Leesa Dean Tells Us “How Tennis Saved My Pitch Meeting”

220px-tennis_racket_and_ballsAdventures in Digital Series Land – Chapter 106
by Leesa Dean

I am a tennis fanatic. Love to watch matches, love to play.  Did I mention I kinda suck at it? Ok, maybe not suck, but…I’m inexperienced.  Been playing for about five or six years (just working on my strokes) but only started playing games last year. And found out the hard way that playing games is dramatically different than just hitting a ball around.  Aside from strategy and learning different shots that are game-specific, there’s the pressure.  And it is insane. You’re dealing with ego (mostly your own: OMG, am I gonna fail?), stage-fright (OMG, everyone’s gonna see me fail!!!) and fear of failure (OMG everyone just saw me fail!!!)  But I really really really wanna get better and feel I have the potential to, ultimately, be a good player. So I’m sticking with it.

A week ago I found myself prepping for a pitch meeting. And the same fears I have with tennis were cropping up (yeah, the fear of failure thing). The worst thing you can do in a pitch meeting is have them see you sweat. I mean, who wants to buy something from someone who’s nervous about their project?

I’ve taken a ton of pitch meetings and normally don’t get nervous about them anymore because I’ve been told I’m “good in a room” but since I’ve been holed up a while writing/animating a bunch of new stuff, it somehow felt new.  And I had a butterflies.

I ended up doing a trick that a tennis buddy taught me: Walk the walk.  Meaning, act as if you’re totally confident. And ultimately, you will be.  I’ve started doing that while playing tennis and you know what? It works. I’m gaining confidence, feeling less pressure, not caring about failing and thinking I’m going to win. And I mostly am winning.

And it worked for the pitch meeting. I walked in with my partner and killed it! Don’t know what’s going to happen (I’ve walked in a killed a ton a meetings and they still passed–it’s very rare when they don’t at this stage) but it was a relief to rise above my fears and knock it out the park. I feel like I’m really back in the game.

Walk the walk, people!

Originally published on Leesa’s ChilltownTV blog

Author: ChilltownTV

I'm primarily a writer. Sold a few series to tv networks and production companies but never had anything get on the air. So I taught myself how to animate and completed 3 digital series, launching two. The first, Chilltown has been named one of "Five Web Series That Should Be on Your Radar" by ABCNews/Univision and a "Show to Watch" by Tubefilter. The second, Lele's Ratchet Advice Show, garnered a fanatic cult following. As a result, I now do Lele's 60 Second Wrap Up, a weekly comedic entertainment report (which I write & perform) that airs on urban radio stations Rhythm 105.9fm and the Just Wake Up Morning Show on WWRNfm.

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