I always admired Serena Williams.
But, I had no idea of her true genius until attending the US Opens 2018 semi-finals, my first professional tennis match.
I assumed Tennis would be like other sporting events. I was sooo wrong.
At a tennis match, it’s JUST the opponents on the court.
Not a team. Not a cheerleader. Not even their coaches can be on the sidelines.
Just you, the ball and the other player.
With thousands of people watching in the stands and millions at home watching your every move.
I was blown away by the amount of focus it takes to succeed in that sport.
I watched Serena and Naomi Osaka both win their way into the finals, where Naomi ultimately won in the next round.
But Serena was a winner to me too, as a new mom back on the court, completely locked in and seeing the fruit of her impact through an opponent who started the sport because she saw HER.
The next year I got to ask Serena about her hyperfocus when I saw her speak at a Bumble event (they weren’t taking questions from the audience but that didn’t stop me from raising my hand. Serena saw my hand and acknowledged me . . . don’t be afraid to ask for what you want).
I asked her what her strategy was for being able to stay so focused.
“I see everything out there and I see nothing. I see everything I need to see,” she replied.
I see everything I NEED TO SEE.
That hit me. Discerning what’s necessary and what’s not is how she became the GOAT.
And as she now chooses to step back from tennis to focus on her family after dominating and forever changing the sport, she’s keeping that same focus.
She put me on game at a new level and I had to share it with you.