I’ve been playing tennis for as long as I can remember. When I was a child, my father would take me to the local courts to hit around and show me the fundamentals of the game. As I grew older I began to take professional lessons and joined my high school tennis team. I continue to play competitive tennis and have developed a love and passion for the game. One of my favorite activities is going to the annual U.S. Open held in Queens, NY at the end of the summer. There, one can roam around the beautiful grounds at Arthur Ashe Stadium and see tennis stars from around the world compete for the American Grand Slam.
I once had an eye-opening conversation with a rising tennis prospect from India. Vishwesh was ranked third for his age group in the entire country of India. I had played with him a few times and afterward he asked me, “Moshe – what do you think is the most important feature of an excellent tennis player?” I wasn’t sure whether to respond with proper form and technique, a powerful serve, or superb physical agility. None of those were correct. Vishwesh said that the most important part of tennis is good footwork. In his opinion, footwork was more important than any other aspect of the game.
But why is proper footwork so vital? The answer is that good footwork allows the player to be anticipate his/her next shot. A player can be physically strong and have great technique, but if he is not perfectly positioned to execute the shot, his game will ultimately fail. Today’s elite tennis players including Roger Federer and Andy Murray all possess and are known for their outstanding footwork.
As a student of the Talmud, I love to make abstract connections. Is there any link between tennis footwork and public relations? In my few weeks working in PR, I have seen that a lot of successful PR is about positioning the client to be in the best place to sell and market their product. The product itself may be great, but if it’s not hitting the right target audience it will not be fulfilling its utmost potential. Part of successful public relations is understanding the company and product in order to situate it to be a great seller.
At MWW, I have been privileged to see some of the smartest and most creative thinkers work tirelessly for their clients to “matter more.” It has been an invaluable experience working at MWW, and I never truly knew how much tennis had to do with public relations!