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Winning Mentality

I am an avid fan of Rafael Nadal and tennis.  I have a strong reason for that.  I have been watching tennis since the early eighties—I was a small child.  I have seen Ivan Lendl play in the 80’s.  He is now the coach of Andy Murray, and he now looks like an old-grumpy man, but he is only 57 years old..  By the way, research states that Grumpy Old Man’s syndrome hits men who are in the 70’s. However, though I was a child of about 6 or 7, I vividly remember Lendl winning all the grand slams except Wimbledon.  Wimbledon is known as the mecca of tennis, and it was the only tournament which mattered the most. I also knew that he was a clay court specialist, which was the reason for him to struggle on grass–Wimbledon.  Later it was the time of Edberg, Becker, etc.  I also remember Michael Stitch from Germany winning Wimbledon once, and I can recall that the super-tall Richard Krajicek from the Dutch lifted the trophy only one time.  All this occurred in the 90’s.  However, Pete Sampras dominated for many years till the late 90’s.  After that, in the year 2001 an epic and unforgettable Wimbledon final between Patrick Rafter and Goran Ivansevic took place.  Goran was able to scrape through and lifted the coveted trophy, which had eluded him a few times; he was the runner-up thrice prior to winning the championship.  Thereafter, Roger Federer reigned supreme.   After a few years of Federer’s dominance, it was a muscular man—Rafael Nadal, who stopped Roger from solely overshadowing tennis.  The tennis Nadal plays is extremely physical–nowhere had I seen tennis been played like that.  It’s like Nadal is waging a war against his opponent.  Yes, tennis lovers accept that Nadal is so much like a gladiator, which is so adorable. His muscular appearance also attracted me. I adore well-built men you know.

Today, I read his views on winning, which was published in Facebook.  He says,” It’s not about winning mentality. It’s about the passion for what you are doing. It’s about the mentality of waking up every morning with the right motivation to go on court and improve something. That’s the winning mentality, no? Everybody wants to win when we are competing and when we are on the tennis court. Another thing is wake up every morning with the passion to go on court and with the passion to improve something and practice every day with the right attitude to try to make that happen.”

Possessing a champion mindset won’t take you far. However, what’s more important is the physical grinding—day in and day out.  It reminds me of what Edison said:  “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”  Rightly so.     In gym parlance that’s what takes you forward.  It’s not being inspired for a day or two and then allow you to rust, but to be prepared to go the distance every day in the gym.  So, it’s not only the mental attitude that matters but also every day’s physical presence to do what you are supposed to do.

The mental grit and physical perseverance Nadal possesses is unmatched. Perhaps, we can apply the same principle in whatever discipline we want to tread.  After all, it’s the deep desire, which can take us forward.  However, the need of the hour is to be honest with ourselves and to not fake it.

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