It’s not unusual anymore for sports professionals to work with psychologists. The mind plays such a critical part in sporting success. They also work with therapists, to look to heal difficult and challenging personal issues from the past,
It is unusual. however, for a top player to bring a spiritual guru into their team. Which is exactly what Novak Djokovic appears to have done.
The world number one has turned to former tennis player, Pepe Imaz who now preaches the gospel of love and peace, through meditation and other self-reflective techniques. Will this translates into Novak’s results? Can love make you a better tennis player? Well it can certainly make you a better human being. And, perhaps, that is precisely the point.
As a sports professional, your whole life and identity can be caught up in the dramas of this results based industry. Everyone knows you as a tennis player. But that doesn’t tell us anything about you as a person.
What are your deeper beliefs? What motivates you beyond money? What do you see yourself doing beyond tennis? The inner qualities in you that dont always get liberated as a sports professional.
Yes, a sports psychologist can tackle these issues. But perhaps Novak needs something different. Something that resonates with his deeper feelings. Feelings that tap into his uniqueness as a human being.
Maybe results based strategies no longer spark him. What is needed is food and nourishment for the inner self. A self that can be starved by the ambition to succeed, and stay at the top.
It takes a brave man to take a different path. But when you are the best in the world at what you do, standing still is rarely an option. A tennis career has a limited shelf life. But discovering yourself is the journey of a lifetime.