"There are two types of players, Contenders and Pretenders." - Harshul Patel, Head Coach of the FVHS Tennis Team
If you were/are a part of the FVHS Tennis Team, chances are you've heard Coach Patel say his famous phrase "contenders vs pretenders".
There are countless lessons I've learned from him, but this one stands out the most. Not only does it relate on the tennis court, but off as well.
Simply put, there are people in this world who work hard, and people who don't.
Every dreamer; every man, woman, or child that aspires to be something great must have a contending mindset.
Whatever your aspiration is, you need to outwork your competition.
Will Smith, one of the greatest Hollywood actors, is quoted to have said, "What is distinctly different about me is (that) I'm not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be outworked. Period. You might have more talent than me. You might be smarter than me. But if we get on a treadmill together, you'll get off first, or I'm gonna die. It's that simple."
No wonder he is where he is today, being a star in countless movies, and one of the most famous people on the planet.
At the end of the day, it really is that simple. Are you willing to outwork your competition? Are you willing to go the extra mile? Are you willing to fight yourself for your own dreams?
When I say fight yourself for your own dreams, I mean are you willing to fight the weaknesses inside you? Because, let's be honest. Going the extra mile is hard in the moment.
Maybe it means waking up at 5:00 am and working on improving yourself for your goal, such as extra studying or going for a run while your competition is still sleeping. Maybe it's staying after practice to get better at certain skills in your sport. Maybe it's working extra to show that you deserve a promotion. Whatever it is, whatever your dream may be, you must be willing to work for it more than your competition.
Again, its going to be hard. You're going to want to go back in bed to get an extra couple hours of sleep, or go home on time like everyone else.
Here's the thing though. You're not everyone else. You're you, and that's your power.
You're unique. You don't have to do what everyone else is doing. You love your dream so much that you're willing to go the extra mile.
You're a Contender, not a Pretender.
Something I always try to tell myself when it gets really tough is the famous saying, "Pain is weakness leaving the body." If you think about it, that's all it really is. It's going to make you grow and become a stronger individual.
So stay at it and persevere. It'll be worth it, I promise you.