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Rafael Nadal, Wimbledon and Self Confidence

Wimbledon.  Rafael Nadal.  Roger Federer.  An epic match. Did you watch yesterday?  What did you think? I was traveling, but got to see parts of the match in various airports.  I saw the fourth set tie break.  Nadal was up 5 – 2 with two service points.  He could have won right there.  Federer won both points and then went on to win the tie break.  Nadal could have packed it in right there.  Yet he sucked it up and won the fifth set 9 – 7. 

Wimbledon.  Rafael Nadal.  Roger Federer.  An epic match.

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Did you watch yesterday?  What did you think?

I was traveling, but got to see parts of the match in various airports.  I saw the fourth set tie break.  Nadal was up 5 – 2 with two service points.  He could have won right there.  Federer won both points and then went on to win the tie break.  Nadal could have packed it in right there.  Yet he sucked it up and won the fifth set 9 – 7. 

I blog about the importance of self confidence to success every Monday.  You’ll never see a better example of this than Rafael Nadal’s win yesterday at Wimbledon.

The Associated Press says it well.

“Nadal managed to  regroup after blowing a two set lead, managed to recover after wasting two match points in the fourth set tiebreaker, managed to hold steady when Federer need only two points to end the match while ahead 5 – 4 in the fifth.”

If you read this blog, you know that I think The Optimist Creed is a great success guide.  The sixth point of The Optimist Creed says “Promise yourself to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.”  I have copies of The Optimist Creed that are suitable for framing.  If you want one, send me an email at Bud@BudBilanich.com with the words “Optimist Creed” in the subject line.

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Rafael Nadal did this yesterday.  He could have given up after the fourth set tiebreak.  Yet he didn’t.  He beat Federer, the world’s number 1 tennis player on Wimbledon’s grass surface.  Federer had won the previous five Wimbledon titles.  He hadn’t lost a set this year until his match with Nadal.

As I watched parts of the match yesterday, I couldn’t help but feel that Nadal was going to win, because he looked the more confident of the two players.  He kept his head up after losing points.  On the other hand, Federer looked shaken and frustrated to me.  I don’t know what was going on in either players head, but Nadal looked to be the more confident of the two yesterday.

What’s your take on this?  Do you agree that Nadal seemed to be the more confident of the two players yesterday?

The common sense point here is simple.  Self confidence is critically important to success – in tennis, and in your life and career.  The ability to shake off mistakes, failures and lost opportunities is key to self confidence.  On Sunday, July 6 2008, Rafael Nadal demonstrated an unshakeable self confidence that propelled him to victory in the most famous tennis tournament in the world.  This is one they’ll be playing on ESPN Classic for many years.  Watch it if you can.  You’ll see an impressive display of self confidence.  Remember this match when your confidence is shaken.  Act like Nadal, forget about what could have been and concentrate on what can be.

That’s my take on yesterday’s Wimbledon final.  What’s yours?  Thanks for reading.  As always, I welcome and encourage your comments.  Please let me know that you think.

Bud