What makes "true champions" [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

What makes "true champions"

A_Skywalker
12-30-2005, 10:08 AM
What is the difference , what makes one player a good player . Is it his heart , the love to the sport , or he's just born good . What do you think ?
I think that the most important thing is your heart , if you are ready to give it to the tennis , the good results will always come . And that is the difference between good players and the true champions . If you give your heart , your soul , if you love to do what you do , then you will be always on top .

RonE
12-30-2005, 10:14 AM
It basically comes down to this- consolidating on your opportunities and converting the break/set/match points you have, while saving break/set/match points against you, and raising the level of play at the critical moments is what separates the men from the boys. Oh, and of course being able to do it match after match, tournament after tournament :)

Hola Mr. SK
12-30-2005, 10:32 AM
It basically comes down to this- consolidating on your opportunities and converting the break/set/match points you have, while saving break/set/match points against you, and raising the level of play at the critical moments is what separates the men from the boys. Oh, and of course being able to do it match after match, tournament after tournament :)
Classic! :)
the true champions basically come down to Ron's siggy. ;)

AgassiDomination
12-30-2005, 05:52 PM
Amount of GS's :p

Florencia
12-30-2005, 06:24 PM
It is a mixture of heart and natural talent. If you lack one of them, you cannot be a champion. I leave you a quote:

"Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them -- a desire, a dream, a vision."
Muhammad Ali

World Beater
12-30-2005, 07:52 PM
belief

Rex
12-30-2005, 08:22 PM
a bit of everything- your heart, your genes, your life, but personally i think its not the players ability but his willingness to give up everything to be the best, someone who really wants it- i think mcenroe is the best example to me ..........just my opinion

Mistaflava
12-30-2005, 08:23 PM
the looks of your girlfriend or wife....


oh and Grand Slam wins

1sun
12-30-2005, 09:11 PM
the ablitiy to win. its quite simple really.

angiel
12-30-2005, 09:38 PM
Lessons from a champion



[October 29, 2003 Zenaida A. Amador] IN an exclusive interview one night over BBC, Pete Sampras fielded a lot of questions on his career as a tennis champion for six straight years.

Two questions and answers intrigued me no end. The first question asked of Sampras was about when he decided to pursue his career seriously. Meaning serious to the point of being determined enough to win all those titles.

Pete Sampras answered that he was just happy sailing along in the game as the number six player in the world. He was enjoying himself, no pressure, happy where he was. And then one day, at a match which he lost and he realized he could have won, the defeat was so stinging that he decided he wanted to be number one. He realized it meant a lot of hardwork and pressure, but at that moment it became crystal clear to him that he wanted to be dead serious about the game. He was going to the top and he was going to stay there. The rest is tennis history.


What struck me is how a defeat led to hundreds of victories. The defeat did not overwhelm Sampras, it spurred him to glory, fame and money.


The second question was about what helped Sampras stay on top. And how he kept his cool everytime there were bad line calls and he did not like umpire's decisions or when his opponent was rude or ill-mannered. Sampras answered that he just focused on what he had to do to win. He said it was a waste of time and energy to argue or quarrel. That was not part of the game. Not part of the sport. There you have it. Jewels of wisdom from a true champion. Victory indeed, is often achieved in the mind.

angiel
12-30-2005, 09:48 PM
What makes a champion?

September 12, 2002, Times UK. by Simon Barnes



There are few truly great champions, but Pete Sampras has just proved himself one by conquering his demons to win his 14th Grand Slam event. Our correspondent says genuine sporting greatness defies analysis - but we know it when we see it

Pete Sampras is one of the greatest athletes in history and the most successful tennis player who ever drew breath. He came to Wimbledon this year as a man who had won 13 Grand Slam events, more than anyone in history. He has won Wimbledon seven times. There is nowhere in the world where he plays better, where he feels stronger. It is his place. How could he fall so low, then? How could he be reduced to a morose, hunched, troubled, brooding figure ?a sort of Rodin statue entitled Self-Doubt? There he was on Wimbledon Court Two ?that the one they call he graveyard of champions??slumped in his chair, like a schoolboy punished for something the other fellow did, a picture of bewilderment, a lost soul.

