Sunday, July 5, 2009

Finally... He Understands Want Vs. WANT!

A student of mine originally inspired me to write about this topic, but after watching Roddick vs. Federer today in the Wimbledon finals, I decided that Andy deserved the attention. When he began his pro career, Roddick "wanted" to be the best, but never really understood what WANT truly meant. He found early success, winning the U.S. Open, and reaching the top spot on tour, but reality quickly slapped him in the face. Natural talent and good looks wouldn't be enough to stay on top. He weighed over 200 lbs., drank more than his share of beer after matches, and was attracted to the Hollywood scene- ask Mandy Moore. He was a cocky kid who thought all he needed to succeed was a huge serve and forehand. He hired and fired Jimmy Conners and Brad Gilbert as coaches, mainly because they both believed that consistent success came from hard work... not Hard Rock Cafes!

Most everyone who followed the sport had written him off, but something miraculous happened... maybe it was the natural maturation process, or the nausea he felt every time he looked in his trophy case, but he finally began to understand there was a big difference between want and WANT! He hired another coach, and became committed to reaching that elite level of professional tennis. He lost weight, got quicker and stronger, and finally realized that improving his mental game had to be a priority. He was now more focused on the court, not allowing negative situations to destroy him. He wasn't whining like a spoiled little kid anymore, but instead had created an intense stare in his eyes. When I looked at him today, I finally believed that HE believed he could beat Federer.  

I've never been a Roddick fan prior to today's match, but I have to admit... I may have a man-crush on him now! 


Erica said...

it takes a man of great calliber to admit his love for another man.. hahahaaaa

but in all seriousness. he did want it from the bottom of his heart as was seen today. he grinded to 14-15 in the fifth set.. destroying all other records set before to try to stave off fed from winning another slam.

after the loss.. during the awards ceremony you could tell he wanted to cry. he was pissed and upset and mark my words he will win another slam before he retires. when fed said "i was in your position last year, i know what its like to lose" and andy fired back "but you already had five" it was then i knew.. and now know that he will be back.

he simply WANTS it too muchh

Dayne Gingrich said...

First of all... you ARE allowed to capitalize after punctuation!

Second... great reply, and I agree 100%. I have been a huge critic of Andy in the past, mostly because I didn't think he cared for much more than being the Hollywood superstar.

You're right, though- he was PISSSSED when Federer told him, "not to be too sad..." He finally had that look in his eye that all greats have.


Erica Cano said...

im still working on punctuation at all.. remember?

im stoked for the US open.. im sure hell do GREAT!