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HOW TENNIS CAN HELP THE WORLD BY FERNANDO SEGAL

“Youth is not entirely a time of life; it is a state of mind. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubts; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.” Douglas MacArthur

Majorly, leaders have a continuous young mentality to approach every project. What to do with your day by day process and how each one utilizes our 24 hours, 1440 minutes 86,400 seconds is our choice, and we can make a huge difference with thoughts and actions.

We, like tennis persons, tennis leaders, tennis coaches, can help a lot making every day an opportunity to experience a wonderful sport and educational time, besides to do only tennis strokes lessons. You can choose to be inspired, optimistic and positive about how our sport can help to improve people’s lives and more the environment.

Leaders do simple things every day. Our daily action either propels us forward one step at a time or deters and distracts us from our true calling. 
Tennis can help the world. Positively, if we understand what’s going on around us, we can help in every aspect related to the environment in different stages of our “White sport” to make it greener, like:

Water on court. Probably all of us are aware that there is a big issue about plastic bottle and how they contaminate the planet on thousands of manners:

• Making that each player is bringing his aluminum or another material bottle to drink water on court.
• Having on court a big container with fresh water to refill every personal bottle.
• Integrating this same approach in tennis tournaments to offer water in big containers, not in plastic water.
• Reducing on clay courts the quantity of water needed to maintain the tennis court, using chemical water retainers, which has to be integrated before.
• Promote that every kid when is going to take a shower, reduce the time and quantity of water utilized
• If you do a press conference, please, do not use it in front of everyone, a water plastic bottle is a shame for the environment and for all of us.

Tennis Balls
• Recycle used tennis balls campaign in your tennis program to develop awareness about where balls are going, and how to re-use them, and finally, how to deliver old ones.
• Make a tennis club campaign between your members to create a positive movement to be a greener sport.

Balls cans package
• Tennis balls companies can develop new recyclable cans and packaging using actual technology like recyclable paper, cardboard or others.
 • Using recyclable materials on the ball production to reduce emission impact.
 • Promoting each brand in their packaging how they are taking care of the tennis planet

Tennis Rackets
• On tennis club level, promoting for new players to have a certain number of used tennis rackets to share, rent or utilize under specific rules, to motivate to re-use tennis rackets before acquiring new ones.
• In the industry, to create a better process to reduce emissions and to use recyclable materials.
• For new tennis players to buy mainly tennis rackets which are under the recyclable tennis material program and they are developing tennis rackets with at least 35% of recyclable materials.

Tennis Campaign for help the environment
• Being ITF, ATP, WTA, National Federations, Tennis organizations, Coaches organizations or every club, all can make a huge impact making to inside and outside day by day process a campaign to make tennis a greener sport.
• Professional tennis players, from my perspective, has to be incentivized to take care of our “Tennis Planet” not only with a big contract with commercial brands, even so, they can help to create awareness about how tennis can help the world.
• Many more to lead and to do

Values propelled by tennis. Our sport has plenty examples of how to practice it, help to develop in a practical way a lot of human being values during the exercise and matches. As we read, like life, tennis is not about perfection, it is about progress. If we every day applied the 1% rule to improve, we will make a big impact for sure in the environment. You have your choice.

Remember some leadership key aspects to make impacts:

  • Solving our mutual problems is a team effort. Everyone brings something different to the courts.
  • Intellectual humility can help us discover common grounds, build better relationships, and be more effective leaders.
  • Decisions should be grounded by facts.
  • A wise person knows when to break the rules.
  • Live your life the way you want to be remembered. Make an impact.
  • Most problems we face are our own making.
  • Success without meaning is unrewarding.

As Billie Jean King says. “If the billions of people who live and love sports take just one single step, we can help win back our planet.”

Understand, there is no virtue in living below your potential and squandering your time, only making tennis lessons. See every tennis situation as an occasion to deliver, grow, learn, share, and prosper while always being somebody who makes everybody feel like somebody. Creating with tennis something that inspires, we can make a huge difference and help the planet to be a better place.

We can help the world.

Fernando Segal
October 2019

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