Icarus without his wings, Samson without his hair, Superman beset by green Kryptonite: a man gelded by self-doubt and by Time. It was but the second round of the tournament, and there, incomprehensibly, Sampras was losing.

He was losing to a chap named George Bastl, who was ranked 145 in the world. It was an afternoon of piercing sadness.

All through the match, Sampras sought to stem the tide and put Time into reverse gear. He did so by means of a piece of paper, which he carried in his pocket like a holy relic. He drew it out at each change of ends to read and re-read. It was nothing less than an act of prayer.

It was a letter from his wife, Bridgette. It was the written version of a full-on marital hug: the kind of hug you need when you wake in the night and the demons come. y husband, seven times Wimbledon champion Pete . . .?Gill Allen, the Times photographer at the match, took the Picture that Said It All. The letter was plainly legible: full of urgent sweetness and shared trouble, things that are part of every marriage. A good marriage makes every bad day at the office bearable: this was the self-doubt, the despair, of one of the great champions. emember this. You are truly the best tennis player ever to pick up a tennis racket.?

The only snag about the letter was that it didn actually work. Bastl held his nerve, and Sampras failed to locate his own. Bastl won 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4. It was an epic of despair. And all of us who have a good understanding of these things knew then that Sampras would never be a champion again. With that 13th Grand Slam success he had reached a peak that no one else had climbed: and was sated. Age, marriage, content, achievement: these things had unmanned him. No wonder he needed the letter: no wonder it didn work. Goodbye, Pete. It has been a joy and a privilege watching you.

Please don hang about too long losing, because those of us who knew you as a champion find it painful. Retire, go gently into that good night, leave the arena of pain. Goodnight, sweet Pete, and flights of Bridgettes sing thee to thy rest.

We didn run the picture of the letter in The Times, it being a piece of private correspondence. But Sampras gave us permission to run it today, so thanks, Pete. And why the hell shouldn he give us permission to reveal his moment of weakness in such detail? He is a champion again. Remember those 13 Grand Slam successes I mentioned earlier? Erase that from your mind.

Make it 14.

On Sunday evening in New York he won the US Open. He beat the great Andre Agassi in the final, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. It was pretty agonising stuff: Sampras was masterful initially, then Agassi came steaming back in and found Sampras once again a victim of self-doubt. His serve is not just his weapon, it is his fortress: but the walls cracked and crumbled and he began to double-fault on big points: never a good sign.

In the last two sets Agassi was all over him. Sampras was doing his bewildered-bear walk again. No letter: just occasionally mute glances up at the seating where a pretty blonde woman sat nursing a bump and anxiety.

And he won. Just like that. Speaking as someone not inexperienced in watching the pivotal moment of a big sporting occasion, I have simply no idea at all what happened. It was as if Sampras just decided to win: and that decision was irrevocable. Bang: Agassi broken. Double-bang: Pete serving like a tsunami. In an eye blink or two, it was all over, Agassi washed away.

In those two games we saw the Sampras of old: there was music in the air again and all the old powers were there intact. He is not that ancient ?at 31 he is a year younger than Agassi ?but he has travelled, he has climbed peaks, and he has known little rest. He won his first Grand Slam event at 19 and went into a decline for a full year: he confessed, with an honesty that shocked many, that the esponsibility?of being a champion was too much for him. Old tennis hands scoffed and said he lacked the mettle of a real champion. Being a champion tends to demand that little bit of insensitivity ?after all, the only way to become a champion is by destroying lots of other people as you go ?but Sampras has always had a touch of sensitivity, a touch of vulnerability. He doesn work by naked aggression and demonic, obsessional motivation.

There is something a little mystical about him. His trademark is the second-serve ace: the ultimate piece of high-speed, high-power nerve-holding in tennis poker game. It is a shattering ploy when it comes off: showing your greatest strength at the moment of greatest weakness.

Sampras was asked what was going through his mind when he had played such a shot at the turning point of a game. After a moment thought, he said: here was absolutely nothing going through my mind at the time.?

