Tag Archive for 'Djokovic'

It’s very difficult for champions to agree to retire

To give an explanation for why many champions do not retire come an age when this would seem to be the best decision, and here the thought goes to 37-year-old Novak Djokovic, an article in The Guardian cites the story of Archie Moore (1916-1998), world light heavyweight champion and one of the longest-lived boxers, happily married and father of two daughters. When he was 47 years old and still world championship, he said:

“I’m still the old mongoose in there trying to outwit and outhit the younger guys,” he said. “I’m like the drunk in the bar who wants one more for the road. I want one more knockout to add to my record and then just one more after that. Some people say it’s great when a man retires undefeated. But a champion should fight to the finish and go out with his hands cocked just as he came in. It’s the proper exit and I think it may be mine.”

He fought for three more years and retired at age 50 with 186 wins.

Djokovic is aware of what is happening to him and is trying the coaching change card, perhaps to find new stimulation, what does not detract from the fact that his thinking today is quite clear and his decision will depend on how well he can accept this inevitable decline and the sadness it entails:

“We all know that those moments will come for all of us,” he said. “But when they actually come, and when you actually understand that that’s it – that Roger finished his career, Rafa and I are probably not going to play much more, it’s kind of one era comes to an end and it’s sad.”

Alcaraz mentally crushes Djokovic

A year ago I wrote that in a tennis world that had long been looking for who will be the replacements for the Fabulous 3 (Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal), Carlos Alcaraz’s victories were there to prove that perhaps he would be the next No. 1 in the world rankings, who about the relevance of the mental component in his game had said:

” my physical form has been important, but definitely the most important part is the mental game. I feel that I have grown a lot in that part. That is why I am number 9 in the world right now and that is why I am playing at a good level. That’s why I’ve been able to win big matches, so I think [my mindset] is the most important thing.”

Yesterday, Alcaraz in the final at Wimbledon against Djokovic definitely demonstrated the level of mental maturity he has reached. His victory is beautiful not only because he defeated the champion who had not lost at Wimbledon in 10 years or because he is the third youngest tennis player to have won this tournament.
He proved that one can go through the hell of a first set, lost 6-1, in which he offered no resistance to Djokovic. It was a situation that could have annihilated him competitively, and he may have been reminded of the stress-induced cramps he experienced in the semifinal at Roland Garros that he lost decisively to the very same opponent (6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1). This time, however, the story was different; Alcazar psychologically recovered and began to play his game. He mentally crushed Djokovic, who became very nervous, argued with the audience and the umpire, and smashed his racket.

In a sport, where the goal is to dominate the opponent Alcaraz succeeded in this feat. The work with psychologaa Isabel Balaguer, intensified during this period along with that with his team, allowed him to get out of that abyss in the first set. That’s what tennis is all about: you can lose and not understand anything but if you are willing to reason and react to these moments, then the work that has been done can come out, and Alcazar showed that mental work pays off when you are not willing to suffer the negative moments and want to pursue your goal at all costs.

Alcazar showed everyone how one can go from being mentally loser  to being a dominant presence in the most important game of his life.

Suarez e Djokovic: without a soul you don’t win

A few days ago an incredible soccer champion, Luis Suarez, passed away. In his interview with Gianni Mura in 2014, I was struck by two ideas that are important to me when talking about champions. The value of technique: “Without technique there is no appreciable soccer. Today, when I see so many crosses that end up behind the goal I change the channel.” The value of emotions: “Adventure is the right term, because in 1961 it’s not like Inter was at the top of Europe. It was aiming for it, that’s why it had taken the Wizard and, as a result, the Wizard had convinced me, but without big speeches. Then it was said that I was the soul of that Inter, but that was not true. That Inter had many souls, from Facchetti to Corso, from Picchi to Mazzola. I was the experience, that I think.” Suarez goes to Inter for adventure, for the Magician and to be one of its souls.

Champions allow us to make these arguments and understand the reasons why we need them.

