Nerve

My friend and I were debating about the best day to book for the evening session at the Tennis Masters series at the O2 arena in London. We eventually picked Monday over Tuesday. You can imagine my consternation when I realized later that the Tuesday session featured a Federer v Nadal game. Of course, by then, the tickets had gone up to 300 GBP from the original 30.

No complaints, however. Monday meant watching the Bryan brother and Djokovic, both world No.1’s.

And here is a quick observation from both the games featuring the 2 World No. 1’s –

– Both did not play their ‘A’ game.
– Both lost their first set
– Both could have lost the second set (Djokovic less so..)
– Both of them came back from set down to take the game in the 3rd sets tie break

What did I learn?
There wasn’t visible difference in the quality.

There was, however, a very visible difference in ‘nerve’.

That’s why I chose today’s quote to be ‘We promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears.’

It just seemed that the champions played without fear.

My tennis coach talks of a moment in the US open semi finals where Federer was serving for the match in the 3rd set. He had 2 match points and the camera zoomed to Novak Djokovic’s face. And he grinned.

My coach pointed out that that moment told you all you needed to know about the outcome of that game. Djokovic ended up saving the match points and becoming the first person in a grand slam to beat Federer after Federer had taken a 2 set lead. Nerve. 3-4 years ago, you would have backed Federer to do the same.

That made me wonder about how it applies to our own lives.

When we are out there doing things – performing at work, performing in competitive sports etc, how much nerve do we display?

Is it the stuff of champions?

Do we persist when the times are tough? And act in confidence and forget fear?

Which spheres of life do we actually behave like champions? Are there any?

And, if not now, then when? 

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