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Novak Djokovic - Mental Skills

Novak Djokovic has made steady advancements in his professional success. Over the course of time he has masterfully calmed his inner mental game. In his recent Wimbledon victory press conference he answers questions about his mental preparation for the final and his focus during the epic match playing against the crowd favorite, Federer. Djokovic won in a tie breaker that was played at 12-12 in the 5th set.

A reporter asked: How do you prepare or train yourself to have that courage and mental toughness in the 5th set after four hours of playing? You talked about visualizing.

Djokovic: I try to play the match in my mind before I go on the court. I probably could not have played this kind of scenario, but I always try to imagine myself as a winner. I think there is a power to that but also there has to be next to the will power, strength that comes not just from your physical self but strength that comes from your mental and emotional self. I think it is a constant battle within more than what happens outside. It’s really not the situations that you experience that are affecting you but how you internally experience those situations, how you accept them, how you live through them. I told myself before the match I am going to switch off from what is happening around us and just be there, be present…..one thing that probably allowed me to come back, save match points and win this match was the mental stability of those moments.”

It takes years of extremely high competitive match play experience to develop the level of mental skill Djokovic has developed.  The key is he practices those mental skills as part of his training. Players at all levels, junior, collegiate, & social recreational can enhance their competitive abilities by making the mental game as important to their overall training as the physical.

To see the full interview:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AziIXcmE9Xg

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