Novak Djokovic On How He Learnt to Overcome Self Doubt on the Court

Novak Djokovic mental training

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, went on an Instagram Live session with extreme athlete Wim Hof on Friday to discuss how to he has learned to overcome doubts while he is playing on the court. Hof owns the Guinness World Record for fastest half marathon barefoot on ice/snow and is one of the top extreme athletes in the world and was delighted to share the platform with the tennis champion.

The 17 time Grand Slam champion Djokovic commented, “On the tennis court I can instantly notice the difference in my own perception of this simple experience… when I make the transformation from being in a doubtful state of mind — when I allow maybe some distractions and some environmental factors to affect my focus, my presence — [to] when I’m completely aligned and I basically am present and everything flows.

I’m not thinking because it’s automatic, because I already have it inside of me”. “I go out and then I know exactly the distinction and when I make this transformation from good to bad or bad to good, whatever direction.

It’s really interesting what you’re talking about because I can feel it on the court. It’s the same court, it’s the same opponent, and the level of the quality of tennis doesn’t change much. It’s more or less at the same level.

Novak never relent

But I control how I feel and how I act in these situations. “[I control how I feel by] having in a way a consciousness and awareness of this inner conversation of what is going on, the thoughts, ‘Oh, I’m not good enough, he’s great, I’m not feeling well, sun is in my eyes, someone is screaming something from the crowd’.

If you start going that route and you have no control over your thoughts and it completely floods you, you’ve lost focus and that’s why you feel completely inferior towards your opponent”. The Serbian says believing in oneself and having confidence is the biggest secret to success.

“Nothing externally has changed, but internally you say to yourself, ‘I trained myself, I know I’m good, I believe in myself, I have confidence in myself, I’m going to execute these shots in the best possible way.

Whatever happens, I accept it, I recover, I go to the next one”. And then all of a sudden the whole game, the momentum shifts to your side. It’s really interesting because it all boils down to the power of mind. The power of mind is something that we have, that we possess.

We can’t expect someone else to grant us or to give us a gift or present or something that is going to be a cure or a secret of success. We’ve got to do that work ourselves”.


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