Those People Know How To Play Harder
It takes a lot of time and practice just to become good at what you do. The idea of being able to step up and play harder or become better at what you’re doing is a completely different task. It requires a lot of self-assessment, stepping outside your comfort zone and sometimes cutting ties with important people or aspects of your life in order to build new, positive relationships and habits.
As difficult as it may sound, there are plenty of people out there who have found ways to play harder and have become top performers. Here are a few examples:
Eugenie “Genie” Bouchard
She’s a Canadian professional tennis player, currently ranked number 7 in the world. She became the first Canadian to reach the finals of a Grand Slam in singles and won the 2012 Wimbledon girl’s title. After the end of the 2013 WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) tour, she was named ‘WTA Newcomer of the Year’. The following year, she was named the ‘WTA Most Improved Player Award’ for the 2014 season.
For the 2013 WTA Tour, Bouchard enlisted Nathalie Tauziat to coach and travel with her part-time. Under Tauziat, Bouchard transformed her defensive, retrieving tactics from junior level into a game of aggression. This is a tactic that she is now known for. At the 2014 Australian Open, Ana Ivanovic stated that Bouchard is “a very aggressive player. It’s sometimes very hard to read her game. There are no real patterns, like with other players. She’s a great mover.”
As per CBC Sports, Bouchard is seeded 7th overall going into the 2015 Australian Open.
He’s a Canadian professional tennis player of Montenegrin origin who grew up in Thornhill, Ontario. Raonic is Canada’s highest ATP (Association of Tennis Players) ranked males singles players since they started keeping computer records in 1973, as well as being ranked a career-high, 6th in the world. He’s the only Canadian male tennis player to be ranked in the ATP’s Singles top 10. In 2011 he went from World No. 102 to No. 37 in a month, after he reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and won his first ATP title at the 2011 SAP Open.
Raonic is known for having one of the hardest serves in Tennis. In 2012, he served more aces and won a higher percentage of services games than any other player. Novak Djokovic has commented that Raonic “has one of the best serves in the world. Very powerful, very precise.”
The Toronto Raptors
After years of being buried in the lower echelons of the NBA’s Eastern conference, the Toronto Raptors returned to post-season contention starting with the 2013-14 season. They acquired Kyle Lowry who has emerged as an All-Star and a team leader as well as Amir Johnson, and they’ve drafted, picking players like DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valančiūnas and Terrence Ross.
All of these decisions culminated into a season where they won the division title and made the post season for the first time since 2007.
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