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Dr. Saul Miller

Federer, A Case In Point… Set & Match

It’s obvious Roger Federer is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, tennis place to ever step on the court. With 15 grand slam titles and the record for the longest consecutive number one ranking under his belt, it’s clear he knows what it takes to win.

However, what’s not as obvious is that it wasn’t always clear Federer was going to be this good. As described in a recent NY Times article, the young player was very emotional and easily upset, and there was some serious questions as to whether he’d ever get it together enough to express his considerable potential. The article explains that it was only with maturity and the help of a sport psychologist that Federer has been able to master his emotional demons.

One of my operating principles to enhancing performance is that either you “use” what is in front of you or it may “use you.” Federer provides a good example of someone who used his sensitivity, emotional liability, motivation, intelligence… and some effective mental coaching, to transform himself into the focused, mentally tough superstar we see today. It’s a pleasure to watch him perform.

Dr. Saul Miller is the author of Hockey Tough and Why Teams Win. His up coming book, Performing Under Pressure, is scheduled to be published by Wiley in the fall. 

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