The Australian Open Tennis currently being competed in Melbourne, Australia. It is fair to say that the level of tennis in 2016 is astounding. Movements are becoming more efficient, players are becoming fitter and stronger and serves are reaching a whole new level. Just recently Serena Williams sent a 200 km/h! first serve down while fans looked on with astonishment.
At 34 and a collection of 88 career titles, Roger Federer is playing some of his finest tennis. How is it possible? Mentally and physically how can an athlete continue to develop skills and fitness to world leading level their entire career? These questions we will cover in another article.
There is a new era of athlete emerging in the ever changing vehicle of marketing and promotion in sport. Players are harnessing their character and emotion to create attention and notoriety. Instagram followings are growing and being monitored closely to reach desired audiences and while the skill and ability of these athletes is high quality it also might be a reason why the rate they progress to the top slows or even fizzes out.
On the 27 of January 2016, the ABC published a story about Roger Federer and prodigy Nick Kyrgios.
“I just think the next couple of years are going to be so crucial for him,” stated the Swiss master of the Tennis trade when discussing Kyrgios.
“It would be a pity to waste talent and all that, even more so in this day and age because I feel talent brought you further back in the day.”
This seems to be a pattern that happens across many sporting codes. There are apparently many possible theories as to why.
“Just talking about a guy who has talent and potential, I can’t hear it anymore.”
So what is it that Roger believes in? Could it be finding what edge each athlete has and harnessing it in the right ways? Could it be surrounding the athlete in an expert team and nurturing their development from the bottom up?
The “Winning Edge” high performance strategy implemented by the Australian Sports Commission states,
Australia’s Winning Edge is our game plan for moving from world class to world best.
The “Winning Edge” game plan expects a “greater level of accountability for performance results” yet it still utilises a, “Top Down” approach to support. Perhaps a reason why athletes with talent and potential being forced to market their character and deflect the attention from their results in order to support themselves?
“Too many guys have talent. Too many guys are working hard. I don’t believe in that very much anymore.”
Sport is getting smarter. Technology and training methodologies are constantly on the improve. Where do you stand in your professional development and how are you going to nurture someone like Nick Kyrgios from “extremely talented” to world number 1?
Roger Federer is not only an amazing sportsperson but if we read between the lines at what he says, listen to his interviews and appreciate just how well he has continually developed his entire career, we may actually learn something.