My commentating experience at the Rogers Cup was as close as being on the court coaching. Having analyzed twenty-four matches over a course of four days solidified three key points for me.
Key Point #1: Love what they do
For players to have any hope of doing well, they must love what they are doing. On average, players play twenty-five tournaments and travel thirty to thirty-five weeks of the year. The constant adjustment to travels, time zone changes, hotels, different foods, language barrier, training, and away from families and friends can get to the best of them.
Key Point #2: Enduring Pain
What separated the winners and the losers lie in their ability to endure pain and to handle pressure. All of these elite players were fit, fast, strong, and talented. They all had the potential to do well, to win the title. However, the ones who did well understood the power of resiliency. They ran after every ball. And then they ran some more. They were determined to put one more ball back. It wasn't the one with better strokes or hitting champagne shots who won matches. It was the fight. The grit.
Key Point #3: Handling Pressure
At any level, tennis goes beyond the testing of endurance and grit. The pressure inflicted internally and externally supercedes the norm. It is a lesson for the individual to experience and to learn to handle in due course. Pressure is not something that can be explained and taught. It is to be experienced. The amount of pressure that we feel is in relation to the value that we put on the thing. The higher the position we are, the more pressure we feel that we need to perform well. And so as when a player gets deep in the draw. The finish line is within reach. The title is within reach.
The revolution of tennis has brought on a fearless nextgen exhibit by Bianca's performances. Not only are they tactically better, physically more resilient, but mentally they are not afraid to go through the pain to reach the finish line.
We are in exciting times of tennis and I am thrilled to be a part of the journey working on mental training with players and mentoring tennis parents.
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