Yesterday I discovered the word ‘GOAT’ on social media. I always imagined this phrase was in reference to the cute woolly mammal, but in this particular case the saying is much more meaningful.
I have always been an avid spectator of tennis. Being a Melburnian, watching the Australian Open has always been on the top of my priority list. I’m still in awe of this year’s finals season. How lucky were we to witness second seed Serena and her older sister, Venus Williams going head to head, followed by two iconic players – no stranger to Grand Slam tennis – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal! Just wow. Even if you’re not a huge fan, you couldn’t help but get caught up in the fanfare.
Since their finals triumph, Roger Federer and Serena Williams have been labelled GOATS – but why? The answer’s simple. They’re widely considered the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT).
The person behind the player:
Beyond their incredible sporting prowess, all four champions were courageous and gracious in both victory and defeat. This is a very attractive trait.
Just weeks before the Federer-Nadal match, a number of commentators came out writing them both off as it had been over five years since either won a Grand Slam title. How wrong were they!
Serena and Venus – two sisters playing the same sport and only a year apart in age. You may presume there’s a lot of cynicism between them. Wrong again. They are super close. They share a healthy rivalry and what’s even more special is that they regularly have dinner together.
Serena attributes all of her success to Venus, quoting to the Seven Network: “She’s my inspiration, she’s the only reason I am standing here today.”
Both should be very proud. Venus at age 36 is the oldest Australian Open finalist in the modern, professional era. And Serena, thanks to her latest finals win now holds a record breaking 23 Grand Slam championships! What a feat.
Federer should be pretty pleased too. After just completing his 100th Australian Open game, he now possesses 18 Grand Slam singles titles (more than any other man) amongst many other outstanding achievements.
So what can we learn from this year’s Australian Open?
- Sportsmanship is still well and truly alive. No matter a person’s race, gender or political standpoint, sport brings people together.
- Age is no factor. With all four finalists in their mid 30s, it’s fair to say, greatness can flourish at any age.
- Self-belief is the greatest foundation one can hold onto when pursuing a dream. When critics count you out, it’s your own internal GPS that keeps the spark alive. It most certainly works for these four legends time and time again!
- In order to excel at any task, keep your eye on the ball (excuse the pun). Keep focused. Never lose sight of the bigger picture no matter the task at hand. Give every opportunity everything you’ve got.
- Routine is definitely a key attribute to a successful story. For a professional tennis player, their days are like clockwork. I’m not saying you need to do the same thing every day – definitely not. But it’s imperative to prioritise key tasks and not get distracted. Instead, once completing an errand, reward yourself by taking a short break before getting straight back into it. We all share an equal amount of hours so make each one count.
- Be authentic. Be kind and gracious. Be courageous. You might be the world’s most renowned expert in your field, but if you don’t possess any of these qualities, you’re counting yourself short – not to mention those in your presence. Why put on a front and pretend to be somebody else? Be you. No matter the day at hand, show up with a genuine smile on your face and a positive attitude. Happiness is contagious, so why not spread it around?
Don’t gloat, instead be the goat.
Gianna Lucas xx