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Leadership from a different perspective – Tennis

Naked Leader Week – 110 (w/c Monday 27 June 2005)

Leadership from a different perspective – Tennis

 I had the great fortune to be on Radio last week, at Centre Court in Wimbledon, to talk about the role of the mind in tennis, and sports in general.

Before I was interviewed, tennis experts shared with the world what is needed to win Wimbledon – “character,” “belief,” “focus” “consistency” and above all, “confidence.”

It seemed to me that every one of these related to the mind – the powers within.

Indeed, that mind is the single biggest overall difference between winning or losing at Wimbledon, and in all sports. There are only three skills we need to play tennis, or any individual sport – physical fitness, the ability to play every type of shot well (and everyone at Wimbledon can do this) and mastery of the mind.

Key points that were discussed during the interview were:

  • Every shot played by players was a choice – conscious or subconscious
  • To be an outstanding tennis player – you do not need to know more about tennis, you already know enough, you need to think less, and trust your inner game more. To me this comes down to less about playing tennis, and more to being a tennis player
  • How we can change our thinking, and belief, by choosing our state, in a single heartbeat

The power of the mind and our state in sports, indeed in our lives, is well known by many people, however mastering it is the great adventure. Like so many things in life, it is so simple, however not always so easy.

The great news though, is that the “how” to achieve it is all in the public domain, and was illustrated perfectly by the New Zealand All Blacks before their test victory over The British Lions last weekend, with their opening routine – The Haka.

With love always, wherever you are in the world



This is a link to the interview using the BBC Radio Player:



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