Sunday, September 8, 2013

Rafael Nadal's Secret behind His Successful Comeback

"How can someone who should be double break down in a set goes on to save 3 BP on his service again only to win the set 6-4?" If you don't know the answer, just watch the third set of US Open final this year and you will find the answer. Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly the greatest fighter tennis has ever seen till date. How can he do what he did, winning US Open 2013 emphatically?  Here is the answer..

"Endurance - That’s a big word. Keep going physically, never letting up and putting up with everything that comes your way, not allowing the good or the bad , the ups and downs, good luck or bad luck - to put you off track.  - Rafa Nadal wrote in his autobiography Rafa on the definition of endurance.

Many people have always wondered and been amazed at the brilliant comeback of Rafael Nadal after a seven month layoff. Historically when players have been away from their sport for so long, their comeback has often been marred with lapses of form and lack of ability to reach back to the top.

It becomes even more important in case of Nadal who is currently competing in the toughest era in tennis esp. with the likes of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Still the seven month absence didn't even put a speck on his performance, if anything he has bounced back with even more fierceness and determination to succeed.

His record speaks for itself and apart from winning French Open title 8th time in his career, he has also emerged as the best hard court player this year with a 21-0 win loss record. I was myself amazed and left in disbelief at what he has accomplished until…. I read RAFA, his autobiography and that was the time when it became clear to me why Nadal has comeback the way he has.

For people who haven't read it, it's a book full of wisdom and inspiration for mortal tennis fans like me,  depicting in his own words the reasons for  his success. To me, more than that, it is a recipe handed to us to ensure that if we do want to succeed in our lives, we can use it blindly and be rest assured that we will reach the top.

So what is the recipe:

Concentration and Discipline are the key ingredients of his recipe.

Rafa emphasizes that you have to ensure that you don't lose concentration at any time
as losing concentration in his case would mean that he would not be able to do continuously what he knows will enable him to reach the hitting every shot to Federer's backhand or   never even once erring from his routine during the seven months of layoff.

 "Being concentrated means that you have to keep doing what you know you will have to do to succeed , never changing your plan because of any ups or downs, unless in exceptional circumstances which means to spring a surprise. " - Rafael Nadal

Second most important ingredient is discipline which enables you to fight off the temptations and frustration which might arise at various moments in life. During his layoff, People started talking about a possible doping ban on him or his supposed fear of losing on a hard-court being the main reason for backing out of Australian Open. He could have been deterred but he chose to focus on what he knows best : Hard work and discipline . Wasn't it tempting for him to return in Australian open 2013 to silence all his critics? Yes, but still he chose to not be rash in his decision and took his time to come back when he was fully sure of his knees and knew that he can win again.

"Even though it might seem like a chance to put the pressure on and seize the initiative, continue doing what is best in the long run. Endurance means disciplines, it means holding back the temptation in life to go for broke. Fighting that temptation means keeping your impatience or frustration in check." - Rafael Nadal

Reading his book ( although I am still reading it) has given me an insight which seems simple but yet the most effective weapon that we can have in our arsenal. The beautiful way Rafa has described endurance and it's key ingredients ( Concentration and Discipline) is well worth the effort for anyone to apply in their life. It's a simple plan for Rafa and for us to succeed in life but we are always on the lookout for complicated, failing to realize that complicated plans never work. It's often the simple ones which leads you to success. To end this article,

"You have to  be centered, no distractions, do what you have to do in each moment. Be alert, Be patient and don't be rash." - Rafael Nadal


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  1. yes Rafa is the tough guy to beat when he is 100 % fit. well done Rafa congrats.

  2. Thanks Ajay for the comment. yes, indeed..Well Done Rafa.

  3. Just had a chance to read this article of yours. Well written. Thank you. And yes, Rafa is very inspiring. He's a true role model for all of us.

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  5. After 7 month layout Rafael Nadal returned unbreakable!