Robin Soderling stunned defending champion Roger Federer
in Tuesday’s quarterfinal action at the French Open,
winning 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in come-from-behind fashion.
It’s the first time Federer has failed reach a Grand Slam
semifinal in six years.
The mental toughness story behind this match was Soderling’s
Even though Soderling had lost to Federer 12 times in a row,
he still BELIEVED.
“Even though I lost (to Federer) so many times, I always have
a chance to win,” Soderling said.
Most players in Soderling’s position defeat themselves mentally
before they even get on the court.
He stayed aggressive on the slow, wet court —
conditions Federed doesn’t like.
After the match Federer admitted: “These were some
serious, tough conditions, you know.
If you serve 225-230kms/hour, you can still serve through
the court. I’m maybe lacking those 5-10 K extra to hit
through a guy on the serve.”
In true professional style, instead of giving in to
conditions, Soderling seized the moment.
The mental toughness Soderling displayed this week
is not hard to learn.
The next time you are the underdog in a match, game, or race,
get your mental ducks in a row by visualizing yourself
Every athlete who has “broken through” was intimidated at first.
Mark Tewksbury, one of the greatest swimmers of all time,
scared himself the first time he visualized winning.
That’s because he had to imagine beating his HERO,
legend Matt Biondi.
Quite a shock.
Also…resolve to be mentally prepared for all conditions,
even if they weaken your performance a bit.
EXPECT bad conditions, and adapt your strategy accordingly.
Don’t give them the power to distract you.
Most athletes aren’t using even simple mental toughness strategies
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Want to gain the mental edge?
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in your mind that are preventing you from winning consistently.
In the Courage to Win, you grab your mind and steer yourself
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You are in control out there.
You learn to trust your mind and body.
And, over time, you replace your doubts with winning thoughts
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