June 14 ~  Focus on Enjoying Sports Great

"As long as I can focus on enjoying what I'm doing, having fun, I know I'll play well." ~ Steffi Graf


Born on this day in Bruehl, Germany, statuesque tennis star Stephanie Maria Graf (1969-), called "Fraulein Forehand," was considered by many to be the greatest player of her generation.

Graf became a pro at 13 and was best known for her powerful forehand, speed, and amazing court play.

"When I come onto the court, I have definite goals and expectations. I couldn’t enjoy playing with only limited hopes or with a handicap. It wouldn’t satisfy me," she once said.

The winner of the women's singles title at Wimbledon seven times, Graf had 22 Grand Slam singles titles.

A joy to watch play, in 1988, she was the first woman to achieve the Career Golden Slam-- winning all four Grand Slam singles titles plus the Olympic gold.

"I could always focus on tennis and use it as a valve for letting off steam," she said. "I have learnt a lot from the past. It has helped me to get a clearer vision of my life."

She retired from tennis in 1999 and married tennis champ Andre Agassi two years later.

"My happiness lives in the present. It's my life this morning, this evening, with Andre, my kids," she said.

"The time is always now."

And her "now" is still "pow."

Graf is passionate about her family and her charity, Children for Tomorrow. Her Foundation helps families, children in particular, who have endured a range of violent experiences: "victims of war, persecution, or organized crime."

"Even if our actions are only one drop in the ocean, it is still worth every effort," she said of her global advocacy. "Every single child ... that we help makes a colossal difference."

"If we can give their inner balance and their smiles back to them, then we've already won a great victory."

affirmation: celebrate life's excitementHave fun with what you're doing.