Foundations for tennis and entrepreneurship

When I participated in USTA teachers training five summers ago, there was a foundational rule: if a kid can’t catch a ball with their hands, they can’t hit a ball with their rackets.

When you’re teaching a kid who can’t catch, then you need to take a few steps back and do some basic skill development. You practice bouncing the ball, throwing the ball, rolling the ball. The kid needs to learn how the ball moves through space in order to gain the coordination necessary to play tennis.

Too many times people skip this step and just go straight to the hitting. People teach kids how to swing even if every swing misses.

I think there’s a parallel in here about entrepreneurship and the foundational skills we need to teach. Before you can start a company you need to learn some basic skills.

I’m not sure what those skills are. Maybe resourcefulness, creativity, effectuation, mindfulness, emotional intelligence. All I know is that there are definitely some things that will set you up for success in entrepreneurship. Just like hand-eye coordination, agility and mental fortitude set you up for success in tennis.

There are common threads across disciplines. Pour some more foundations and be ready to thrive anywhere.