From age 10 to 22, Christopher Ellis wanted to be the best tennis player in the world. To accomplish this goal, he thought he had to operate from an adversarial lens, meaning he thought others had to lose for him to win. This adversarial mindset caused him to try to train harder than everyone else which led to injuries and burn out. It also led to tension, confrontations, and anger during his matches which lowered the quality of his play. The adversarial approach prevented him from accomplishing his goal and caused him a great amount of unnecessary pain.
After college tennis, Chris went to law school. Without realizing it, he operated from a mutual support lens. He studied often but also made time for rest, fitness, and friends. While studying, his attitude was one of curiosity, focus, and gratitude. He helped his classmates by giving them his notes and answering their questions. In return, they gave him their notes and answered his questions. Before his final exams, he did breathing and visualization techniques to calm down and focus. During his exams, his only focus was on trying his best.
When he found out that he finished #2 in his class, he got an overwhelming feeling of pride. That feeling of pride led him back to an adversarial lens. During his second semester, he took no days off. Instead of studying with curiosity and gratitude, he studied with worry and angst. He stopped helping classmates, so they stopped helping him. When final exams approached, he was so burnt out, anxious, and depressed that he could not focus. He had a stressful semester and dropped to #11 in his class.
Little did he know that experience was the most important experience in his life. It led him to books. In his third and fourth semester, law school took a second seat to reading. He started to read anything he thought would be useful in his life. He eventually realized that the law of life is mutual support, a win-win mindset. This intrigued him so much that he spent all his free time researching the art of mutual support.
As Chris began embodying his research, his love for life started to grow. Eventually, he realized his current passion was not law but rather entrepreneurship, writing, and mutual support. So, in his final year, he stopped law school and began writing his first book, “Joy,” a book that outlines the what’s and how’s to mutual support so that everyone can live a life of ever-increasing joy. As Chris continues to research and embody his work, his joy keeps increasing.
He also began his first entrepreneurship venture, The Win-Win Tennis Academy (WWTA), a tennis academy based on mutual support. The mission of WWTA is to create a tennis community that embodies mutual support so that each player (1) has a great experience on the tennis court, (2) reaches their full potential, and (3) embodies mutual support in all facets of their life, thereby increasing their own joy and spreading that joy to others. So, at WWTA each player and staff member has made a commitment to embody the 18 WWTA Principles. See below for the Principles and see the Blog section for more details about the Principles!
The WWTA Mutual Support Principles
At WWTA, we accept the moment as it is and focus on what we want as if we already had it.
At WWTA, we express gratitude. Gratitude increases value. Thus, we know that the more gratitude we express about tennis, the better our tennis experience will be.
3. Kindness and Compassion
At WWTA, we are kind to ourselves and others under all circumstances. We know that being kind to others is really just being kind to ourselves.
The actions of others are a reflection of their state of consciousness (how they are currently feeling). It's completely impersonal. Compassion is recognizing the impersonal nature of others actions and embodying kindness ourselves in order to spread and experience kindness.
At WWTA, we are unattached to everything outside of us. Nonattachment does not mean that we do not care about outside circumstances. It simply means that we do not let outside circumstances dictate our emotions.
At WWTA, we know that whatever we judge becomes the way we judge it. So, we view each person and situation from the highest vantage point: Perfection.
Perfection does not mean we are indifferent to our experiences. It means that we have a lens of perfection each moment in order to see and feel the perfection of every experience. We can always choose different next time.
At WWTA, we recognize that our beliefs (our thoughts, feelings, and actions) create our reality. So, we always observe our beliefs, take note of the experiences our beliefs produce, and embody beliefs that serve ourselves and others.
7. The Process
At WWTA, our focus is on Our Process, our own individual path to winning and fun. We know Our Process by becoming aware of our repetitive thoughts, feelings, and actions when we are playing our best tennis and having the most fun.
8. The Breathe
At WWTA, we recognize that our state of consciousness determines our tennis experience. So, before, during, and after our match we use the breathe to relax the body and mind so that we can best focus on Our Process.
At WWTA, we embody slowness meaning we take our time. We know that taking our time allows us to keep our focus on Our Process and Principle.
At WWTA, we embody equality. We see ourselves, our opponents, and our doubles partners as equals at all times. We know that whenever we think, feel, or act as if we are better or worse than others we create tension for everyone.
At WWTA, we embody moderation and balance. We do not overconsume or under consume. We keep attention in the body and listen to the signals that our body gives us.
12. Ease and Lightness
At WWTA, we embody ease and lightness. We know that keeping a relaxed body and mind will allow us to produce our best tennis.
13. Decisiveness and Simplicity
At WWTA, we embody decisiveness and simplicity because we know the “how” is much more important than the “what.”
At WWTA, we are honest, meaning we stick to the facts and avoid judgement.
At WWTA, we embody health. We know that the healthier our bodies, the better our tennis will be, and the more fun we will have on the tennis court.
16. Peace and Enthusiasm
At WWTA, we recognize that we naturally cycle between states of high and low energy. We flow with these cycles and embody peacefulness during moments of low energy and enthusiasm during moments of high energy.
At WWTA, we are open-minded. We respect everyone’s beliefs even if they are different from ours. We have an open belief system, ready and able to replace beliefs if it creates more joy and improves our tennis.
18. The Power Exercise
Our society has taught us that our outside situation determines our inner state. However, at WWTA we recognize that it is our inner state that creates our outside situation. Although some events are not under our control, our response to events is always under our control. We are creators, never victims, and we create harmony.
We regulate our inner state through The Power Exercise. The Power Exercise consists of using (1) Mind and Body Stillness, (2) Inner Body Awareness (especially heart awareness), (3) The Breathe, and (4) Gratitude, to cultivate a lens of perfection and an electromagnetic field around the body. The more electric we feel, the more whole we feel, and the less the outside world can negatively effect us.
Since The Power Exercise is so contrary to what we have been taught, you may resist taking it seriously. However, until you try it and practice the exercise consistently, you will have no way of knowing its value.