This is nothing less than pure Zen: and it has been recognised as such by the Zen master Sister Elaine McInnes in her book Zen Contemplation: n action, Sampras lets go, and gives over to that inner momentum . . . in the Orient, not-knowing is highest wisdom.?It is one further mystery in sport greatest of all mysteries. All elite athletes are very good, but only some of them are serial winners, champions for all time. Why has Sampras won 14 Grand Slam events and Tim Henman none? Sampras has shown that he is as prone to fits of self-doubt as any of us. Yet he is a champion. What is still greater is that he lost whatever it is that makes people champions, and then found it again.

Muhammad Ali was also washed up and defeated for ever on more than one occasion. He came back not once but twice. In all he won the world heavyweight championship three times. There was always a feeling of destiny about Ali: and it had nothing to do with the civil rights movement, for all that this is an inextricable part of his story. It was about his desire to win: to be the best. ing of the World!?he shouted after he had beaten Sonny Liston for his first championship.

ing of the World!?Steve Redgrave, the oarsman, went into the Sydney Olympics two years ago as the weak link of a defeated crew. He had set off in pursuit of an impossible fifth gold medal, having famously told the world that anyone who saw him in a boat again had full permission to shoot him. He then contracted diabetes. He had more than enough excuses to give up: or at least lose.

But he didn. A man with a strange obsession who sought to turn pain into gold, and did it again and again. An aspect of his greatness is that he never got bored. But why? Don ask him. That sort of thing is always as much a mystery to the athlete as to the spectator.

Sebastian Coe won his first Olympic medal in Moscow in 1980. Partly he did it for his father, Peter, who was his coach. Four years on and coaching himself, he had been written off for the Los Angeles Olympics after disastrous preparation. In Moscow he won like a gazelle, all pure, beautiful talent and naivety. In Los Angeles he won by means of wild storming aggression that should have got him locked up. ho says I ++++ing finished??he raged at the press afterwards, eyes like organ stops.

Calm down, Seb, youe won. ho says I ++++ing finished??Many athletes use hatred, often hatred of the press, as a motivation.

Others use their loyalty to a coach, or even to a marriage partner. Others work some personal mythology of greatness and destiny. Lord knows what Sampras?uses: he is pretty close with his secrets (apart from his adoration of his wife) and, Zen-like, avoids too-close analysis.

But all the great champions, the very few for whom the word reat?can be used without embarrassment, have something beyond these common motivational forces. They may use various mental tricks to trigger it ?love, hatred, lust for glory ?but the real motivation for greatness is subtle and elusive of analysis.

There have been oarsmen as strong as Redgrave, runners as fast as Coe, boxers who punch as hard as Ali. There have been tennis players who hit the ball as hard and as accurately as Sampras: but only one man has won 14 Grand Slam events. It is not because of his tennis ?nor even because of his wife ?that Sampras is truly the best tennis player ever to pick up a tennis racket. He, like the other few genuine greats, has that within that passes show and defies analysis.

But we know it when we see it all right: and it is high and rare and beautiful. And terrible.

Agassi Aces
12-30-2005, 10:08 PM
I also see a Champion as somebody with charisma........ somebody who can raise his game when it counts. For example Sampras and Federer serving aces on break points. Somebody who comes back from the brink of defeat many times- Andre Agassi (nearly retired few times!)

cobalt60
12-30-2005, 11:05 PM
It basically comes down to this- consolidating on your opportunities and converting the break/set/match points you have, while saving break/set/match points against you, and raising the level of play at the critical moments is what separates the men from the boys. Oh, and of course being able to do it match after match, tournament after tournament :)
Agree! Those in the top 100 already have the talent,but to stay there must have the work ethic and heart or they drop in the rankings. Guts and smarts get you into the top 10 for me.

Bagelicious
12-31-2005, 01:33 AM
the ablitiy to win. its quite simple really.

But what defines that ability? How does one do it on a constant basis? For example: Marat Safin has the ability to win. Would you really call him a 'true' champion?

jacobhiggins
12-31-2005, 04:48 AM
Safins a really good player, but he's not a champion like Sampras and Federer and Borg!!! There's a difference!!!

