‘I think being on Centre Court motivated him and he was mentally there today – the opposite of me’. The words of disappointed Novak Djokovic, after a three sets defeat to Marat Safin.
Perhaps, for the talented Djokovic, this was simply another match, in the demanding tennis roadshow. Where are we today? London.
And so, when he tried to dig deep, to counter the Russian, he simply couldn’t find the mental and emotional energy, critical for a tough Wimbledon challenge. He hadn’t done enough of the vital mental work, essential for preparing him for this match.
Mental preparation, that would have connected him to his strengths and qualities. That would have helped him, played through this game in advance, to counter Safin’s strengths. That would have tapped into his motivation, for this years All-England Championships.
Preparation, that would have refreshed his mind, and of course his body. But perhaps Novak Djokovic, was simply too tired to care. That he had, for the moment, simply lost his desire.
This is where a player can find the services of a sports psychologist, invaluable. They are able to help the player through their motivation struggles, and find the reserves of energy, to get them back into the performance groove.
Then once the player has got some rhythm and flow back into their game, lost energy levels and vitality quickly returns. They forget all about tiredness, as their focus and concentration levels, become channelled into the game.
Without the sports psychologist, it can all seem too much for the tired player. With them, they can overcome the most difficult odds. All because of the unlimited power of the mind.