How often have you heard it asked, “What is the difference that makes the difference?” often, it can be very little that distinguishes greatness from the ordinary – but that seemingly unimportant extra ingredient can be everything.
Look at the amazing tennis finals we’ve seen this year between Nadal and Federer, or Nadal and Murray. and think about how up to this year Murray could never quite win the final, and suddenly he did. His diet and his training regime is going to be just as rigid as the other two… so what changed? and what can we all learn from his success?
The change that came this year for Andy Murray is that he started finding people who could really help him. after taking advice from Ivan Lendl, he hired sports psychologist Alexis Castorri, who helped lendl become the greatest tennis player on the planet.
And he also takes mentoring from lendl himself. What a change it has made. Boris Becker recently said: “Lendl was the first one who had an entourage, someone responsible for stringing his rackets, someone taking care of his diet and a personal trainer… He made tennis a business; and the reason players today have their own team is because of Ivan. Andy walks around differently now and the other players regard him with greater respect – and Lendl is the one who has made the difference.”
Murray,who famously won olympic Gold and a US open title this year reveals that it’s not all about what’s going on in the court. He gets advice from Castorri about things away from the game.
As he says: “That was refreshing, because when I’d spoken to psychologists in the past, I’d only spoken about tennis.” With Castorri, it’s different: “I spoke about things away from the court that may affect you and stop you from being fully focused on tennis.”
The big lesson we all can learn is that we need to surround ourselves with the best. People who have the know-how, and not just in your chosen pursuit – but in life generally. of course, we can’t surround ourselves with top psychologists and sportsmen, but we can get at their ideas and their brilliance through their books, their dVds and other products. We can even get their advice for free on youtube, or through tips and articles free to download or read online.
However you do it, my advice is: Get the right advice. If you are in business, get a business coach. If you are in sport get a sports coach. If you need to turn your life around get a life coach. Personally, I swear by them and use different people at different times.
Dave Brailsford the man behind the success of Team GB cycling team puts those tiny changes individuals can make to your performance into context: “… It’s important to understand the ‘aggregation of marginal gains’. Put simply… how small improvements in a number of different aspects of what we do can have a huge impact to the overall performance of the team.”
All the best!
Bernardo Moya @bernardo_moya