Photo courtesy of Jose Antonio Fernandez at SPORTmind
The Tennis Review chatted to Jose Antonio Fernandez, founder of SPORTmind, about his work, why players are sometimes afraid of success, and how it feels to help players evolve.
Could you tell us in one sentence what SPORTmind is about?
SPORTmind wants to show young players the universal tools and values that can be discovered and learned by playing tennis. It can serve as training that may help and promote human growth.
What inspired you to start SPORTmind and share your philosophy?
My own story as a tennis player. I realized on my path that tennis was much more than only winning or losing. Tennis is the mirror of your soul. So, it gives you the opportunity to go deeper and get to know yourself better.
This insight into how to really make contact with your inner strength and your true self made me want to share it with my students so they could also feel the satisfaction of competing while being in the present moment.
If you could talk to the younger you, starting out as a tennis pro, what would you say to him?
That tennis is a beautiful sport that gives you the gift to grow and that you should never validate yourself or identify yourself too much exclusively by your results. We are much more than our results – we are the energy that helps us externalize who we are.
There is a theory that some people are afraid of success. Do you agree? Have you seen this in your tennis career or in the career of a fellow professional?
Photo courtesy of Juan Antonio Fernandez at SPORTmind
I have experienced it myself and I have seen others get scared when they are about to reach an important goal. However, I believe this happens out of attachment to the result. Similar to trying to hold onto something in the future that doesn’t last forever, but can only be experienced in the present moment.
Success is elusive. It’s there for a little while, until it’s gone, along with the feeling of euphoria that it brings.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
When I see a passionate kid grow, mature and be happy while developing and performing in tennis. When I can open doors and help create positive change. When, after years of a profound relationship with a sport, they evolve into a better person than they were when they first stepped foot on the court.
Find out more about developing your tennis game at SPORTmind
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Christian Deverille is a tennis writer with a diploma in Freelance Sports Writing from the London School of Journalism. He loves all things tennis, most of all the Federer and del Potro forehands.