14 January 2019

Lawrence Jones MBE playing squash teaches persistence, passion, resilience. Business and sport lessons for success.

Playing squash is one of the most important parts of my week.

Earlier today, British tennis champion Andy Murray very nearly came back from two sets down to clinch a win in the Australian Open. Playing through a chronic hip condition, it was clear to see he gave this match his all.

Murray announced a few days ago that this match could be his last. The hip injury that has plagued him for so long has finally taken its toll.

Yet, this match was no finale. The fire is clearly still burning in his chest.

Sportspeople who reach the top of their game have an extraordinary level of mental resilience. They wouldn’t reach the top of their game if they didn’t. At Murray’s press conference discussing the potential retirement, his tears showed he isn’t ready to leave the sport
When you have that passion at your core, the fire in your belly, it takes something extraordinary to quell it. Having seen snippets of Murray’s performance today, there is no doubt in my mind that mentally, he is determined to play on.

Sporting lessons

Sport teaches us defeat, tenacity, teamwork and so many lessons that can easily be transferred to other areas of our lives. So many of the values, traits and lessons that lead to success are learned through sport.

Being able to pick yourself back up, to play through intense pain, to support your teammates. These are all invaluable outside of the arena, especially in business. I firmly believe that one of the reasons I have had the entrepreneurial journey I’ve had so far is because of the lessons I learned on the rugby pitch and continue to learn in the gym and on the squash court.

Leading an active life isn’t only important for our physical wellbeing, it also has an extraordinary impact on mental wellbeing too. Whenever you’re feeling stressed or down, go for a walk or a jog. Take a few moments to get the blood pulsing through your veins and trigger endorphins. It makes a world of difference.

I can’t imagine the high of playing on an international stage, at the limit of your physical strength, doing the sport that you love most. I very much doubt that’s something Murray would give up lightly.

If that was Murray’s last professional match, he certainly completed his career with his head held high.

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