Monday, 3 September 2007
Andy Murray, Tennis and Motivation
Amanullah De Sondy
BBC Radio Scotland
Thursday 1 June 2006
I've been worrying about tennis lately - partly because when I started to write this I was quite nervous about a doubles final match in a tennis tournament at my local club.
And partly because of the continuing drama of Andy Murray and his injuries... He's been defeated in another grand slam - the Roland Garros - and I can't help feeling sorry for him.
He's still only 19 years old. As the boy becomes a man we hope his game will mature and become more consistent. Murray said in an interview that he thought the body is stronger against aches and pains in its mid twenties. Not that I want to take over as his next coach, but I feel the lad needs some breathing space amongst all this pressure.
As an aspiring tennis player myself I was pushed by my school friend to play as often as I could. I remember finding it all too much at times, caught between being pressured and supported. From being intimidated and fearing the power of the tennis ball, to the testosterone raging within my male opponents who looked ready to kill, I quickly learnt that a lot of the game was in fact in the head. I knew my supporters wanted me to achieve the best I could but the pressure was really hard. Maybe we fans need to support more and pressure less so that we can see real development in all talent.
Everyone finds their own way of coping with pressure. The French player, Mary Pierce, who won the Roland Garros Ladies title in the year two thousand, says she plays tennis to serve God and whatever happens she leaves in his hands, win or lose.
I believe that keeping pressure in perspective, and seeing the wider picture, is a personal search and a challenge which we may or may not have control over. Whether it’s in sport or everyday life.
And you’ll be wondering about the result of my match - well, maybe God wasn't on my side this time!