Tennis and Spirituality: Is there More to Life than Winning or Losing?

English: merged from four Wikipedia Commons im...
English: merged from four Wikipedia Commons images originally posted on Flickr (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday, I came across this blog when I was reading up on tennis in the light of the recent 2011 French Open tournament final between the two champions Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Both are my favourite tennis players and I highly respect them. I found this particular passage from the blog interesting:

“I loved the game of tennis a lot and still do, but I also realized that there is more to life. That is also why I started this blog. I didn’t want to write just about tennis. Tennis can lead to spiritual enlightenment, but it’s not the best vehicle for me. I find it too easy to fall into the trap of ego when involved in competition. I mean tennis is about personal achievement, which just serves to strengthen the ego.”

I was reflecting on how the mass media tends to portray tennis competition in terms of only winning and losing – while one may feel good winning a match or feel bad losing a match, I feel that there is more to tennis (and more to life in general) than just winning or losing – to me, playing tennis is ultimately about enjoying the present moment. Otherwise, like what the blogger wrote, “tennis is about personal achievement”, if one falls into the trap of ego (which is only an illusion), the way I see it. I do believe tennis (or any other activity) can lead to spiritual enlightenment when one forgets about how the outcome will turn out and simply enjoys playing tennis.

The following article on Eight Rules for Great Tennis also resounded in me, especially the following:

Rule #5: Play Happy
Feeling good is the greatest support you can have on the court. Happiness is a particular energy that feeds your body, mind, and spirit and puts you in harmony. You cannot play better tennis than when you, your motions, and your emotions are harmonious. And you cannot play better tennis than you play at any given moment — no matter what you think.”

Yea, it’s all about harmony. Hence, I think there’s more to life than simply competition in the tennis tournaments, contrary to what the mass media thinks. So, these are my reflections about my favourite sport.

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