n a recent forum in Rotterdam Roger Federer opened up about reinventing himself. He said that though talent and determination to win are two key factors in his successful career, what took him from good to great is developing mental toughness (see my recent post on Murray Mexted). “…Fighting your own demons is a difficult thing,” he says. “I had them when I was younger… afraid of the unknown and [asking yourself questions] ‘How confident are you?’ and ‘Are you doing the right things?’ A lot of open questions are sometimes a difficult thing to handle – especially if you bring in the pressure.”
Sport is emotional, tennis especially so because of the one-to-one intensity. No team-mates to lean back on. If you have watched any major tennis match you’ll understand how the intensity can help and hinder the best on court. Players collapse on their knees in tears from relief or scream to the gods in frustration. Being able to play an opponent for hours requires the mastering of self belief and the ability to stay focused allowing your intuition to guide you.
The same rules apply to business and life.