Tennis legend Billie Jean King on the three frequent traits that result in greatness
PALM DESERT, Calif.— Tennis legend Billie Jean King — who blazed a path for equality and ushered in a brand new period for ladies’s sports activities within the 1970s — by no means perceived herself as an important athlete.
“I by no means thought I used to be ok,” stated King, who spoke Thursday right here on the EY Strategic Progress Discussion board. “I at all times wished to be higher than I used to be within the final match.”
It was that drive for excellence that made King — who received 39 Grand Slam occasions and obtained the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 — a champion.
King supplied a number of insights on her unlikely rise to tennis star, classes that definitely might be utilized to entrepreneurship, enterprise and household life. And whereas it takes some sturdy bodily attributes to reach athletics, King stated those that achieved essentially the most success had a singular “capability to recharge our batteries each day higher than the others.”
“I feel there are three components to being nice in no matter you do,” King continued. “Your head, your coronary heart and your guts. You deliver all of your self to one thing. You deliver all of it, the entire time. Most gamers, most athletes — it doesn’t simply must be tennis — have two of these issues going… However you want all three to be nice! You bought to deliver all of it, each second.”
King, who is maybe greatest identified for defeating Bobby Riggs in 1973, a match that’s the topic of the brand new film Battle of the Sexes, stated one of the best tennis gamers additionally used the down occasions throughout the match to regroup or strategize.
“Seventy 5 p.c of the time within the match, you might be most likely not hitting a tennis ball,” she stated. “Champions use that off time as I name it or that in-between-point-time, higher than anyone else.”
Past that, King famous that those that obtain greatness present whole dedication.
“In enterprise, in life and together with your youngsters, it’s dedication, not involvement. It’s dedication. There’s an enormous distinction, and the best individuals on the earth, there’s a whole dedication, no matter they do,” she stated. “Whether or not you’re a CEO of an organization, whether or not you might be an entrepreneur, or whether or not you’re employed for a non-profit … no matter you do, you bought to care, you must give it every little thing you bought, and you then do take breaks to calm down.”
King additionally stated that she loves speaking to youngsters who’re studying the sport of tennis, and at all times asks them: “what’s your greatest shot?” She by no means focuses on what the youngsters have to work on.
“One of the best follow their strengths each day,” she stated. “That’s one other misnomer. Folks say: ‘Oh, you started working in your errors all day.’ No! All the time work on what you do nicely, each day. Your strengths. All the time do it…. Take into consideration your strengths.”
With youngsters, it’s particularly essential to bolster what they do nicely, she stated. “That provides youngsters self-worth quicker than the rest, inform them what they do nicely,” she stated. “They usually adore it. They usually begin to thrive.” King additionally stated that her dad and mom by no means centered on successful, which took the stress off of her as she competed. King and her brother, a former reduction pitcher with the San Francisco Giants, ended up thriving on stress conditions, one thing she attributed to “not having helicopter dad and mom.”