Before this match, I was curious to see many good judges predicting a Federer victory. And with Djokovic looking below par in the 3rd set, Federer had his chances to grab the match by the throat earning 2 break points at 3-4. But why did I feel, that even in these moments, Djokovic was a heavy favourite to go on and win the match? To answer this question, it’s important to first reflect on the dynamics of that commonly used word: CONFIDENCE.
What is Confidence?
At the end of this match I was left both dumbfounded and dizzy after witnessing an incredible comeback from 2 sets and a break down, including 7 straight breaks in the 5th set, and finally an insane level of play to finish the fairytale. Watching Fognini point to his head and pump his heart as he looked to his supporters to signify his massive mental effort left chills..
John McEnroe summed up the collective feeling well when he remarked, “That was one of the greatest, most spectacular comebacks you’re ever going to see…The level of play to mount that miraculous comeback will be remembered for a long time.”
But what allowed this moment to unfold when Rafa had previously been a perfect 151-0 when leading by 2 sets in Slams?
I contend that, during the crucial 3rd set, based on these players’ combined recent histories, 2 key psychological factors consecutively unfolded to give Fognini a chance at the unbelievable; when; if faced with the same challenge 18 months ago, the match would have been in Nadal’s pocket up 2 sets and a break…
There is NO more simple, powerful way for players to develop the 4 mental toughness foundations than through off-court attention activities.
Watch this video to see me complete a simple ‘Sounds Attention’ activity with USC freshman Jack Jaede…In the video I also explain to Jack how the activity relates to his development of mental toughness.