Long time readers of mine would no doubt have been thinking that I’d write about Murray’s win, and yes, since I’ve been writing about sport and goal achievement for many years, I could hardly let this story go by could I!
Commitment, sacrifice, setbacks, hard work – it’s easy to trot all those out in his story, and they are certainly all there. In fact, the hard work is part of the point of this article. The hard work has always been there, year after year (after year!), but the main point of this article is the idea of making changes along the goal path.
Once you set your goal, and then work out the steps to take, you then need to take the first step. After you’ve taken the first step, you might well find that somewhere down the road you need to change things. You cannot get to that point without having taken the preceding steps.
As Andy grew up, moving from junior player to adult, it was clear that his body was not equipped to last for long 5 set matches. As a consequence, he found himself losing those matches because his body basically gave up, leaving his opponent able to finish him off in the match.
He realised this needed to change, so along with the hard work on the actual tennis, he began a routine of hard work to change his body shape and fitness. Instead of an skinny angry player, he turned himself into a lean muscly angry player.
I’ll come to the angry part in a moment, but on the physical side, everything was geared towards it, diet, sleep patterns, anything in his life that could be changed for better fitness was changed.
As for the angry, Murray was well known on the tennis circuit for getting angry at himself. If things weren’t going well on court, he would rant and rave at himself, and his focus would be on that ranting rather then the tennis, and he’d find that points would disappear before he got himself together – too often those points were crucial points.
Just as with the fitness, he realised that a change was needed, and acted on it. Having struggled to find coaches that fitted with him, and spending periods without a coach, he hired multiple Grand Slam winner Ivan Lendl.
That was a surprise to many, because Lendl, who had been seen as a moody introvert during his career, had been away from tennis since he stopped playing, so why did Murray take him on?
Well, Lendl had lost his first 4 major finals, so Murray felt he was someone who could understand him. Also, Lendl was a taskmaster that Andy respected, that would push him towards even harder work.
The progression in his career is clear to see, it’s in the record books – quarter finals, semi finals, losing finalist, then winning Olympic gold followed by the US Open, leading up to that Wimbledon win, 77 years since the last British male winner.
He’s often been criticised as dull and aloof, but his response to that has been that other people’s perception of him is up to them, that he would just concentrate on his tennis.
You’d expect that kind of focus, and he’s been pretty much vindicated over the last year. His interview tears after his 2012 final loss, then Olympic gold during that swell of feel good factor, the first Slam win and the Wimbledon win have seen the perception of him warm further on each occasion.
He’s been the same throughout, so he was right not to worry about it, and that’s another lesson right there!
So, lots of lessons to serve up (geddit?) from Andy’s story. Winning Wimbledon is not the end for him – it was one of his goals for sure, but he also wants to be World number 1, and win as many Majors as he can.
It could be argued that he got some luck this year, with 2 main opponents being knocked out early, but that would be churlish, since he beat the World Number 1 in a final of brutal tennis.
He was in the right place at the right time, and got there by years of hard work, coupled with making changes along the way when he realised things weren’t working – these are the lessons I think about as I see the pictures of his beaming smile holding the trophy – well done Andy Murray!
Ok, that’s it for now – do let me know what you think!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. Don’t forget you can get my motivational book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!‘ at rock bottom kindle pricing!
P.P.S. Also, here’s an article from 2011 – Marvellous Moments From Mo!