Roger Federer did it again last Sunday.
He showed why he’s one of the greatest tennis players of all time with an amazing performance at Wimbledon. Although he didn’t win the Gentlemen’s Singles this year, he proved once again he is a fantastic competitor through his magnificent match play and classy sportsmanship.
I believe a powerful secret to Roger’s success and longevity as a player was not just reflected on the court, but a few feet off the court as well.
As a television camera panned across the people in his player’s box, there sat Stefan Edburg, a retired player and former Wimbledon champion, who now serves as Federer’s coach.
“Really? Roger Federer? One of the world’s top players still needs a coach?” I thought to myself when I saw Edburg in Federer’s corner. “Couldn’t Federer write a book on tennis coaching?”
Even though Edburg has not been Federer’s only coach through the years, the fact that Roger even feels the need for a coach at this point in his illustrious career is a telling statement. Here’s why: having a coach shows a lot of wisdom.
Asking someone to coach you shows wisdom in three powerful ways:
- Humility- you’re willing to admit you don’t know it all
- Openness- you’re laying aside arrogance and are, therefore, open to suggestions
- Excellence- you’re saying you can learn something new and striving toward improvement
As an avid tennis spectator, I’ve observed some players who I don’t have a coach. Others have a revolving door of coaches, perpetually fighting with and/or firing them. Sure enough, coach-less players don’t seem to stay on top of the game very long.
The wisest man who ever lived explains the wisdom listening to a coach like this:
Great tennis game, Roger, and congratulations to this year’s Wimbledon winner, Novak Djokovik. It was a match for the ages.
And, special thanks, Roger, for reminding us that no matter how good you are at what you do, there’s great wisdom in having and listening to the advice of a good coach.
The Pondering Palette: Who do you turn to for coaching? Do you have a trusted, experienced advisor in your Christian faith? in your personal life? in business? Could it be time for you to wisely seek out a coach?