Victor Niederhoffer has ‘played in more than 10,000 refereed matches in squash, tennis, racquetball, and paddleball. …won some 20 National Tournaments in singles and doubles in squash, once won the North American Open, won three National Paddleball singles and doubles tournaments, and once was ranked in the top 10 in racquetball.’
Here is his ace advice to people who engage in competition.
1. Always maintain a calm demeanor. Winning requires all the physical and mental energy that you have at your disposal. Dissipating that energy gives your opponent more resources to beat you.
2. Survival is key. Chance plays a large part in the outcome of every game, and you must leave a large enough margin so that the normal fluctuation in conditions don’t do you in.
3. Losing should be a lesson. Everyone loses and all great competitors use their losses to improve their games. When you lose, consider it a normal part of the competitive arena and strive to bounce back through attention to detail, hard work, and practice.
4. Start your competitive efforts early and teach your kids to compete. That provides a platform for greatness.
5. Be a good winner and loser. Your competitors are necessary to bring out the abilities within you. The better they are, the better you will get, and the better will be the game that the spectators or customers receive.
6. Practice every day. It’s too easy to lose your edge if you let a day go by, and the key to greatness in any competitive activity is never having to worry about your fundamentals. They require repetition and sharpening at all times.
7. Keep records.