I started to play tennis quite late – as a 7 year old. I began competing in Regional competitions followed by National competitions and continued up to the Women’s league in the Czech Republic and Germany. Some of my friends that I used to play against as juniors are now conquering the tennis world and playing in Grand Slams including Wimbledon!
After leaving the professional circuit I decided to accept a tennis scholarship at a Division 1 University in America. I played college tennis for four years and had been ranked in the Top 50 for four years and participated in the NCAA Singles Championship tournament in 2014. Tennis has given me unforgettable memories, amazing friends, and also invaluable experience and skills which I can now utilise in my current career: forensic accounting.
1. Detail-oriented. As Forensic Accountants, we are very detail-oriented which allows us to ensure that there are no inconsistencies when analysing financial information and if there are, we highlight them. Sometimes the little differences make a big difference to our calculation. Very similar to my tennis days. The tennis serve is the hardest tennis groundstroke. It requires a fluent body movement alongside a good racket swing. It has to come together and a little difference often makes a big difference. I had to learn to improve different spins on my second serve to make my opponent uncomfortable. This skill requires a lot of time and many combined technical details at the same time. Ultimately if it’s hit right, it brings very easy points when serving.
2. Curiosity. My tennis coach had to give each player in my team a nickname of one word. My nickname was “why”. Every time we practiced a tennis drill I was curious and wanted to know how it would improve my game. Correspondingly, Forensic Accountants exercise professional scepticism when reviewing information and identifying problematic areas in which fraud could exist. When we see peaks and lows in sales or production figures, we have to investigate whether that goes beyond a market trend and seasonality, and if not, we ask “why?”
3. Communication and listening. Communication and listening skills are essential for a good leadership. As captain of my tennis team, my main task was to communicate on the behalf of my team to the coaches. Furthermore, we had to learn active listening skills, especially after a team loss. Well, how many times per day do we listen to someone and seem really engaged in the moment? These skills are important in litigation work and can make a difference in court when explaining expert evidence against the other side's expert witness testimony.
I play tennis as a hobby now and still have a mean forehand but I am sure, as I progress my career, I will apply more and more of the tennis skills I learnt to my day job.