Play, Don’t Think. – Learning Management principles from Sports.

Sports and, Management Principles

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Tsitsipas - Nadal
Tsitsipas - Nadal @ #AusOpen2021

I’m a great follower of sports and like to observe the similarities between sports and, corporate management. I share what I observed today while watching the press conference after a tennis match.

Can we really learn how to win and, subdue competition with action and serenity?

The said match was in Australia between Rafa Nadal (#2 in world tennis rankings) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (#6 in world rankings)a rapidly rising young star.

Nadal is a tenacious fighter and was expected to win this because of the skills, experience and immense talent he possesses. Tsitsipas a rising star of the sport, while expected to give a great fight was favored a little less, he however rallied over Nadal to win, 3-6, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, 7-5 and is now in the semifinals of the event.

Like many other fans, I enjoyed the match but more impactful for me was, what Tsitsipas said in the press conference after the match and Tsitsitpas may be Greek but I swear he’s Indian by spirituality.  

What I mean by Indian Spirituality?

India, since time immemorial has had a faith in theIndian sacred scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, a timeless guide of spiritual science. Gita shares basic principles of living and some of its most outstanding advices are;

Engage in action, rest will follow – Do not worry about anything else once you get in action.

Get killed or conquer but either way; Fight

Be resolute in purpose, and have One Aim

Understand attachment and detachment – just Perform, forget success or failure

Self is the friend of self and, self is the enemy of the self.

In short, when you are so immersed in your work that action is your sole focus – Results follow.

Here’s how Tsitsipas described his on-court presence;

“I wasn’t really thinking about a lot of things. Nothing was going through my head. How would I describe myself? Nirvana. Just, like, there.

(I was) Playing, not thinking.

I was thinking a little bit, but I was mainly focused on each single serve, each single shot.

I said, ‘What is going wrong, why is it not working my way?’ But then it just took off by itself.”

So does it mean, that all you have to do is just do anything, act with one aim, fight your way and you’ll win!!

Sure you can go in a gun fight with a sword, with just one aim to win but you’ll likely be shot much before you reach your enemy. You can’t fight without skills and strategy and tools but if you are picking your fights right, are focused, learning from your defeats and willing to act, you’ll be a superior force than your adversaries.

I Hope you will be the Tsitsipas, in the business you operate.   

Act and Win.

About me- Sanjay Sethi is a management practitioner, learner and observer living and working in Atlanta, USA. He enjoys sports specially Tennis and, loves to travel.   

Twitter @theSethi

I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments. Thank you.

#BhagavadGita #Gita #Management #Sports #Tennis #AustralianOpen #AusOpen #Covid #RogerFederer #Djokovic  #Nadal #ATP #Greece #India #Greek #Indian

You can watch the full interview of Tsitsipas here ;

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