Hard work is a key ingredient for success.
2017 French Open and US Open tennis champion Rafael Nadal is an excellent example of that.
So is this year’s Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Roger Federer.
Nadal is 31-years-old and the Spaniard has 16 grand slam titles to his name.
That is more than anyone else except36-year-old Federer who has 19.
Those are impressive numbers both in terms of majors and in terms of age, and they are the result of hours and hours of hard work on and off the court.
The recipe for success, however, includes many more ingredients and we don’t have much control over some of them.
For example; if we want to get ahead in a sport like tennis, body size and shape, and natural talent all play a part.
But there is another key ingredient we can control, and that is knowing when to rest.
Again, Nadal and Federer are excellent examples.
Before 2017, both men had suffered injury related dips in form and gone several years without winning a major title.
At times, they didn’t seem to be enjoying themselves and most experts had written them off as serious contenders for the grand slams.
Nadal had wrist, knee and other injuries, while Federer tried to play on with shoulder problems and a bad back.
Eventually, though, both decided to cut back their court time and give their bodies and minds a rest.
Federer took six months off before his Australian open victory and both men are now concentrating on the majors instead of playing every week to try to get all the ranking pointson offer.
Interestingly, though, Nadal is number one in the rankingsand Federer is number two.
Another reason for the older players’ come back has been injuries suffered by the next generation.
Twelve-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic, last year’s US Open champ Stan Wawrinka and last year’s number one ranked men’s player Andy Murray, all missed this year’s US open because of injuries.
Nadal defeatedDusan Lajovic, Taro Daniel, Leonardo Mayer, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Andrey Rublev, Juan Martin del Potro and Kevin Anderson to win the title.
Good players, butapart from del Potro, Federer and the three men who pulled out would have been heavy favourites against each of them.
Djokovic took over as the world’s top playerfor a few years, but now he is back to chasing, and learning from, Nadal and Federer. After two years of playing with tennis elbow he has accepted he too needs a rest so he will not be playing again until 2018.
His elbow will benefit and so will his mind. And that last point is one of the main reasons I’ve been writing about professional tennis today.
Everything we do, even if we love it and it is not physically taxing, can be tiring, and if we keep at it for too long, it can lose some of its appeal.
So, while hard work is essential for success, if we want to enjoy our work and carry on succeeding, knowing when to take a break can be just as important.