It is quite amazing to see Federer 2017 play, not only because of his actual staying power, but because he is playing differently, maybe better than ever, surprising his opponents. He moves a few meters further inside the court something that allows him to use his right and backhand with notable fluidity, and struck the ball continuously during its bouncing back path. The SABR in English, that means “Sneak Attack By Roger”, was the shy prelude of its new way of playing, in particular when he attacks his rival’s second serve. Is what we call “anticipation”.
What is this “anticipation” based on? Just as in other spaces such as management techniques, anticipation requires to adopt “good practices” and also those that we call “new practices”.
Among the “good practices” from Federer are: (a) the choice of the best trainer possible for his current strategy. Today, it is the Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, successor of the talented Stefan Edberg; (b) to expand the diameter of his tennis racket in almost 15 centimetres, allowing him to connect with greater precision with the impact area; (c) having had some operations made to his back to ease his pains; and (d) having a good quality physical and mental rehabilitation.
Among the “new practices” - that exist only when the right emotion is expressed - have been, I believe, curiosity and being able to observe him reflectively, without needing the approval of others for his new way of living tennis.
Beyond the great tennis level that Roger Federer has given us for almost two decades, his sport career perfectly reflects what a human being is able to achieve if he uses the correct emotion. A wider potential that all good management should also consider when anticipating the opportunities, is to avoid risks, to create value and give stimulus to the General Manager in the achievement of the proposed goals.
The road traced by this great champion reveals, as well, that as the years go by, it is possible to contribute with a wider and sometimes wiser vision of things. They say that the character of young Roger showed a very low tolerance to frustration, giving him repeated tantrums, even making him not to want to take his rackets for weeks or months.
It has been said that the great fear of a human being is not related to his shadows but to his bright side: “It is our light, not our darkness what scares us most (...) We were made to be able to shine, to manifest the glory within us” (Nelson Mandela). For this reason, even though age is not a necessary or unique requirement to form a good corporate government, board members are, in general, people that are older.