Today, more and more players – and not only the top ones like Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Murray – surround themselves with a big team, people who are all experts in different fields. Besides having a bigger entourage, some of them even appointed former champions:
However, it is the ensemble that really functions well and I don’t want to give credit to certain team members only. It is all about teamwork! The bigger the team, the more important the communication is between all the members of the team. Schedule for practice, fitness and treatment, as well as car travels among many other things I am probably missing right now are also important.
But there is one thing I want to highlight: the incredible drive and dedication of all the players. They are always looking for the 1% that will make the difference on court to win a close match. In a post-match interview with ESPN, Roger Federer was talking about the strict regime he was on: eating habits, tournament schedule but more importantly how to train and stay in shape. At the age of 33, he said that staying healthy and making the “right” choices are crucial to stay on top of his game. Also, his new racket, the Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph, has certainly helped him improve his game and adapt to the evolution of today’s tennis.
It is always very special when one of the players I work with has a practice session with somebody like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or any of the top players, as it gives me the chance to talk to them and their teams to get some insights.
Since tennis is an individual sport, it is really important to make sure that everything is done to maximize one’s potential. Same rules should never be applied to different players. Instead, it is all about looking for your weaknesses and work on how you can improve it. A friend of mine, a very good physical trainer on the tour, once taught me the 6 Ps: “Perfect Planning and Preparation Prevents Poor Performance”. This is a very suitable phrase that does not only put a smile on people’s faces but also helps them understand how important good choices are.