At the end of the day, being extraordinary at tennis comes down to doing what most people won’t.
Most people don’t practice as a pro athlete five days a week from age six.
Most people don’t travel the world and play tennis for a living; most people work 9-to-5 jobs and have families to support.
Playing pro sports at that level — especially at such a young age — is extremely taxing on your body, mind, and soul. If you’re going to do it, you need to be in it 110%. You can only give so much as an average teenager with typical high school responsibilities.
To invest yourself that much requires something more than just motivation: It takes an extraordinary belief in yourself and your future. So how did Roger Federer discover he was extraordinary at tennis? Let’s take a look...
Growing up as a tennis pro
As a kid, Roger Federer was dubbed “Baby Fed” by the press, due to his incredible talent and potential. He was a phenom from the beginning.
He won his first professional tournament at the age of 16. By the time he was 20, he’d already won Wimbledon, the US Open, the Australian Open, and numerous other major championships.
However, even at this young age, Federer knew that this level of competition was unsustainable. For him to be truly successful, he needed to play with a different purpose. To prolong his career, Federer knew he needed to find ways to stay fresh and protect his body from injury. He needed to find a way to train smarter while keeping his game fresh and competitive.
Finding your version of extraordinary
Pro athletes don’t just magically become extraordinary at their sport. They sit down one day and decide, “I’m going to be the best tennis player in the world!” If only that were true.
In reality, most of these players discover their version of extraordinary by failing. They lose matches, tournaments, and even years worth of training due to injury and burnout. They see other players surpass them in skill and reputation.
Roger was different in that his tenacity and unusual approach drove him to the top.
Not everyone is destined to be Number One in the world.
Research suggests that only 0.1% of the population will even play sports at a pro level. So rather than focusing on what you hope to achieve, find areas where you excel. What are you naturally good at? What do you enjoy? As you become more aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll discover your version of extraordinary. Or better still, use PINIKL to help!
Don’t wait until you’re fully committed
Some people wait until they’ve reached a breaking point to commit to focusing on what makes them extraordinary. They’ve been passed up for promotion too many times. Or maybe they’ve hit a roadblock with finances.
They decide that they’ve had enough and that they want to do something about it now. They’ve had enough of waiting for the perfect day or moment. They want to take action now.
That’s great. It’s better to take action sooner than later. However, you don’t have to wait until you’re absolutely certain that you have what it takes to succeed. You don’t have to wait until you’ve reached some arbitrary breaking point.
You might as well start as soon as you can. What are you waiting for? Be aware of your strengths At the same time, be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. You might be great at public speaking, but you might also be terrible at planning and organizing.
Acknowledging these weaknesses will help you better decide what to focus on. What do you want to do? Don’t be afraid to dream big. At the same time, be realistic about what it will take to achieve those dreams.
Roger Federer had an extraordinary belief in himself and his future in tennis. That’s how he did it. Now, what’s stopping you?