"It's about respect. It's really easy for these guys to start thinking the world revolves around them. I never could have tolerated it if Rafael had become a good player and a bad example of a human being. I was at a symposium recently and a trainer said to me, 'Look, if you ask a young player's father which he'd rather get at the end of this process - a courteous person or the French Open Champion - you know what the father is going to say.' And I said: 'No, that's all wrong. Because if that player is brought up courteous, brought up as a respectful person, he's got a better chance to reach the championship of the French Open - because it's going to be easier for him to accomplish the hard work."

Toni Nadal, uncle and coach of Rafeal Nadal,  World #1 ranked tennis player        

 

DR. G's COMMENTS: Here we have a window into one of the primary reasons why Rafa Nadal is such a great champion. He has brilliant coaching that emphasizes the importance of what really matters: The process and behaviors of becoming a champion rather than the superficial trappings of the titles. It's a rare champion who practices this lost art of actually conducting himself as one. Far too many professional athletes act like entitled, spoiled-rotten, selfish children. They disrespect their opponents, officials, sports media, fans and the game itself just because they have talent. Their attitude, however, cancels out any talent they might possess. When things go badly for them, they have temper tantrums, flinging their equipment, swearing and generally behaving badly a la infamous tennis super-brat, John McEnroe, a great tennis player and miserable example of a human being.

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