As Novak Djokovic takes some well-earned time off the tennis courts, he is doing some work for the Novak Djokovic Foundation. While in Serbia, he spent some of his time for an expansive press conference. It was quite an interesting session, and it gave us some insight into the mind of the great champion.
Novak Djokovic on composure
As a huge admirer of Djokovic, I always wanted to ask the man how he manages to keep himself in the right frame of mind.
His mentality has played such a huge part in his illustrious career. And I mean both, in a positive and negative manner.
I still believe that his fall from grace after the 2016 Roland Garros had more to do with his mentality than the elbow injury. He had dominated the men’s tennis in the 12 months leading up to Paris. Domination, the likes of which the sport had never seen before.
And once he got his hands on the missing Major, he simply had it all. He had done it all, won it all, and in such an emphatic manner that it sapped all his desire. The level of interest he had in wanting to win everything dropped dramatically, and he seemed satisfied with his achievements.
But, it was his mentality that also pulled him back in it. After a couple of years in the wilderness, he came back strong and hungry once again.
His mental strength is renowned by now. His steely mind has enabled him to fight back in times of attrition and win many matches. So how is it that he keeps himself so composed in difficulty and pressure-heavy times?
“Various breathing techniques help me to be more focused, conscious breathing. Furthermore, visualization, I have big belief in pictures I present to myself, they get bigger and bigger and become reality.”
“Also, thinking about family, some personal dreams, anything that can fuel you in important moments.”
Novak Djokovic is a big fan of visualization. He has talked about it on many previous occasions too. I hope he is visualizing achieving the Calendar Year Golden Slam this year.
There was one more technique to remain focused and composed that he used in his early days. The ball bounce!
Alas, the shot-clock does not allow for that anymore.