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Serving some home truths

Posted by
05 Jul 2016

Last night saw the highly anticipated tennis match between Nick Kyrgios and Andy Murray at Wimbledon 2016. It was interesting to watch two young guns going toe to toe, although Kyrgios was not expected to win at all. 

Kyrgios’ response to the result of the match was also hotly anticipated. He is infamous for his outbursts and lack of sportsmanship – last year saw him get in hot water over a sledging incident, as well as tanking in the 2015 Wimbledon against Gasquet.   

Unfortunately he let himself, and tennis fans alike down by shouting at his box to not talk to him, serving quickly, exuding poor body language and generally seemingly disinterested in the tournament itself.  
There were also several questions over his preparation; in an interview post-match he said that he had woken up and played computer games in the morning, and two hours before was seen watching Lleyton Hewitt playing doubles – which commentator John McEnroe thought was terrible preparation. 

Perhaps most worryingly he said afterwards:

  • "I don't love this sport…but I don't know what else to do without it”.
  • "One week, I'm pretty motivated to train and play. Another week, I'll just not do anything. I don't really know a coach who would be down for that one."
  • "I'm just a little soft still. I think when things get tough, I'm a little bit soft. I've got experience, but it comes down to laying it all out there and competing for a long time. I didn't do that here at all”.

It’s difficult to watch him without thinking that he acts as though he is entitled and going ultimately is going to be a wasted talented. But what can we learn from his situation and how can we apply this in a professional capacity? 

  1. Have a mentor or coach - it is so important to have someone guiding you, especially at the beginning of your career. That person should be a confident, someone that you can turn to in both periods of success and more importantly in challenging times. 
  2. Have some self-belief - if you don’t think you can do it, no one else will think you can either whether that is clients, candidates, friends and family. 
  3. Always remain professional! Kyrigos’ attitude and lack of professionalism has directly led to his decline in reputation and respect from other sportsmen. 
  4. Be respectful - His childish antics came across as disrespectful to everyone involved including officials, spectators and his opponent.
  5. Be prepared - I have to say that I don’t find Kyrgios preparation offensive or lazy – it has to be whatever works for you. Apparently Usain Bolt eats junk food before a big race and that doesn’t seem to have done him any harm!

I think that Kyrgios has got a lot of soul searching to do and I think more importantly, has to make the decision as to whether he wants to pursue a career in tennis at all. If he does, he needs a coach that is willing to take him on, and more importantly needs to be willing to listen to that person. Let’s see what happens!

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