Lopaka
12-31-2005, 06:59 AM
I think the true mark of a champion is the ability to deal with adversity. We watched several of our top men hit rough spots in Shanghai. It will be interesting to see how each returns to competition. Will their careers continue in a seamless manner or will Shanghai prove to be a benchmark.

Rafael Nadal gets the majority of my attention. Besides hoping his recovery and rehabilitation is progressing well, I also am hoping all his play of 2005 has not caused any burnout or loss of his exuberance and enthusiasm. Shanghai for Rafa may well be a positive step in the development of a better rounded player and a man fully deserving the title of champion.

mojo37_12
12-31-2005, 11:42 AM
Also, champions surround themselves with people who are supportive and caring. The rigors and pressures of playing in the tour is already too much for a player that bad relationships and social problems should be the least of their problems. See Dokic and Peirce.

RonE
12-31-2005, 12:20 PM
But what defines that ability? How does one do it on a constant basis? For example: Marat Safin has the ability to win. Would you really call him a 'true' champion?

Going back to my post Safin has the ability to raise his level at the crucial moments and that puts him in the very good player slot. His problem is with my last sentence: the ability to do it match after match tournament after tournament. Here, for various reasons he was not able to it so far in his career and therefore does not yet fit the bill of 'great player'.

However it is not too late. If there comes a point where he will start to string it together on a consistent basis over an extended period of time then he will join those ranks.

Agassi up until later in his career was not considered a 'great' player precisely because of this very reason. When he reached #1 for the first time and seemed to be piling on the titles in 1995 it seemed he had made the transition from very good to great, however it was shortlived as he spiralled down the rankings until he pulled himself back together in the late 90's and from that point on really produced consistent results.

cobalt60
12-31-2005, 12:22 PM
Going back to my post Safin has the ability to raise his level at the crucial moments and that puts him in the very good player slot. His problem is with my last sentence: the ability to do it match after match tournament after tournament. Here, for various reasons he was not able to it so far in his career and therefore does not yet fit the bill of 'great player'.

However it is not too late. If there comes a point where he will start to string it together on a consistent basis over an extended period of time then he will join those ranks.

Agassi up until later in his career was not considered a 'great' player precisely because of this very reason. When he reached #1 for the first time and seemed to be piling on the titles in 1995 it seemed he had made the transition from very good to great, however it was shortlived as he spiralled down the rankings until he pulled himself back together in the late 90's and from that point on really produced consistent results.
I think it is called Maturity;)

RonE
12-31-2005, 12:29 PM
Sorry- just one more thing to add in response to kajonie's post. How does one win on a consistent basis? First of all there needs to be ability. Second of all, health is a definite prerequisite. Assuming those two things are present the missing ingredients are hunger, determination and motivation.

How does one keep one's self motivated? If anyone can come up with a universal answer to this question this person is going to be making a hell of a lot of money. But to answer this question on a more practical level I suppose one would need to set one's self short term goals and work on from there.

Take Roger Federer for example- how many times has he been asked about breaking Sampras' grand slam record. But he adamantly refuses to be drawn into it (quite rightly so) as looking at things from that perspective is just too daunting and big. He knows the way to eventually achieve this goal would be to concentrate on the immediate future. Win the next tournament he enters, get ready for the next grand slam or TMS event and build on from there. Every year he sets himself goals and strives to achieve those goals taking every tournament as it comes along.

RonE
12-31-2005, 12:31 PM
I think it is called Maturity;)

Maturity is part of it, yes. But go back to my last post as I said you can be able bodied, talented beyond belief, plentiful in wisdom and insight but if you do not have the desire and motivation it all counts for nought.

cobalt60
12-31-2005, 12:41 PM
Maturity is part of it, yes. But go back to my last post as I said you can be able bodied, talented beyond belief, plentiful in wisdom and insight but if you do not have the desire and motivation it all counts for nought.
Off topic but Ron ever think about being a sports psychologist?
Very enlightening and on target posts dude :worship:

