We just started new year. 2018 is on. As all people do it is time to analyze past year and learn some lessons from our own experience. But why should we limit our improvement just to our own positive and negative situations? Let’s learn from others too. Let’s learn from king Roger Federer.
2017 was definitely a surprising year not only for Federer’s fans but for the whole tennis world. Roger was coming back after a longer break and nobody knew what to expect from Swiss player. Roger Federer proved that he is probably the best tennis player in the history of sport because he won 2 out of 3 Grand Slam tournaments that he participated in. His technique was always fabulous but his physical and mental preparation are skills that were responsible for his spectacular results in the past year.
Not everyone is able to come back after break with the same success like Roger – look at Maria Sharapova who was banned from competitive play and she is still without major title after coming back to pro tour. 2018 also confirms that coming back after injury is not an easy job. Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori are already out of Australian Open and we still hesitate about performance of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
I am aware that Roger Federer plays at a completely different level than we play but it doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from his experiences and incorporate this knowledge into our own performance. Roger gives us opportunity to see that some methods are worthy to consider so why shouldn’t we learn from the best tennis player in the world and trust his approach? If top player can try new things and risk fame and millions of dollars what would stop us to make some small changes?
Unfortunately many players are scared of losing to lower-ranked opponent or they don’t see their tennis career in long-term and that is why they don’t progress or their development is really slow. Only by trying new things you are able to discover your maximum potential as well as you can avoid some mistakes that you made in the past.
Roger Federer season in 2017 was excellent. He won Australian Open and Wimbledon and he looked like good-old-maestro. It was so interesting to watch but if you look at some changes that Roger incorporated you can understand that it wasn’t a luck. Roger trusted his new plan and it worked out. Now it is time for us to take some lessons from his season and apply them to our careers.
Lesson 1. Set priorities for tournaments
Younger players tend to play more and more tournaments. They look only at ranking points and what they see is the next tournament. Roger Federer had completely different approach in 2017. He understands his limitations and stage of career so he chose to play less tournaments. Why was this approach so successful? Roger was able to focus just on few competitions and he would set his training plans just for these events. That’s a precious lesson for all tennis players. You don’t have to play 30 tournaments a year because you have still many years to go. Set less tournaments but make sure that you have a good training plan and you work as hard as possible to be in the best shape while competing.
Lesson 2. Have good work/life balance
This is one of the areas that not too many players (and coaches) pay attention to. Roger has wife and 4 kids and he understands his role of the father and wife. He set some breaks during the season to spend more time with family and enjoy off-tennis time. Did it affect his tennis performance? Did he lose endurance level? Did he forget how to beat his biggest rival Rafa Nadal?
Of course not. Unfortunately too many players and parents have these doubts even while thinking about vacation. Learn this lesson and make sure you have proper tennis/life balance because if there is too much tennis in your life you will have no chances to achieve great results.
Lesson 3. Age is not a limitation
I know many coaches and tennis experts who say that if player is 28 years old it is time to think about retirement. Really? Let’s look at Roger in 2017. 35 years old and beating the best players in the world. It doesn’t matter if his rival was experienced 28 years old player or new generation 20 years old kid because Roger was better. His stamina, speed, agility, reaction and coordination are still in place. What does it mean for other players? Don’t put limitations on you. You can achieve anything you want if you work smart and hard.
2017 was great but right now we are in 2018. I am waiting for Australian Open to see if Roger is going to surprise us again. I know that he has abilities like nobody else to raise his level during the most important events but tennis provides the same chances for winning to all competitors. The best player will win the title but our job is to watch matches with pleasure and learn more than just pure results.