Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi
Roger Federer Devoted His Life To His Passion And Purpose:
“When you do something best in life, you don’t really want to give that up. And for me, it’s tennis.” Federer took an interest in sports at an early age, playing tennis and soccer. He would constantly practice, and by the age of 8, he became part of the Basel Junior Program. The young athlete excelled at athletics, and by age 11, he was among the top three junior tennis players in Switzerland. At the age of 12, he decided to quit other sports and focus all his efforts on tennis, which he felt he excelled at more naturally. Roger Federer devoted his life to what he loved to do.
By the age of 14, he was fully immersed in the game, playing two or three tournaments per month and practicing six hours a week, along with up to three hours of conditioning. Federer decided to leave home to attend Switzerland’s National Training Center where he would only be home on the weekends. Although the center was great for his training, it had its down sides since it made him feel like an outcast because most of the people in that part of Switzerland were French speaking and he couldn’t speak the language. He had some troubles and was frustrated from time to time, thankfully his passion for the sport was greater than the challenges and he made the sacrifices necessary. Today, when being heckled for not continuously remaining on top, he boldly admits to his love of the game saying “You know, I don’t only play for the record books.”
Roger Federer Surrounded Himself With Those Who Supported His Dreams:
Tennis was always a family pass time for the Federer household, and Roger played often with his parents and sister who enjoyed the game heavily. His first inspiration was legend Boris Becker, who he remembers watching in the 1988 Wimbledon final, where he recalls crying after his idol had lost. Roger Federer always remained in the vicinity of people who loved the sport and especially those who believed in him and his dream. Along with attending training centres that helped him develop his skills, he adjoined with an Australian tennis pro, Pete Carter, who saw huge potential in the kid and mentored Federer to further his skills in the game. From age 10 to 14 he apparently spent more time with his coach than his own parents.
Pete Carter also taught him the mental aspects of the game and taught him the importance of gratitude, politeness and channeling emotions. Along with coach Pete, he had several other coaches, ex-players and mentors who guided him to the top, including coach Lundgren who had insights to the big leagues. Roger Federer always had many influences who he looked up to including Pete Sampras and he moulded his techniques around his heroes like Stefan Edberg. And today he still aligns with people who are high achievers and are on passion driven quests themselves such as legend himself Tiger Woods and even Gwen Stefani. “I fear no one, but respect everyone.”
Roger Federer Controlled And Channeled His Weaknesses Before They Controlled Him:
“What I think I’ve been able to do well over the years is play with pain, play with problems, play in all sorts of conditions.” He’s not only physically skilled on the court, but also mentally focused. When Federer plays, he has the ability to be patient, and act with precision because of his mental awareness. This skill was never natural; in fact, it was completely foreign to the young Federer who had to hone his extreme trials with temper and frustration.
He was often known for being a hothead on the court and would erupt after hitting bad shots. The young genius in tennis would throw his racket at a fence almost every day and his frustrations were progressing getting worse. Although he was never rude or aggravated at other players, he was more conflicting within himself, and his parents were becoming concerned. Luckily coach Pete Carter was able to show the tempered teen how much energy he was wasting and how he could use that same energy into his game. He began to channel his emotions and became an ever better player and the incidents of tantrums lessened considerably. Roger Federer began to learn the power of control, and that seemed to change everything. “I enjoyed this position I was in as a tennis player. I was to blame when I lost. I was to blame when I won. And I really like that, because I played soccer a lot too, and I couldn’t stand it when I had to blame it on the goalkeeper.