Novak Djoković made his childhood dream come truth this weekend - he won the most prestigious tournament in the world of tennis and rightfully sits atop the list of professional tennis players. One may imagine how happy and proud we Serbs are. But, even during the final match on the London grass, listening to special guest Boris Becker, I was analysing the reasons of such a success. Actually, of the success of the two top players at he moment - not to forget excellent Rafa. I think that the learning is not just a matter of tennis, but a key to success in life. Here are some of my conclusions.
You have to wish and dream the success if you want to achieve it. You have to have an idea about what you want to achieve in your life. Things don't happen just because.
Novak's first trainer, long ago excellent tennis player Ms Jelena Genčić, remembered the first training of then 4-year-old kid who came to her. His bag was perfectly packed - and she understood that he packed it himself! When asked what is he wants to be when he grows old, that small child simply replied: World number 1. He dreamed his dream, and now he lives it!
Have your dream. Be realistic, but also be ambitious. Have an ide that leads you through your life.
Even if you have a dream and you are a great potential, you have to work hard to achieve it. Success is a result of days and days, months and months of persistence. Even when you think that it won't work, you need to go on. You need to work your success, 'till the last drop of sweat.
We see the top athletes only on tournaments, sometimes only during the final match. But, for every minute of the match they work hours and hours.
Sentence I hear during the match from the experts was: "Practice doesn't make you perfect - it makes you permanent". Maybe you win a match or tournament with intense practice. Maybe you make a success of a particular job. But if you are not persistent, you will be lake a falling star that shines only once and then disappears. Two heroes from the Wimbledon finals are not here just for that day, for that tournament. They are there for a long time and obviously plan to be there for a long time.
Work hard. Build your success. Improve day by day. Don't fall asleep.
Both Rafa and Novak said on several occasions that it is their team that make then champions. Yes, they may be at the spotlight, but without trainers, nutritionist, physic-therapeutics … they wouldn't manage alone.
What is also similar for both of them is the strong family support. Novak's has a company that is called just lime that "Family sport". They shared the dream. Novak's parents left Belgrade and moved to Mt. Kopaonik where they both worked in a small crêperie to earn for the future of their children. When Novak was 12, his father "put mortgage on everything he had" to allow his son to go to Germany and improve. I am glad for the success of the family, especially my old friend Dijana with whom I spend some 7 years in the same folk-dance group.
Create a good team. Find people that will contribute to your success. Work with people that you like and who believe in you.
Rafa is always seen as the "king of clay". He is almost unbeatable on that surface. But, he was obviously not happy only with that. I guess he worked a lot to see what else he can to do improve and win on other surfaces. We know the result - he won Federer in the epic finals three years ago.
Novak has the longest ever number of weeks on 3rd place in the world. He was close to be higher many times, but there was always something missing. End of the last year, he undergo a check and then changed his diet to gluten free food. Result is more than obvious - he is today as fit as he never was, being able to run and fight more than the unbeatable Rafa.
At the press conference after the match, Rafa said that Novak won him already five times this year mainly because he played his game, thinking first of his performance.
Check yourself. See what is your advantage and keep it as your strong side. Recognise your weak points and work to minimise them or turn into your advantages.
Give your best when needed
Nadal played an excellent tournament. The way he crashed Andy Murray in the semi-finals proves that. In the finals it was obvious that he has to play at the top of his potentials to resist Novak's game. In the first two sets, whenever he didn't serve well, whenever he sent a not-so-good-ball across the net, Novak was there to warn him that it is not enough. And, Nadal is a very, very serious player. He said exactly this at the press conference after the match: you have to play the best when it is needed.
Be responsible and serious. Give your best when it is most needed.
Know your competitors
Very often I see players who are supposed to win loosing the game. You know that they are good, but their play is weak and I "can't recognise them". Like another player is at the field. I understood long ago that your game depends not only on your performance, but also on the performance of your opponents - your competitors.
See the triangle now: Novak lost only from Roger (OK, some of my compatriots would say it was a bad day, but still Fed played exceptionally well). Then Nadal won Federer in the finals of the Roland Garros pretty easy. And, Novak won Rafa already five times this week, on all surfaces.
Check your concurrence, see where they are better than you are and try to find a way that will make you win.
Be prepared for challenges
Not many games last short. Tennis match is to be played to the last point. We saw so many almost impossible turnovers, when a player had several match points but finally lost. It is hard to play at the same quality through the match. After winning two sets, Novak lost his serve in the third. When he was faced with losing the second game on his serve, he simply decided to give it away and prepare for the next set. And it finally gave fruit.
You can work on long and demanding projects, be involved in processes that are far from being simple. You need to find a tactic that will welcome and amortise failures, to be able to achieve success at the end.
Plan wisely, think about possible challenges and imagine ways of overcoming it. Sacrifice small victories, "loose a battle" if needed if that will the war.
I hope this is useful. Sorry if I missed something - and welcome to add your thoughts. As a spectator to tennis and as a quick reflection on the historic match I hope I captured some interesting points.