The first concerns the issue of excellence in human performance. Champions allow us to know what the current limits of the human experience in sport are and show us how to go beyond them, in a seemingly endless chase for this improvement. The sciences that study the human being provide data that inspire the best coaches who use training methodology to improve those technical-tactical aspects Suarez speaks of.

The second concerns the soul of a team, which is embodied in the close relationship between thinking and emotions,. Everyone likes to win, but not everyone knows that in order to express themselves at their best, you have to put your soul into it. Those who do not follow this approach, which is very difficult to live by on a daily basis, fall into the trap of resentment toward themselves and those around them because they have not been able to avoid this problem. Novak Djokovic also describes this concept well by telling us:

“When we feel hurt, resentful, sad or feel that we have failed or disliked or whatever it is, we get trapped in that emotion. It happens to me too, no doubt, on and off the field, very often. It’s normal, it’s the life experience of all of us. But I always try to be aware of what I have said or done or the emotion I feel and not get trapped in it for too long. I go back. I get out of it. Because we cannot control what happens outside of us, but we can control how we react to those circumstances.”

Suarez and Djokovic, different generations of champions, however, affirm the same idea let’s have a dialogue between our thoughts and our emotions, let’s stay in touch and have a dialogue with our souls and the souls of our teammates and those who work with us.

Novak Djokovic motivation

Novak Djokovic won again and is now the most successful tennis player in the history of this sport with 23 Slam tournaments. There were thoughts of a handover between Alcaraz and Djokovic, but the former has been under so much competitive pressure that he has been stuck with cramps all over his body.

36 years and not feeling it, he may have several reasons to keep playing.

Passion for the game - Djokovic may feel fulfilled only when he is on the court. Passion for the game could be one of the main motivations for continuing to compete.

Personal challenge - He is a planetary-level athlete, a serial winner, this continues to be a strong motivation to continue to challenge himself and constantly improve. Exceeding his own limits.

Setting new records - He may now aim to win the “Golden Slam” (winning the four Grand Slam tournaments and Olympic gold in Paris) in 2024.

Be inspirational - As one of the most successful players in tennis, Djokovic may feel motivated to inspire others with his game and victories. Positive role model for young people, encouraging them to pursue their dreams.

Djokovic extreme emotions

Novak Djokovich has won Roland Garros:

“I thank the audience for being there. The atmosphere was really electric, wonderful. I am grateful that my staff, my parents, my wife could be here. I think about the last 9 hours of tennis against two great champions like Nadal and Tsitsipas, it was not easy either physically or mentally. They were really hard days, really unforgettable. I had great confidence in myself and in my abilities. It’s a dream come true once again.”

“A pleasure to be here. I imagine what Stefanos is feeling, I know how hard it is to feel when you lose a Slam final. These are the matches where you learn the most, and knowing him and his team I know he will be stronger after this match. I am sure he will win many Slam tournaments in the future, I have great respect for him. The future of tennis is in good hands in Greece.”

Djokovic’s words tell of how much stress there is behind these victories even in someone who is used to these successes and is No.1 in the world ranking.

Even if you are a serial winner, the emotions never leave you and this willingness to continue to live these emotionally extreme situations even after years of success is a further demonstration of the value of this type of athletes. Some would call it resilience, to which I would add the word extreme.

Why a champion needs a coach

In an interview Novak Djokovic spoke about his co-operation with his coach Goran Ivanisevic. The Serbian player said: “I hired him because we basically have the same culture. Our mentality is very similar, he understands me very well.

I am very respectful towards him because he was the greatest player back in the day in our region and I wanted to be like him. We are friends. He is an amazing, honest and open man and a great player. He knows how it feels like to compete at the highest level.

There are many things to improve. There are days where you do not feel that well. That’s why the coach is very important. He understands how I am doing mentally and physically. So far the relationship has been great and hopefully it continues.”Risultati immagini per djokovic ivanisevic