In a recent tennis.com article, the #1 ranked tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, touches upon how he has shifted his training methods to continue improving and maintaining a competitive advantage. He explains, "I am continuously trying with my team to come up with different ways of training, approaching things like recovery or mental training, emotional training. I think a combination of all these different elements gives you the formula for success.” As many champions have found, it is far more difficult to stay on top than to get there.
Change it Up
Modifying an exercise routine is key for several reasons, but two specific benefits include preventing boredom on a day to day basis and avoiding the risk of reaching a plateau in workout performance and, subsequently, training results. Ultimately, the body's physiological systems, such as the muscular system, adapt to an exercise program within approximately six to eight weeks, so variations are necessary in order to keep your body from adapting to repetitive movements. While most athletes already understand this concept, their exercise routines mainly consist of physical training.
Think Outside of the Box
The world’s best take this a step further by implementing all parts of the body and mind. After successfully adding onto his record of eight Australian Open Titles, Djokovic emphasized his competitive advantage in his statement, "There's certain things you have to do obviously physically, but you can do a lot of things mentally, emotionally, which allow you to be in that flow state, allow you to be in your peak performance every single match.” This commitment to excellence is one of the primary reasons for his undefeated start (18-0) to 2020, which includes 7-0 against the top 10 players in the world.
Djokovic first revealed that he was using a mindfulness-based mental training approach in his book Serve to Win, but he has frequently emphasized its advantages during competition. In fact, he describes his daily mindfulness practice as just as important as his physical and on-court training. While there are various benefits, Djokovic explains that mindfulness has helped him to overcome fear, anger, worry and self-doubt. It’s important to note that even the best athletes in the world struggle with common mental hurdles, just like anybody else, but there are solutions readily available for those who seek improvement and are willing to get out of their comfort zone. Train the mind. The body will follow.
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