Are You Going To Play Up?

In the game of tennis, they have developed a unique rating system called NTPR which evaluates the skill level of players. The system has been effective because there are specific benchmarks a player must meet. It is, therefore, less subjective. Ratings are issued on a scale ranging from 2.0 (just picked up a racket yesterday) to 7.0 (touring professional). 2.0 is considered a rank beginner, usually defined as someone who has hit fewer than 10,000 tennis shots, while 7.0 is considered a professional. Once a player’s rating is established, they will then compete in tournaments against players of similar ability and experience.

Making the decision to go to the next level…

Let’s say you begin competing against players of similar experience and ability. Before long, you will have to decide whether or not to “play up.” For example, if you are rated as a 3.5 player and have won several tournaments, other players will begin to ask you when you are going to start competing at the next level (play up), maybe at 4.0 or 4.5. Some tournament players want to stay where they are and continue to take home trophies. They mistakenly believe that what brought them to where they are now is going to keep them there. It has been my experience, though, that when players stand still, they frequently lose enthusiasm, and their game begins to stagnate. Before long, other players are passing them by.

Isn’t this same principle relevant in all other areas of our lives? The most successful individuals and organizations are always seeking opportunities to play up! When you make the decision to go to the next level, expectations change, focus sharpens, and motivation increases. We tend to rise to the level of our own expectations. Wouldn’t you agree that what you see in yourself is what you get out of yourself? That is why playing up is so vital to sustaining success. Peak performers understand that rising to a new level will bring new possibilities.

How about you? Are you ready to play up?

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