From Editor's Desk

in Vol. 10 - September Issue - Year 2009
The Power of Mental Strength and Determination
Andrzej Wojtas

Andrzej Wojtas

You don't need to be a tennis fan to be fascinated by Roger Federer's accomplishments. In June 2009, winning his 15th Grand Slam, the Swiss officially became the most successful tennis player of all time. However, most stunning and intriguing is not necessary the record itself, but how he reached this goal.

To be that successful, naturally everything has to fit together. There is a need for a huge talent, determination, mental strength, healthy family life, perfect training surroundings, no injuries and probably even a bit of luck that all the pieces of the puzzle fit together well at the end. But somehow, his last Wimbledon final against Andy Roddick has shown impressively why he became such a global superstar and role model. At least for most non tennis players, Andy was in the lead for the better part of the match, yet he would not win. Roger lost the first and almost the second set, which would have made the result a forgone conclusion. But Roger defended 4 set points in the second set in the tie-break when it was 6:2 to Andy! Being 0:40 down in the 5th and final set, knowing that losing his serve at that moment would most likely mean that Andy would win the match, Roger served 3 aces in row. And then, after 4 hours and 16 minutes, not having broken Andy's serve for 39 games, he turns his 1st and only break and match point into victory. The final score was 3:2 sets to Roger and 16:14 games in the 5th set. Such a match statistic can not be explained by tennis skills alone. It seems that superior mental strength and total determination, is what sets the superstar apart from the just extremely talented player. And Roger does it without any real sign of emotion, not offering his opponent any clue about his state of mind. This gifted ability to make the so called "big points", is for many the most impressive of all his qualities. Just to look at one of his many records: Roger was in 21 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals. Ivan Lendl, the number two record holder was in 10. That alone speaks for itself. And despite his huge success, Roger has remained a very modest and down to earth person, completely free of scandal.

Well, obviously all this has nothing to do with metal finishing. But nevertheless, most people, business or private, could learn a lot from the outstanding personality of a Roger Federer. The mental strength to stay calm even in difficult situations, and not show your stress to others is something that can be trained to a certain level. Even Roger was known to shout around on court in his early days in tennis. One should try to follow a business goal once set with a strict determination and self confidence, keeping the right focus. One should acknowledge that for long term business success many aspects are important and some issues may not even be connected to business. Living in friendly surroundings or making sure that you are getting enough time to relax and unwind, makes you more efficient at your job and will take you most likely much further in your career, than just working 65 hours a week. Anyway, why not try to pick up one or two things from successful personalities such as Roger Federer, even if they come from a completely different field and background. 

Best Regards
Andrzej Wojtas (Ph.D.), Chief Editor of MFN, E-mail: andrzej@mfn.li

Author: Andrzej Wojtas