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Can Federer still salvage the clay season? Will firing the coach hurt or benefit him?

Posted by tennisplanet on May 14, 2007

In life, whenever we make a change, whether voluntarily or when being forced due to circumstances beyond our control, in a way, mentally, it signals a beginning of a new chapter and end of an old one.

That change, many times, invigorates and energises us and gives us courage to test new avenues and strategies, since we find ourselves less inhibited by the mould we were in hitherto.

Have you noticed, sometimes, specially in NBA, when the new coach takes over, the team instantly transforms into a lean, mean winning machine from the lethargic losers it looked like, with the previous coach. Did the team suddenly become more talented or learn some new skills they never had? Not likely.

What happened was, this new change, mentally broke the barriers they felt confounded in. The hiring of the new coach was viewed as a beginning of a new era and a fresh start. This in turn, led to release of fresh energy and enthusiasm. Mentally, it lifts the team to perform more efficiently.

As they say, obstacles should never be viewed as a wall that stops all progress, but rather as a bridge to newer and greener pastures. If you glance back at your life, many times you will notice that heartbreak, that failure etc. led to something even more worthwhile. That is, if you viewed it that way, and did not let it cripple or paralyse you.

They say that, the only thing constant in our lives is change. Change rejuvenates and energizes us and gives us the motivation to reach even higher. Although it may seem hurtful and damaging at first, more often than not, it leads to higher and more meaningful achievement.

Now that all you freaks have had a class in psychological babble, the freaking point is, that for Federer this is a new beginning from two and half years of following a certain set philosophy or strategy. Mentally, it has got to feel pretty good for Federer. He is free. He finally made the decision and can now look forward to implementing his plan with renewed vigor and vitality. It is a fresh start for him.

Couple that with what I am going to say next. And that is this:

Donald Trumph wrote a book recently on how to achieve big and attain your dreams, make billions etc. One of the major requirement, according to him, for getting anywhere high and worthy, is to have a ‘good size’ ego. Yes, ego!!! Do you believe that? You better freaking believe it. It is straight from the horse’s mouth.

We know Federer has a lot of pride and a burning competitive spirit. You cannot possibly have achieved whatever in the past three years without those qualities. He must be feeling humiliated and extremely angry.

When your manhood is challenged, it stirs emotions and feelings that hardens your resolve to prove everyone wrong and silence your critics. Michael Jordan, at times, was challenged by the coach of the opposing team for his lack of this and that, whenever he had an off day. What do you think happened when they met again on the court? Jordan would drop 50 or 60 points on them. From then on, most people learnt to just keep the giant sleeping and kept their mouth shut.

What do you think Kobe Bryant does when he is called out by a player from the opposing team? You guessed it. He is on fire and will not leave the court until he has made his statement.

When asked about his last year or so on the court, Sampras said his motivation was to win one more major and shut all those reporters up, who constantly asked about retirement and his slump. He wanted to get the last laugh. If you freaking missed that interview, click here.

Again, the ‘freaking kidding me’ point is this: The firing of the coach coupled with dissatisfaction of being humbled on the court is enough ammunition for Federer to use for his advantage.

One of the secrets of life is to make ‘dissatisfaction work for you, instead of against you’. Oh, was the psychological mumbo jumbo class over? Disregard this, then.

I have a feeling Federer will come out with vengeance and vindictiveness to reclaim his pride and pamper his bruised ego. And if he wins the FO, it will still, despite everything else, vindicate his past. Not only will he have won a Grand Slam on clay, but that will bode well for Wimbledon and the rest of the year.

Imagine yourself in a helicopter and you are watching Federer walking below. You see a fork in the road in front of him, one is sliding down the valley while the other has an uphill ride to a picturesque view. That’s exactly where he is. His whole being knows it.

Life has thrown a challenge. Will Federer pick up the gauntlet and make the second edition of his journey even sweeter than the first one?

We are all hoping he will.

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