Winning Tennis by Treating Practice as Competition

Nikos Hecht
Sep 19, 2019 · 2 min read
Tennis racket and ball Photo by Guilherme Maggieri on Unsplash

Nikos Hecht is an established presence in the Colorado financial sphere whose background includes a role as the leader of the hedge fund Aspen Partners. An alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania, Nikos Hecht excelled as the men’s varsity tennis team’s captain, and he has funded the Hecht Tennis Center on campus, which reaches out to underserved youth.

When it comes to tennis, having the proper mindset and commitment relative to self-improvement is just as important as physical skills. This involves taking training just as seriously as matches themselves and surrounding oneself with the same performance cues in practice as on the court against top competitors.

A key aspect of this is making tactical adjustments throughout the practice session instead of simply “going through the motions” as if it doesn’t matter who wins or loses during training. If the serve is consistently wide of the mark in practice or the backhand is lagging, this will not magically improve in competitions. The pressures of high-level competition can even exacerbate flaws and make performance worse.

With every ball of every training session treated with the same intensity and with a continuous improvement perspective, top-level effort will be ingrained as a habit that carries through, no matter the situation.

In Mr. Hecht’s case, his inherited athletic skills were augmented from the time he was 10 with tens of thousands of hours spent tenaciously hitting the ball against a backboard and improving his swing and technique.

A Colorado-based financial professional, Nikos Hecht most recently spent 14 years as a founding partner at Aspen Advisors.

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