I Learned What About Life From Sports?

Excerpts from the book, “I Said What?” A Therapist’s Insights & Solutions for Love, Joy and Success, by Helene Rothschild, LMFT

I used to be a tennis player, teacher, and coach. However, as I moved on in years, I realized that my body was telling me to stop before I hurt myself. I really missed all the fun and exercise I had with my favorite sport. Many years later, I started playing tennis on the Wii Sports Nintendo game.

To have fun with these concepts, imagine that a very large carrot is the tennis racket that you use to hit the big olive, which is the tennis ball, with the hope and intention of sending it in the direction of the opposite court.

As I was running around chasing the tennis olive in my living room, I started to intuitively hear some profound life lessons to share with you. I noticed how helpful they were to offer insights and solutions on how to live a happier, more successful and fulfilled life. These important concepts can be applied to all sports. They helped me become a pro on the Wii and in life. The lessons can also greatly improve your game of life. Enjoy!

Self-coaching 1: When I miss the tennis olive, I can say to myself: “I am a failure; I am not very good at this; the other team is too good for me; I will quit trying; this is too hard; I am not good enough; and/or I will never improve.” Can you relate?

If I am aware of what I am saying, I can choose to coach myself in a positive way by thinking or saying out loud; “I will keep practicing; I am good enough; I am improving; and I am doing this well.” It would also be helpful to ask myself what did not work that time, and how can I do better and succeed? To learn from the experience, I can analyze how I can hold and swing my carrot more effectively, and whether or not it would be better to hit the olive sooner or later.

Life Lesson 1: Observe what is working in your life and what is not. Instead of giving up, or making the same mistakes and getting the same results, explore ways to be more successful. For example, if your conversation with your partner, child, boss, or friend did not go well, find out how you can improve your communication to have a better experience or outcome.

Self-coaching 2: On the Wii Sports game, tennis is a doubles match. I was upset with my partner playing at the net. She did nothing while I ran all over the living room struggling against the computer team. Two against one is unfair! Frustrated, I ate the carrot and olive.

One day, I told my nine-year-old granddaughter my dilemma. To my surprise, she said, “Grandma, you also need to swing your partner’s carrot at the net.” I had a good laugh, as I realized that all along I had control of both of my players.

Life Lesson 2: How many times do we feel like a victim when we actually have control of our lives? We are often quick to blame someone, or something else for our situation, when we really do have the power to change it.

Copyright 2016 by author Helene Rothschild, LMFT,