So Andy Murray bows out of the Australian Open at the hands of Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
There was something poignant about Andy’s demeanour as the first-round match drifted away from him.
Head bowed. A feeling of inevitability. Nothing really coming off.
It never used to be like this. Andy Murray had an elite level ability to turn matches around.
Especially against lesser opponents.
Go to the chair one-set down. Think. Solve Problems. Strategise. Win Match.
When you have graced the game at the highest level for so long, it’s not easy to have to deal with feelings of ordinariness.
And this becomes a big problem.
You have escaped ordinariness for the majority of your career.
You are not just enough another player on the tennis roadshow.
You have created high standards, And maintained them. Until now.
So how can an elite player live with being ordinary?
Well it’s not really possible. If you start to fight it in the middle of a match you create another layer of difficulty.
The self-frustration. I no longer like this version of myself. Which lowers energy levels
Which impacts upon how well you are seeing and hearing the ball.
How well you are targeting your shots.
How well you are committing to your shot.
Your senses can still operate at an elite level. But the feeling you are having about you and your game is now getting in the way.
The only way out of the Ordinariness Trap is to let go of the comparison between Elite You. And Ordinary You.
And allow what you are still Elite at, for example, how you see and hear the ball. to be an anchor point for your experience.
That way, you can create in the moment game energy, which can then stimulate the other parts of your game.
Of course, these feelings of comparison may simply become too much. And you walk away and say goodbye.
But when you have been so good for so long. And you still have hunger and desire. Then the pathway that leads to elite level experience can still be found.
But you cannot fight the Ordinariness. Only overlay it with what you are still Elite at.