The finals of the Wimbledontennis finals was a great example of how two top athletes successfully coped with pressure. Even though one lost and the other won, both men displayed an amazing ability to cope with pressure and performed at extremely high levels of play for more than 3 hours.
Andy Murray, the underdog, had lost to Roger Federer the only other 2 times they played on the grass courts. Roger had won the tournament 6 times before, has been ranked the number one tennis player in the world for long periods of time seemed to be unstoppable. In addition, Murray, an Englishman ( actually Scottish) was playing the premier tournament inEnglandwhich had not been won by an Englishman is more than 70 years. The entire country was counting on him to win!
To his credit Murray said just before the match, “If I play well today, there is a good chance I good win.” Murray did play well in fact, and seemed to cope with the surrounding pressure and the pressure of the match quite well. His opponent, Roger Federer, just played too well.
Roger, the old man of tennis as the age of 30. looked fit as a fiddle and cool and a cucumber. There were no signs of having problems coping with pressure, even after losing the first set. With enormous confidence based on a lot of experience, great success and the knowledge that he has come back from being down a set or even two sets before and come back to win, Roger seemed to be enjoying the moment rather than thinking of regaining his number 1 ranking and his seventh Wimbleton.
Most of us will never be under the type of pressure these 2 great athletes were and we certainly will not likely play any sport at the World Class level, however we can learn to cope with pressure like champions do.
A positive mental attitude, staying in the present moment and enjoying the experience are key ideas that will help develop and maintain the ability to more effectively cope with pressure whether it is in sports, business or our personal lives.