Sloane Stephens is a tennis player who has risen to become one of the stars of her sport. She discusses the role that hard work and determination have played in her climb to the top.
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Undoubtedly, 2020 was a rough one for many, but 2021 is full of opportunity. To help you get the year off to a flying start, we’re presenting our “I Am Potential” series — articles designed to help you succeed, thrive and prosper in 2021.
The start of a new year is a perfect time to take stock and recalibrate.
Are you happy with where you are in life? If not, you have the chance to change course. To get the ball rolling, you’ll need to set goals and create a plan that can help you realize your objectives. Regardless of where you want to go and what you want to achieve, there’s one fact that always holds true: You and you alone have the power to make your dreams a reality.
To remain inspired as you set off down this path, look to the stories of those who have transcended obstacles to achieve greatness in their lives. Their triumphs and struggles can be your teacher, guiding you toward a life filled with greater fulfillment and success.
With that in mind, we’ve reached out to a few top athletes to hear about their plans for starting fresh in 2021. These stars are all top contenders in their respective sports. They’re also Fresh N’ Lean partners who’ve had great success integrating our meal plans into their daily regimen.
Meet tennis champion Sloane Stephens
Sloane Stephens is a tennis player who is one of the brightest lights in her sport. Based in Florida, she’s the child of athletes; her mother was an All-American swimmer at Boston University, and her father was an NFL running back.
Tennis entered Sloane’s life when she was just a child; she first discovered the sport at the tender age of nine. In the years since, her skill was nurtured and developed, and she went pro in 2009. Her wins so far include a U.S. Open title, and she’s just getting started.
Here’s what Sloane Stephens had to say about her successes, inspirations and plans for the future:
1. Finally, 2021 has arrived. What steps did you take to close out 2020 physically and mentally strong?
Obviously, 2020 was so crazy. So, I think 2021 is going to be kind of crazy as well. I made sure my body was good and my mind was right, and I did everything I could to get refreshed for another crazy year. I’m happy to be able to work out and still do the things I like to do.
2. Can you share one resource (for example, a book, article, Instagram post or quote) that’s helped you become a better version of yourself?
3. Please tell us about the routine you follow each morning.
I like to work out fairly early. At around eight, I’ll have breakfast. Then I’ll shower, get ready and prepare to face the day.
4. If you could choose only one word for 2021, what would it be?
5. How do you reset when you feel like you need to get back on top of your game?
I’ll do an at-home spa, do a little face mask, steam my face. I’ll take a long shower. I take more time for myself when I need to reset my body and mind. Then I can get back to where I was and refocus.
6. What fitness-related challenges have you faced in 2020? How have you overcome them?
What I personally did during quarantine was build a gym in my garage. That meant I didn’t have to go anywhere to work out – I had everything right there. I worked out every day. I really enjoy working out at home now, which I never did before.
7. How do you define potential?
I feel a lot of people have so much potential, but they just don’t execute on it, or they don’t work hard enough. There are things holding them back. I see a lot of potential in so many people, even myself. The best thing we can do for ourselves is strive to do more.
8. When did you realize your potential to become a champion?
I knew I was good at tennis. I knew that a goal of mine would be to win a tournament. So, I just worked hard until I got there and tried to do the best I could. Obviously, being a professional tennis player is not an easy road. There’s a lot of competition, but the end game is to be the very last person standing. And sometimes it doesn’t happen. But I think the passion and the drive you have for your sport is what keeps you going.
9. How should the people reading this article harness their potential? And how can they become winners at what they do?
You have to work hard, and you have to be dedicated to whatever it is that you’re doing. In sports and in life, there are many things that take hard work and dedication. You also have to have passion for whatever it is you’re doing. At the end of the day, that’s the one thing that will keep you going.
10. You’ve committed a significant part of your life to your sport. What specific moments make all your sacrifices worth it?
I love winning. The journey is not easy, but it’s super cool to look back and see what you’ve done. And then say, “You know what? I can do more. And I’m going to push myself to be better.”
11. In your opinion, what has been the most pivotal moment of your career?
I had a foot injury that required surgery. I didn’t know if I would ever play again afterward – everything was a huge question mark. Then I recovered, and I was able to play in five or six tournaments. One of those tournaments was the U.S. Open, and I won – I would have never thought that would be possible after not playing for 11 months due to an injury. That experience changed the course of my life. It impacted how I think and the level of belief I have in myself.
12. In your opinion, what makes an athlete great?
The things that make an athlete great are desire, passion, working hard and love for your sport.
Sloane Stephens knows that we can achieve seemingly impossible results if we maintain the right mindset. Let her winning attitude inspire you as you chart your own course to greatness.
Healthy food gives you the fuel you need to maximize your potential. Subscribe to Fresh N’ Lean if you want easy access to nourishing, chef-prepared meals. We offer a choice of five meal plans for you to choose from, and our organic cuisine is conveniently delivered to your door.