It is really important to realise that you are unique. You are YOU! You are the one and only! I bet you have something unique that even Novak Djokovic doesn’t have! You are in the centre of your own life. You dictate your life! You wake up in the morning, think with your brain, see with your eyes and make your own decisions. If someone can make a difference, than it is you!
In tennis (and in life in general), you have to believe that you are the best just because you are YOU. There is no point in thinking that you are worse in doing something than someone. Forget it! Even if you are weaker ”on paper” than your next opponent, who has achieved more in tennis or beaten you before… just forget it! Being too realistic and staying in your comfort zone won’t help you to get better! You have to be a little bit crazy to be successful in any profession or even hobby. You have to set your goals higher than realistic. In tennis you have to believe that you can beat anybody. Yes, ANYBODY! Too often people lose matches they can win just because they don’t believe in themselves. That is f***** up! I often hear people saying: ”I don’t know… He is too good… He is practicing more and I don’t think I can beat him…” Or even worse: ”Tomorrow I play a guy I have never seen playing, but I saw his ranking. He must be so good! I will be happy just to win a few games…” I normally don’t hate things and I am very reserved, however, when I hear someone saying these things I want to bang my head against the wall. Of course, I have never done that as I remain calm and start explaining my point of view. I just don’t understand the point of saying these things…
We all are human beings and such thoughts as uncertainty, and even scare may come in our minds. However, you shouldn’t say it out loud! And whenever this bulls*** messes up with your mind before the tennis match, just trick your mind by saying to yourself: ”I am the best! I can win! I can beat anybody!” And by anybody I mean ANYBODY. As weird as it may sound, you have to believe that you can beat Federer or Sharapova! When I say this to my students for the first time, they most likely start smiling and say: ”Ha ha! Sure coach…” Some of them (and you) may think that I am a little bit crazy, but I don’t care. It works! Only by setting high goals you can achieve ”realistic” goals. Only by setting high goals you can really get better. If there were no ”crazy” people setting unrealistic goals, probably, we would still play tennis with wooden rackets, there were no airplanes and the Internet would only be in our dreams. Being too realistic limits you! People shouldn’t be afraid to fail! People should be afraid of not trying! Dreaming big is exciting!
This mindset didn’t come easy to me. But I didn’t go to any spiritual gurus or psychologists. I just played a lot of matches and I got tired of overestimating and underestimating my opponents with that realistic mindset. I got tired of losing matches in my head even before the match had begun. So I read a lot of articles and listened to tons of interviews with successful people. I learnt to treat everybody as equal. I learnt that I always have a chance. I learn that I have to focus on the process rather than on the outcome. I started to win more matches. I achieved my ATP ranking in both – singles and doubles. And I became a better loser as well. I learnt to accept a loss better. I learnt to analyse it, forget it and try again next time. Try again to win!
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