Lessons From a Loss

Back to Article
Back to Article

Lessons From a Loss

Neil Badlani '20, Contributor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Lessons From a Loss

Neil Badlani ’20, Contributor

 

I had always known about the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” However, I grasped the true meaning of the saying the hard way. Let me explain. You see, I am an avid tennis player. I play for my school and have participated in numerous USTA tournaments over many years. Tennis has taught me several things, the most important being not to ever underestimate my opponent.

It was the spring and the start of tennis season.  Our school tennis team had just begun practicing for the upcoming challenges. Our athletic tennis coach asked us to play matches amongst ourselves to determine the rankings for the regular season. I began the season full of confidence as I had already played for one year with the school tennis team. In addition, I was the defending district champion in doubles. On the other hand, my opponent on the surface appeared to be a novice tennis player. He had not played in any USTA tournaments and it was his first year playing tennis for the school.

We started playing under what I thought were perfect conditions. The sun shone brightly under the azure skies. My strategy was to go for winners and to inflict a heavy defeat on my opponent. I wanted to impress my coach with a big victory. However, in my eagerness to win points, I started to make unforced errors. In contrast, my opponent seemed to be very patient. He was satisfied to keep the ball in play and minimize his mistakes. What started out as a beautiful day turned out to be a grotesque one for me. The sun seemed to be flaring down my neck, and the gentle wind seemed to be blowing fiercely. The more I tried, the more mistakes I made. My opponent grew in confidence and was now playing beautifully.

When our coach called time, all the matches came to an end. I saw some people cheer and other people walk with their heads down. I was one of the people with their head down. I shook my opponent’s hand and congratulated him on a game that he had played very well. I walked off the court sulkily and got in my car and analyzed what I have done wrong. Although I lost 4-3, I learned a valuable lesson that day.

All in all, I learned that we should never underestimate our opponent. Also, I realized that baking a cake is more important than putting icing on the cake. In other words, enjoying the game is more vital than winning the game. If you enjoy what you do, then you will definitely be better at it.