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 and staying in The Present Moment.
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 increase. Eventually, he realized his current passion was not law but rather tennis, 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-expanding joy. As Chris continues to research and embody his work, his love for life continues to grow.
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 where everyone is supporting each other in being the best tennis players they can be. So, each WWTA player and staff member has made a commitment to embody the 7 WWTA Mutual Support Principles. See below for the Principles and see the Blog section for more details about the Principles!
The WWTA Mutual Support Principles
1. Fun and Focus
At WWTA, we have two clear intentions every time we step on the tennis court: (1) To have fun, and (2) To focus, so we can all get as good at tennis as possible.
At WWTA, we accept each moment as it is and focus on what we want as if we already had it.
At WWTA, we express appreciation, knowing that the more appreciation we express on the court, the better our tennis experience becomes.
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 how they are currently feeling. It's completely impersonal. We recognize the impersonal nature of others actions and embodying kindness ourselves in order to spread and experience kindness.
5. Nonattachment and The Process
At WWTA, we focus on The Process of winning rather than winning itself. We know that focusing on The Process leads to fun and winning and that focusing on winning leads to tension and losses.
Thus, during our matches we keep our focus on Process Oriented Details such as high energy, fast feet, good spacing from the ball, good shot selection, being loose, forming and editing strategies etc. After our match, win or lose, we express gratitude for our ability to play tennis, and learn from our match.
6. Awareness and Beliefs
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, others, and our tennis game.
7. Moderation and Balance
At WWTA, we embody moderation and balance. We do not undertrain or overtrain. We keep attention in the body and listen to the signals that our body gives us in each Now Moment.