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The Big 3!

The ‘Big 3’ are at it again!

By the Big 3, I mean: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic!

As I sit down to write this week’s blog, it is men’s semi-finals day at Wimbledon 2019. Djokovic has just won his semi-final, and Federer and Nadal are about to face each other in the other semi-final.

All three of them are remarkable in many ways.

They are the top 3 when it comes to numbers of Grand Slam tournaments won. By Grand Slams I mean Wimbledon, the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open. These tournaments are the pinnacle of the world game and the tournaments every player wants to win.

Federer has won 20, Nadal 18 and Djokovic 15. And that will change for one of them this weekend as one of them wins Wimbledon.

They are also the top 3 when it comes to prize money won during the course of their careers. They are the only three players to have each won more than $100 million. The next closest is Andy Murray on about $60 million. After that it drops down to a group of players in the $10 – $20 million bracket. Still a lot of money, but nowhere near the Big 3.

What’s perhaps even more remarkable is their ages. Federer is nearly 38, Nadal is 33 and Djokovic is 32. Not exactly old, but to be playing at the level these guys play, and continuing to see off much younger players, is a testimony to both their fitness and longevity.

What makes them as good as they are? And as business owners and entrepreneurs what can we learn from the Big 3 that we could go off and apply in our own businesses?

Here are 5 things Federer, Nadal and Djokovic do that we can all learn from:

  1. Focus

Both in a match but also in their careers they each have incredible focus. They know what’s needed to get the job done, be it in their training regimes or in the ‘heat of battle’ when they’re on court.

You notice it particularly during matches. They focus on the next point, then the next point, then the next point after that. And so on. Of course, they see the bigger picture, but crucially at the important turning points in a match they have the ability to ‘focus in’ on that next point and get the job done.

2. Resilience

They need to be resilient because they fail so much! That may seem like an odd thing to say but let me explain.

Take Federer as an example. This Wimbledon is I believe his 77th Grand Slam tournament. In his career he has won 20 Grand Slams, which is more than any other player in history. But, that also means he has failed to win 57 times!

He has had to be resilient, to get over the disappoint of a tournament he didn’t win and move on.

Resilience is a crucial requirement for any successful business owner.

3. Hard Work

They all work incredibly hard. These guys didn’t just fall out of bed and become great tennis players. Sure, they have great natural ability, but they ‘marry it’ with lots of hard work.

Nadal has a reputation for being as intense and hardworking when he is training as he is when he’s playing an actual match.

And despite their longevity, they work just as hard now to be the best, as they did when they were starting out. In fact, their hard work is part of the reason for their longevity.

4. Persistence

They’ve all had disappointments. They’ve all had difficult times. And they’ve all had injuries. Djokovic for instance, had an elbow injury a couple of years ago that threatened his career.

But they all keep going and they don’t give up.

I looked up ‘persistence’ in the dictionary and one of the definitions was: “the continuing of a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition”.

I think that about sums up the Big 3. They keep going in spite of the challenges, difficulties and opposition.

5. Passion

The one thing that seems to come up time and time again when people talk about these three guys is the fact that they love the game of tennis.

They have fun, they enjoy what they do and are passionate about doing it. They don’t need the money; they’ve won everything the game has to offer and yet, they keep going. A lot of that has to do with the passion they have for what they do.

Whoever wins in Sunday’s final, these three, the Big 3 – Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are nothing short of remarkable.

And as business owners and entrepreneurs we can learn from them. Focus, resilience, hard work, persistence and passion.

Learn to apply them in increasing measure day-by-day, and watch your business fly!