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Chairman of the Board – Roger Federer?

Posted by tennisplanet on July 20, 2007

May be Federer is not good, tied down to one set strategy, from just one coach. With so much talent and consequently so many options for every shot, I was thinking Federer needs to appoint himself as the Chairman of the Board.

What I mean by that is, that he hires former greats of the game, or even renowned coaches of today, by the hour or by the week, and has open discussions, on what they see in his game and what their individual perspective is, on how to improve.

This leaves him the freedom to roam, but still utilize the brilliant tennis brains to his advantage. And if during that process, he sees things are starting to click with a particular individual, he can go for a protracted relationship, if he thinks necessary.

History is proof that superior talent is difficult to rein. It needs unique stimulation and a brilliant mind. If you have a Bentley in your garage, you don’t let just anyone drive it. 

Michael Jordan went through that period himself. It took a lot of persuasion and demonstration, before he bought into the system of Phil Jackson. But once they clicked, it was all history.

Mohammad Ali is another example. He broke through all the shackles, which his earlier coaches tried to hold him down with. Until Angelo Dundee understood the genius and let it flow, with a slight nudge here and a slight nudge there.

You cannot bottle and guide such superior talent with conventional means. Traditional methods of coaching and motivating, go out the window in these cases. It takes a very special person, to recognize where to draw the line, and when to withdraw, and let the artist paint freely on the canvas.

These athletes have a very high IQ, and like all people with such credentials, if they are not stimulated by the right source, they may not be able to tap their full potential. 

Having a member of your family in that role, is of course the closest to an ideal situation. Real life examples are Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal. That is the kind of understanding and depth you need to handle these immortals.

As with others, it is a question of trial and error. Every great athlete has gone through it. Federer needs to find that person. Once he is face to face with that individual, both will recognize each other since the initial chemistry sparks the engine to that glorious journey. But for that to happen, he has to kiss a lot of toads to get there.

But whatever anyone might think of the options, it is clear that Federer needs to work on this ASAP. He needs a constant source for a second opinion, that can provide valuable insight from the outside.


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