Everyone in this world has the power and ability to dream. Unfortunately, not many have the drive and fire within to go after it. Dreams and ambitions, to some people, are a survival essential. It acts as a propeller, and so their passion is what keeps them going, wanting to push their boundaries and widen their horizons. It is only their will power and drive that takes them to their destination. Often, people doubt themselves and lack self-belief, which is why they give up very easily, sometimes, even without trying.
Every individual has to face a unique set of challenges and survive through different degrees of adversities. Sometimes people reach their destination, one they dream about their entire lives. Yet these people end up in situations they never thought could happen. Danielle Mills, a US-born former tennis player, is one of those ambitious individuals whose life was turned upside down due to a major injury that led her to quit the game. A sport that she admired.
Standing Firmly Against Adversities
Danielle Mills, born March 28, 1991, is a renowned retired professional tennis player. She acquired her training from Nick Bollettieri Tennis academy AKA IMG academies, alongside several famous tennis players such as Tara Moore and Tamaryn Hendler.
Danielle has been passionate about the sport since she was just a child. At the age of three, her father, Barion Mills, introduced her to tennis. After that, nobody was able to take away her desire to become a professional tennis player. She set out on this remarkable expedition with a passion for pursuing this sport as a career and determination to fulfil her dream.
At the age of ten, Danielle moved from her neighborhood in New York to Bradenton in Florida, to join the IMG Academy, an esteemed and well-known sports facility. Over time, she completed the required training to acquire a top rank in tennis.
At this time, Danielle was one of the youngest students at the sports boarding school. Boarding school life, in general, is quite tough since it pushes the students to do better, with no distractions. After waking up 5:45 am every day for practice, taking private lessons and putting in countless hours in training, Danielle started walking towards her destination. Her commitment to the sport made her family and others see that this is not ‘just a phase.’ She was meant for tennis.
At the age of 14, Danielle travelled the world as a professional tennis player. She played both the WTA tour & the ITF Tour. Being on the move for almost 36 weeks, Danielle was playing different tournaments and gaining exposure.
Starting from June 2004 to September 2008, during these four years, Danielle appeared in numerous events such as Junior Wimbledon, Junior Australian Open, and Junior US Open. She secured one singles title and one doubles title during this time, having her best Junior rank of 195.
Due to her achievements in tennis, Danielle attained a full Athletic Scholarship to the University of Miami. From 2009, for two years, she played D1 Tennis. She then transferred to the University of South Florida and continued playing D1 Tennis for another two years.
As the world believes, ‘Life gives you surprises when you least expect them,’ even Danielle did not see the ‘surprise’ that life had in store for her. When Danielle was living her dream and starting her career, she incurred an injury in Mexico’s tournament. The injury was severe as it gave her three herniated discs. Since she could not continue playing a sport she so deeply loved, at the young age of 24, she had to take one of the toughest decisions of her life – quitting tennis.
She could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. She now had everything she always dreamt of; however, life had other plans for her.
An Epitome of Patience, Perseverance, and Resilience
Danielle did not let her circumstances come in the way of her goals in life. Instead of losing hope, she picked herself up. On March 28, 2019, she stepped into the world of entrepreneurship by launching her company, HEADSTRONG LLC. Her business is a platform that aids individuals who encounter confidence and self-esteem issues. Danielle works with different professionals and business owners to build a strong personality with a winner’s mindset. Through her company, Danielle provides career consulting facilities that incorporate Interviewing, Linkedin, and Resumes.
In addition to that, in April 2020, Danielle launched ‘The Headstrong Podcast,’ a floor to motivate and encourage people not to be held back in life. Being an ideal example of it herself, Danielle invites well-known people from different backgrounds as guests to inspire them.
Realizing the seriousness of the outbreak of COVID19, Danielle authored ‘How to Master LinkedIn and Separate Yourself from the Masses.’ In the book, she talked about presenting oneself in front of others and creating a unique identity on LinkedIn, standing out from the crowd. The book soon turned into Amazon Best Seller.
As the saying goes: “When life throws a curveball at you, throw it out of the park.” Danielle is a living example of it. She put in her hard work and dedication to reach a certain point in her career, but her injuries made her change her career direction. Danielle saw the lowest point in her life, yet somehow managed to make the best of it, a perfect embodiment of resilience.
As Danielle puts it:
” I truly believe that if you work hard in life, are dedicated, and have the discipline that you can achieve every single goal you have and be exactly who you want to be in life.”