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What I Learned From the Best Coaches and Players Before the 2014 US Open

Players are warming up and mentally, physically and emotionally preparing for the best games of  their lives after finishing the qualifying games. If you are in NYC and close to the US Open participants, infectious excitement will greet you everywhere you go.

It was very refreshing to see the list of new players competing in the qualifying draws with hopes of getting a spot in the main draw of the US Open, the last Grand Slam of the year. Personally, I am very glad to see more names of young talented tennis players as well as returning veterans from Croatia (Borna Ćorić and Mirjana Lučić-Baroni), Ireland (James McGee), and Tunisia (Ons Jabeur), just to name a few. I am eager to watch their progress and placements among the long list of other top tennis players in the game such as Novak Djoković, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and others.

Besides looking at the draws, event schedules, scores and stats, I was very focused on observing the players. In looking at the body language and non-verbal communication, in addition to verbal communication, it is apparent what is taking place on the court while players are overcoming:

1. Competition PressureReally? Yes! For many young less experienced players, seeing their competitors can quickly create high mental and emotional pressure. By playing tennis professionally, players have to learn how to deal with many factors of unpredictability, including best-shot selection and strategy, match duration and weather factors, in addition to playing the best game with their opponent in front of them. As players, the focus should be on performance and getting into the zone by staying focused and agile until the very end of the match. By performing the best you can – you are already a winner!

2. Coach PressureDo we need to say more? Yes, we do! It is essential to have a positive mindset. By listening to a presentation by one of the best coaches, Rick Macci, I cannot agree more with his statement addressing the importance of the coach “ Having a consistently positive attitude and mindset are essential. Players can make mistakes by going for certain shots, but if the intention was good… They are going after the right shots selection, it is the key.” The player will succeed sooner or later. The focus is not on the immediate results; instead, on learning and growing while failing in order to succeed later. Brilliant! Every coach and leader should embrace this concept by offering consistent long term support.

3. Performance PressureMental and emotional game, besides physical?Yes, it is! All players have the best intention to do the best they can by playing the right shots. It is not easy to just show up and get in the zone to perform as an All Star. It is natural to feel the internal emotional roller coaster, but each athlete should be aware of it and deal with it in the best possible way that works for them. It is so important to not go to the other extreme and get overtaken by hubris and ignore all of the good advice and lessons learned up to that point. Confidence is an essential factor in addition to continuing to be coachable and humble.

If there’s only one thing you get out of his post – please know and remember that failing is part of your current and future success. This goes beyond sports and it is so relevant in the global business arena today!

Allowing yourself and your team members to fail early and often, so they can adjust their performance accordingly, is the key. Sharing the winning podium with team members within your organization is a reflection of exceptional leadership for which every organization should strive.

Be Strong ~ Play Strong ~ Win the Game!

Until next time, listen to your fearless coaches and leaders.


Leave a Legacy – A Legacy That Matters!

Be a Legend –  Your Legendary Way!

Learn… Lead… Love…  Izabela Lundberg  (@IzabelaLundberg) is CEO and Founder of Izabela Lundberg International. She is an Executive  Consultant, Trainer & Speaker for Fortune 500 and  Professional Athletes & Coaches. She is #1 International Best Selling Author & Leading Authority of Leadership Transformation From Fear to Greatness. Drawing on her extensive global business management, diversity, and high-performance impact expertise through her work with people from over 80 countries, Izabela also writes and speaks on topics such us  Strategic Leadership & InfluenceLegacy Leadership, & #HighPerformance #Impact.