The 2018 Tennis season is well under way and like many others, I am excited to see how one of greatest and most loved players, Roger Federer, will do this year. He is too old to be a champion; yet he is the oldest man to win Wimbledon, has the most Grand Slam titles (19), and is an inspiration to many.
Just as tennis players are working longer, people are too. I think there are some important lessons we can learn from Federer’s success in relation to longevity and navigating a successful career.
Do Something You Love
Of course most professional athletes enjoy the sport they play. But to be the best in the world at something, you have to train and practice daily. Many athletes can burn out at a young age. If you love what you do and don’t want to let age prevent you from continuing to do it, you can take actions to prolong your career.
Create a Work-life Balance
Federer not only manages a successful career, but a family of 4 children and a hectic travel schedule. Creating a work-life balance has allowed him to divide his time, heal and manage injury, and continue to thrive in the sport. While family is an important support system, it is also important to surround yourself with a team to motivate and challenge you professionally.
Use Your Work Experience to Your Advantage
While age affects a growing number of workers, Federer has turned his age into a positive and leveraged his experience to his benefit. He has made a commitment to better fitness, both mental and physical, explored technological advances in equipment, and shown a greater appreciation for his competition. Continuing to set new goals keeps you mentally and physically sharp and at the top of your game or career.
Professionals and athletes who worry about age or ability can take a cue from how Federer has had to adapt to modernization. At 35, Federer switched his tennis racket from the ones he used for much of his career. He's now equally happy at competing at high levels versus just focusing on being number 1 in the world. His passion and understanding of the game is evident every time he steps out on the court!
After all, it wasn’t long ago that many of us feared Roger’s tennis career was coming to an end. There are some things we can learn from the master’s ongoing success that we can translate to our own careers.
Make sure to time to take a different approach if things are stagnant. Identify your strengths and play up to them. Surround yourself with a positive and motivating support system. Most importantly, have confidence in yourself.
Create your own values, be an original! Good luck Roger!
Looking to build a team of Federers?
Boost your career growth by reading these resources: