“This was one win, but the year is long. He has more to prove to be able to be a contender.” —Magnus Norman, Coach of 2015 French Open Men’s Singles Champion Stanislas Wawrinka
In business parlance, Stan Wawrinka, aka “Stanimal,” was good but not great. On the ATP Tour, Wawrinka would typically play well until the 4th round before bowing out of major events. Wawrinka’s results were inconsistent at best and his mental game did not hold up well under pressure. That was then.
Today, the massive transformation of Stan Wawrinka is evident. A two-time grand slam champion, Wawrinka is competing at the highest level, playing some of the greatest tennis of his life.
So what changed? We’ve identified three factors.
1. Wawrinka hired a coach. Since partnering with former ATP touring professional Magnus Norman, Wawrinka has won two grand slams, beating the best players in the world en route. In this year’s French Open final, the Stanimal “never lost his cool or his self-belief.”
Application: Don’t underestimate the power of a business coach: an expert who is driving your professional success and consistently setting higher standards of excellence.
2. Wawrinka plays aggressively to win. Elite tennis coaches call it “taking the ball early” and “going for your shots.” Wawrinka’s approach to success is to “go get the match” rather than “let the match come to him.”
Application: Are you playing to win or are you playing not to lose?
3. Wawrinka never gives up. Stanimal is 30 years old, an age that used to be considered archaic in the diaries of tennis. However, as the 21st Century athlete has become much more physical (across all sports), male tennis professionals in particular (typically) don’t begin to fully tap into their potential until 27, 28 years of age. For example, Stanimal was 28 when he won his first grand slam.
Application: Keep working and developing your game. Nothing will work extraordinarily well unless you work extraordinarily hard.
You don’t have to be a professional athlete or play sports to understand the value of coaching, the power of taking initiative, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. The question is: What are you doing about it?
As always, the ball’s in your court.
By René Vidal, America’s #1 Goals Expert®. He is the author of The Power of Focus and co-author of Play Smart to Win in Business: Leadership Lessons from Center Court to Corner Office (July 15, 2015). Sign-up today for René Vidal's FREE 8-Day Goals Challenge!