The phoenix is set to rise from the ashes of the women’s game in this country as crowd favourite Johanna Konta powers her way through the draw and finds herself facing one of the game’s legends, Venus Williams, in today’s Wimbledon semi-final. Now installed as the bookies’ surprise favourite to lift the famous trophy, the British number one has had a strong and steady rise to the top of her sport – not as meteoric as some, fewer headlines than many attract, and generally somewhat under the radar.
But Johanna, born in Sydney, Australia, to Hungarian parents, has spoken before of her obsession with ‘staying in the process’ – a technique that has served her well (no pun intended!) as she has climbed the world rankings since taking British citizenship five years ago. She famously practises mindfulness which she described as ‘a great habit to nurture’ and works tirelessly with her coach, Wim Fissette, on all aspects of her mental attitude as well as her physical sporting prowess. Following her latest Grand Slam progress, I couldn’t help but reflect on one of my favourite books – The Inner Game of Tennis: The Ultimate Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance.
Sure, it helps people play better tennis. But it has also been used to great success by applying its principles to other sports. And other areas of life in general. Because reaching peak performance is not just about achieving sporting greatness. We should all aspire to be our best self – whatever our role, career path, position within a family or organisation. We can all learn a lot from our latest darling of Centre Court – staying in the process, keeping focus and always being present in the moment is a valuable skill to learn and live by.
Johanna now knows what she needs to do to perform to a consistently high level. And she does it, day in, day out, on and off the court. Meditation, mindfulness and focus have become the cornerstones of her life and helped her maximise her potential. We all possess a unique skill set. If we combine them with a mental process that works for us as individuals, we can all raise our game. Sometimes, though, we cannot complete our journey to the pinnacles of success in our chosen field on our own.
Cue coaching. Sporting superstars would not be without a coach, and increasingly they are taking on a role over and above focusing on improvements in the forehand or serve technique. Good as they might be, they will never be 100% useful without the right mental approach applied to their delivery.
If you want to hone your existing professional and personal skills, talk to us at about our executive coaching packages and how they can help you stand out from the crowd.
In the meantime, let’s all enjoy being part of this patriotic crowd cheering on a sporting hero at the top of her game – but forever striving for even greater achievements. We can all learn a lot from her game plan.
~ Author: Jayne George