Why do people revere Risk takers even when their actions terrify us? Are you Risk-averse or Risk-loving? As a tennis player and coach I’m not a stranger to risk taking, I could pinpoint case scenarios after case scenarios where I had to take risks during a match; take for instance tournament (X) I’m a point* away to a possible exit from the tournament at knockouts. This situation can be equated to that time in a transplant surgery where any slight mistake can lead to a botched procedure with dire consequences (death being the higher consequence). Risk-averse tennis players would play conservatively to ‘prolong their death’ or increase chances of them surviving. However, Risk-lovers like me will throw caution to the wind and instead play daringly- hit strokes at will without the fear of loss.


Who therefore wins between risk averse and risk lovers? We are all faced with risk based decisions daily from our dressing choice, journey to work, economic decisions and the list is endless. People take risks i.e. financial risks because of the imbalance of the upside outweighing the downside. Risk has a higher consequence so it therefore forces you to perform at a higher level; a lot of people conflate risk with the consequences. Risk is associated by a lot of people as an okay to fail hence this creates fear to a lot of people.

In order to mitigate risks or ‘be better’ at taking risks (no one gets better at it though) one needs to be able to apply responsible, professional approaches which include:

  • Research; to broaden your knowledge in the area you wish to risk in. This imparts one with Risk intelligence that allows the risk taker to estimate probability for both losses and gains.
  • Practice again and again and again; a risk taker doesn’t entirely rest on luck. DON’T JUST BE LUCKY! But, in light of this make your peace with chance and the idea that you can’t control her.
  • Confidence and reliability; have confidence in your ability to make decisions and reliable ones. NB. OVERCONFIDENCE IS FATAL!!
  • Acceptance; accepting that there’s no such thing as perfection-zero risk doesn’t exist! From that point is when you can understand your own weaknesses.
  • Learn; from your weaknesses, to modify and change tactics in order to make informed risks.
  • GO OUT AND TAKE RISKS because until then you won’t get the REWARD!!!!

*In tennis points are scored from 15, 30, 40 & game in that order. At 40 if the opponent gets the last point he wins against you.

What does Risk mean to you? Is there one particular time you took a risk and gained or gained lessons? Comment with the risks you’ve taken before.



Posted by Jimmie Chengo

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