“I play because I have fun, if I don’t have fun on the court, there is something wrong. I am just a 19 year old boy that likes to do what he likes, nothing else.”

Rafael Nadal, French Open Champion Daily Express 6/20/05

DR G’S COMMENTS: Nadal has broken into the top 10 in the world as a tennis player partially because he has the right attitude about his sport. Even at the very highest level of the game, Nadal understands that the secret to competitive success comes from having fun before and during your competitions. FUN is the biggest, least understood secret to your success as an athlete. It’s a personal ticket to reaching your full athletic potential. When you go into a competition with having fun as your primary goal, then you’ll end up performing loose and relaxed. It’s this loose, relaxed state that is so crucial to peak performance. FUN is the biggest antidote to crunch-time competitive pressure. It will keep you cool and calm in the clutch. There’s no question that FUN will bring you to the “promised-land” in your sport. If you get into loving what you’re doing, enjoying the challenge and struggle, the ups and downs, then you’ll most often come out on top. Without FUN you become vulnerable to the “seriousness” disease where you’ll be easily distracted by the importance of the outcome. (“This is a really big game. I have to play well. I can’t let my team down. We really need to win so we can advance to the playoffs. Blah…Blah…Blah!” When you get serious you’ll get tight, and when you get tight, you can just kiss your game good-bye. So get with the program. Get your priorities straight. If you want to play well, have fun FIRST!

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