staying attentive

Here is Roger Federer, at the post-match press conference, following his remarkable victory at Roland Garros:

But it was very hard mentally for me to stay within the match during the match, because my mind was always wondering, ‘What if? What if I win this tournament? What does that mean? What will I possibly say?’

I don’t know.

You can’t help it, but to tell yourself, you know, once you win you’ll get all the time to think about all these things, but they keep on coming back.

Federer states the problem of performing so elegantly. In my mind it is not about the absence of doubt, or the absence of distraction, it is what one does with those distractions or doubts that is critical. I feel inspired hearing Federer’s words—the words of perhaps the most remarkable tennis player ever—because they ground his extraordinary psychological power in the everday.

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