RonE
12-31-2005, 12:53 PM
Off topic but Ron ever think about being a sports psychologist?
Very enlightening and on target posts dude :worship:

Sports psychologist? If you ever have the dubious honour of watching my conduct on the tennis court you would come to the inevitable conclusion that far from being able to administer psychological treatment I myself would be in need of it :p

cobalt60
12-31-2005, 12:56 PM
Sports psychologist? If you ever have the dubious honour of watching my conduct on the tennis court you would come to the inevitable conclusion that far from being able to administer psychological treatment I myself would be in need of it :p
:lol: Ah so easier to talk about it then doing it :p

RonE
12-31-2005, 12:58 PM
:lol: Ah so easier to talk about it then doing it :p

Of course. Therein lies the beauty of internet message boards ;)

A_Skywalker
12-31-2005, 02:46 PM
Also, champions surround themselves with people who are supportive and caring. The rigors and pressures of playing in the tour is already too much for a player that bad relationships and social problems should be the least of their problems. See Dokic and Peirce.

I agree with that , you cant have problems in your life if u wanna be good in the tennis court .

RonE
12-31-2005, 02:56 PM
I agree with that , you cant have problems in your life if u wanna be good in the tennis court .

It is not accurate to say "you can't have problems in your life" as everyone has some problems to some extent. It is how you are able to deal with those problems and not let them affect you when you are out on the court. Even if they do affect you while you play it is being able to overcome the mental hurdle and win despite of them- the classic Sampras vs. Courier clash in the 1995 AO is a great example of this.

nobama
12-31-2005, 04:34 PM
Sorry- just one more thing to add in response to kajonie's post. How does one win on a consistent basis? First of all there needs to be ability. Second of all, health is a definite prerequisite. Assuming those two things are present the missing ingredients are hunger, determination and motivation.

How does one keep one's self motivated? If anyone can come up with a universal answer to this question this person is going to be making a hell of a lot of money. But to answer this question on a more practical level I suppose one would need to set one's self short term goals and work on from there.

Take Roger Federer for example- how many times has he been asked about breaking Sampras' grand slam record. But he adamantly refuses to be drawn into it (quite rightly so) as looking at things from that perspective is just too daunting and big. He knows the way to eventually achieve this goal would be to concentrate on the immediate future. Win the next tournament he enters, get ready for the next grand slam or TMS event and build on from there. Every year he sets himself goals and strives to achieve those goals taking every tournament as it comes along.
:worship: Great post.

angiel
12-31-2005, 08:11 PM
A common thread amongst them is Grace - a silent knowing - they set their sights on where they want to go and never look back. Setting Goals, they Strive to surpass Personal Bests. With a Positive Attitude, Commitment,
Faith, Perseverance, a bit of Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, Overcoming
Limitations, Commitment, Attention to Detail. Unwavering in their Quest for Success, they are Relentless and Consistent and very Professional.

rosespower
12-31-2005, 08:37 PM
i think that the work is important but is important the star under you were born too....because if you are 1,50 m you cant be a basketball player even you love it....anyway is not a good example....but i really think is very important where in what family you are born....

sigmagirl91
12-31-2005, 09:31 PM
i think that the work is important but is important the star under you were born too....because if you are 1,50 m you cant be a basketball player even you love it....anyway is not a good example....but i really think is very important where in what family you are born....

A person born into a well-to-do family may have the material means to achieve stardom, but he or she may not have the ambition or the drive . On the flip side, a person born into a not-so-well-to-do family may not have the material means but the ambition and drive.

A person with ambition and drive will develop his or her talent and find the means to bring it to the masses. It really doesn't matter about wealth. Many tennis stars are not born with silver spoons in their mouths; many had to seek help from friends, neighbors, etc. to help them achieve their success.

Sue
12-31-2005, 09:47 PM
A true champion? Maybe the lines from Kipling above the entrance to the Centre Court at Wimbledon hold the answer..........

'If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same.'

Fedex
12-31-2005, 10:29 PM
The ability to handle, and win under pressure.

drf716
01-02-2006, 11:00 AM
at the end of the day a true champion is who you the fan thinks as a true champion