Roger Federer and fans enjoyed a straight sets victory today in Monte Carlo vs. Italian Andreas Seppi (6-4, 6-4). And for some reason the press decided only to ask him about tennis, afterwards. I thought by today we’d be onto bridesmaid dresses and cake flavor, but oh well.
The most interesting part of the interview came when a (brave) journalist asked Roger about using a sport’s psychologist. Here’s what Mr. “I don’t work on weaknesses” had to say about that.
Q. Some players use sports psychologists seemingly more and more these days. Have you ever used one? What do you think of the idea of using one?
ROGER FEDERER: I had one back in ’97/’98, I think, yeah, kind of during that time, for one and a half years. There it was more like anger management, you know (smiling). That was what it was about for me then.
I pretty quickly realized it was basically up to me and not someone else to tell me how to behave, because my parents were telling me anyway, friends as well. Other players were saying, What is wrong with you? That was just up to me to decide when I wanted to take that step and say, you know what, let’s try the quiet version of the Roger Federer. So that was pretty funny.
But, no, other than that, I never really considered one, you know. Honestly, I don’t know if many have used and that it’s been beneficial.
Q. Do you think they offer something to people, something extra to the players?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know. I think I feel like in different sports maybe I think they can be very beneficial. But I think tennis is quite a unique sport in the sense that we’ve got to take a decision so short term. I don’t know. There’s no time to waste. There’s no real trick behind winning a tennis match. You cannot sleep all night and still play great; and you can prepare as good as you can, you know, and play the worst match of your life. So there’s not a real preparation you can do really to make you play your best tennis.
Then decision making happens so quickly, and confidence is such a good factor that winning matches is what does it to you and losing matches does the opposite. So I think tennis is not the best example for that kind of stuff.
What do you think? If you had to choose for Federer, would you pick a sports psychologist or a new coach? I say coach, all the way.
Roger Federer will play his friend and countryman Stan Wawrinka in the next round.
Click here to read the full transcript.