Novak Djokovic may be the mentally toughest player in tennis, and the secret to Djokovic’s mental strength is mindfulness meditation. The Serbian world number one reveals in his recent book Serve to Win, that mindfulness meditation enabled him to overcome self-doubt, recover quickly from mistakes and fulfil his potential as a tennis player.
Djokovic writes that since practicing mindfulness meditation he is now able to notice negative thoughts and let them pass by. He explains that he can now focus fully on the present moment, processing pain and emotions without getting caught up in unnecessary thinking. Djokovic’s mental strength, brought about by mindfulness practice, has resulted in him being the most consistent of the big four players since 2011.
Djokovic’s use of mindfulness meditation has also helped him become one of the greatest comeback players of all time. His remarkable victories from match point down against Roger Federer at the US Open in 2010 and 2011, and against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the 2012 French Open were only possible because of Djokovic’s ability to remain calm on the big points and allow negative thoughts and fears to be there without engaging with them.
Djokovic’s mental strength, underpinned by mindfulness, is also expressed in his impressive sportsmanship. Djokovic is the only one of the big four to regularly applaud excellent play by his opponents. In defeat, Djokovic is generous and dignified. Despite tough losses this year to Nadal at Roland Garros and Flushing Meadow, and to Murray at Wimbledon, Djokovic offered warm and genuine congratulations to both, and expressed appreciation for the privilege of playing them.
Any tennis player can learn mindfulness meditation. By practicing the meditations in the Mindfulness-Based Tennis Psychology course, you will be able to enhance your mental strength, as Novak Djokovic has.