpose of a national championship is to compete against different opposition, many of whom you have never competed against before, gain a new perspective on the game on a national level and to build networks. Eligibility into this tournament is based on prior tournament results and being an invitiational, these players are the best of the best to say the least.
Grass court tennis is sadly a dying art, with approximately 4 professional events held on that surface in the entire year. However, it’s a great surface for junior tennis players to be exposed to because it keeps a player honest, in the sense that there are no true bounces on a grass court as opposed to a hard court. Players are required to stay on their toes just that little longer to accommodate for the unconventional bounces and keep their body weight lower than usual due to the ball staying a lot lower off the bounce.
I was fortunate enough to have a student of mine be invited to the Australian Grasscourt Championships this year. Rahul Desai, whom I have been coaching for a couple of years now, played a very good tournament and recorded some fabulous wins. I only spent a couple of lessons with Rahul where we worked on specific grass court tennis strategy, because I felt that we didn’t need to dedicate too much time on playing with a game style he won’t be using for more than a few weeks. Having said that, his performances during the event proved that it was more than enough preparation time for a player of his standard to adapt comfortably to the surface.
Overall, he came 4th out of 32 boys and his entire team was very proud of how he represented himself and the state of NSW at this national event.
Take a look at Rahul’s journey throughout the tournament here: 12/u & 14/u Australian Grasscourt Championships Tournament Draws
April is a very interesting time of year for Australian juniors, where players are exposed to various surfaces over a 4-6 week tournament block. I have continued to emphasise to my students, the importance of developing a game style that can be adapted across all court surfaces and this will certainly be exposed during this time. Even as a junior, keep in mind that the professional tour is now moving into the European tennis leg and it is so important to be playing as many matches as possible and building confidence so that you are at your best when it counts the most!
One of my students, Rahul Desai competed extremely well here, with a win in both the singles and doubles 14/u events. He had reached the final of the summer junior event five months earlier so he has recorded many wins at this venue, which is always a plus for an athlete. Over the past five months he has made various changes to his game, technique, footwork and training schedule to meet the demands of competitive tennis and this result was a great way to start the tournament block.
Take a look at his journey throughout the tournament here: 2017 Bathurst Autumn JT Tournament Draws
Tennis is one of the toughest sports in my opinion, not just because it is an individual sport, but also due to the fact that there is no set criteria to follow in order to achieve success. If anyone has tried to play tennis at a high level or even a recreational level, it soon becomes evident just how much you dont know about the sport and how little credible information is available to you.
If you are interested and passionate about a specific job, you will be provided with a job description, which assists you in considering your chances of landing the role. If you want to purchase a product, the price, brand and description of the product is given to you prior to purchase. If you want to travel to a certain country, it just takes one online search to find out everything you need to know to proceed. In a way, there is some form of expectation and so working towards meeting that expectation seems plausible. What about tennis? Where are the ‘trip advisors’ or ‘expedias’ in relation to tennis? It’s non existent. You may be wondering why this is the case. I know I have on many occasions.
The biggest reason for that in my opinion is because becoming a professional tennis player is like wanting to be a successful actor/actress, singer, performer, artist etc. Nobody really knows whether or not someone will excel, even though the potential is evident. There are no two individuals who will have the same journey either. Take Venus and Serena Williams for example, who were born to the same parents, raised in the same household, had the same upbringing, but have had very different careers as tennis players both on and off the court. There is no certainty that being taught at a prestigious school, academy or anywhere else and by whom for that matter will result in success either. It’s a matter of trial and error, drawing to a halt and then starting back at the beginning again in order to find what brings out the best in you or your player. The trigger for this process is when you begin to see your results plateau over a period of 6 to 12 months. Flexibility is just the start. Being open to new ideas, innovation and changing routines/processes is what this is all about.
In sport, your biggest rivals are your competition. The key is to be on your toes so to speak, keeping your eyes and ears open, continually studying your competition to understand their strengths and weaknesses. All the while to ensure you HAVE and SUSTAIN a competitive advantage. Differentiating yourself is the greatest asset of all!
I have been underestimated on many occasions due to my background of being a professional athlete. This apparently meant that I have lived a privileged life and knew nothing of hardship, loss, disappointment and pain. It was almost as though people thought I lived a luxurious lifestyle. All they heard was that I was travelling from one city to another each week to compete, but going behind the scenes, it tells a very different story.
In my opinion, a professional athlete has to endure a great deal from a very young age, particularly those who have reached the highest level in their respective sport. Imagine being ‘tested’ for faster times, more repetitions of a particular activity, better precision and refining your technique on a daily basis. There is nowhere to hide, because you cannot escape the truth that lies within a video recording or a time that is below your personal best. The professional athlete learns very quickly that failure and success is part of everyday life. The only thing you can do is accept that fact (which builds resilience and forms the basis of having good sportsmanship), and take ownership over your actions. This then allows you to focus your mind on the job at hand, which is simply being better at your craft. No compromises. No excuses. After all, a slump in form means that its time for you to pay a visit to the sidelines for a duration of time that you have no control over. All you can do is keep showing up and persevere with the hope that you will get that phone call, offering you a position back on the field/team again. And for those professional athletes that compete in an individual sport, any slump in form will result in you simply drifting further and further away from the pack within a few short months. The road ahead seems ever so daunting.
Imagine facing all of the above realities from the age of say 5 or 6 and throughout your adolescence, simply by being exposed to sport at a professional level. The lessons learned can be carried on throughout the rest of your life. There is certainly nothing luxurious about it. I hope that the next time you come across a former professional athlete, the word ‘resilient’ comes to mind as opposed to ‘privileged’.
I have come across many students who tell me that they struggle with confidence, belief and nerves on match day.
“I play so well during training but don’t know what happens to me during matches”
This thought pattern is very common and often occurs when someone is extremely result and outcome focused. By thinking this way, you limit yourself. It’s very important to simply compete against your opponent. The result of a single match will not be your greatest achievement. The many trials and errors you make in your life and your personal growth is what counts in the end. Every match is simply one small piece of that puzzle.
I have personally struggled with debilitating self-doubt in moments that counted. This lead to lost opportunities and a lot of disappointment but I never gave up on myself. I knew my life had purpose. I just needed to understand why I lost those opportunities. Only then I would be able to make the necessary changes to take hold of the next opportunity that comes my way. I needed to admit my faults in order to grow.
Through my experiences, I have learnt that all we can do in life is wake up everyday, get organised, be prepared and determined to give it your all irrespective of the outcome. That’s all there is to it 🙂
I cannot believe how fast three years has gone by at Premier Tennis Academy! Time flies when you’re having fun 🙂
Over the past three years, I have mentored and coached junior tennis players to help them become better competitors in this sport. During this time, I have both reconnected and become acquainted with some amazing people that I have learned a great deal from and have helped me grow in confidence as a leader, mentor and coach. There have been some amazing results for my students both on and off the court. I am truly grateful for this year.
In 2017, I graduate with a bachelors degree in business and commerce from Western Sydney University and begin a new journey as a graduate in one of the big four accounting firms in the world – Deloitte. I am both excited and humbled by this opportunity and will endeavour to bring forth the same energy and enthusiasm towards this role as I have done in each of my roles in the past. In addition, I will continue mentoring and coaching junior tennis players and hope that I can continue to connect with professionals who can inspire and support both my students and myself to become all we can be!