Brilliant Business Lessons from Pickleball

Have you tried pickleball yet?  It’s the fastest growing sport and a great way to learn business lessons.  Yesterday, I was playing at the California Yacht Club… and thinking about my business.

The principles are the same:

1.  Be here now.  Keep your eye on the ball and your thoughts on what is in front of you.

2.  Silence the Ego, empty your mind of past and future, and concentrate totally in the moment.

3.  Have fun and don’t lose your focus with visions of success or failure.

And if you stumble, it is not a surrender, but a regrouping.  You move toward balance, and thus a much stronger position.

Have you tried pickleball yet?  Did it help your business?

If you have enjoyed tennis or ping-pong or badminton, you’ll enjoy pickleball.  You don’t have to run as far as in tennis, but it is very aerobic. 

Any sport can teach you about business.  That is my opinion.  In my first book “To Lead is to Serve” I told the story of a tennis coach at Punahou School in Honolulu.  (Yes, the one where Obama went.)  Over the years, so many people have told me that they remembered the story and applied the business lesson.

Maybe it will help you:

“Communicating means winning” was the finding of an 18-month study by Dr. Jim Loehr who says, “Talk is an extremely valuable way to improve your team’s winning percentage.”

In his research of amateur, college, and professional tennis doubles teams, Dr. Loehr studied the amount of communication between partners. The results were astonishing. At the pro level, partners talked between 83 percent of the points. The best college teams came together between 69 percent of the points.

But the amateur teams? They only talked between 17 percent of the points. In fact, amateurs communicated more to the opponents than with their partners.

The study reveals that the more professional a team is, the more it communicates. Dr. Loehr says, “Simply put, if you want to win, talk. It’s especially important during the bad times. Great teams face adversity together, not individually.”

Two tennis teams at Punahou School in Honolulu illustrate the value of good communication between teammates. There was a gold team and a blue team. The gold team was made up of the superstar tennis players. They were students who had taken lessons all their lives. They had the latest equipment and great outfits. Individually each member had beautiful strokes.

The blue team was made up of the students who enjoyed the game but who saw it as more of a pastime. They were enthusiastic about tennis, but they hadn’t devoted a lot of energy to it. They neither had the skills nor the elaborate equipment that the gold team had.

As the semester progressed, the blue team members always stayed to cheer on their teammates. Even though they were losing their matches, they would bring snacks and water and stay to encourage their teammates until the very last point was played. On the other hand, the gold team members would leave as soon as their individual matches were over.

In the middle of the semester something turned around and, in the end, the blue team beat the gold team. Even though as individuals the blues were not the top players, their cohesiveness and teamwork made it possible for them to take the trophy.

If you want to learn more about pickleball, google it or watch YouTube videos.  Click here if you’d like to check out “To Lead is to Serve” — You’ll find it on amazon.

#management #future #pickleball #businesslessons