Novak Djokovic offers insight into champion mentality in 'weak’ moments

Novak Djokovic offers insight into champion mentality in 'weak’ moments

Novak Djokovic offered a fascinating insight into his champion’s mindset when he discussed his health problems at the Paris Masters.

Early in the match, Djokovic was struck by a stomach bug that he admitted 'spent more time on the toilet seat than on the court’.

He was uncharacteristically sluggish in his third-round match against Talon Creekspor, which he narrowly won in three sets.

That continued in his next two matches against Holkar Roon and Andrey Rublev, which he won before securing the title against Grigor Dimitrov in the final.

But how was he able to overcome it?

Novak Djokovic feels 'weak’

„I’m not a doctor, so I can’t give medical advice,” Djokovic told a reporter when asked if he had any advice for a journalist’s wife suffering from a stomach bug similar to Djokovic’s.

„I guess, you know, everybody’s different, but, you know, hydration is important to me, I think, for anything, really. I can’t speak for your wife or anybody else, you know, what kind of diet helps or doesn’t help.

“You know, I can’t eat much these days, so I only eat once a day and then I don’t eat anything. Stay hydrated because if I put anything in my mouth you know it will come out very quickly.

„And then of course you feel dizzy, you always feel dehydrated. You feel weak.

„But I guess, you know, for a professional athlete, once you’re out on the court, it’s basically very clear. The situations and feelings that you’re having at that moment either allow you to master them or you try to master them in a way. So there’s no in between.

„So you fold and retire, or you know, quit the match, or you try to get the adrenaline that you feel from the crowd, from the speed that you feel. The court.

“It helped me get extra motivation, extra energy this week.

“I experience stomach bugs just like everyone else. Maybe for me it was shorter than your wife, I don’t know, but it was three, four days of great struggle. So Sunday (the finals) was the first day I felt like I was behind me.

Of course, Paris was far from the only time Djokovic overcame injury and illness to somehow win tournaments. He’s done it so much that opponents, unfairly, suggested he faked an injury earlier. However, he clearly isn’t, and he has the record to prove it.

How diet saved Djokovic’s life

Nowadays, Novak Djokovic is famous for his ability to play long matches tirelessly, but that wasn’t always the case.

Early in his career, he suffered major physical injuries during matches that forced him to retire from matches. However, that changed when he discovered a gluten intolerance.

As a result he changed his diet and published a book. Serve to Win, a 14-day gluten-free plan for physical and mental excellence, In case.

„My life changed when I started eating foods that fit my body, the way my body demanded it,” Djokovic explains in the book.

“Every morning when I wake up, I drink a glass of water and stretch for 20 minutes mixed with yoga or tai chi. For the day ahead, I eat a breakfast that is perfectly calibrated to my body—the same breakfast almost every day of my life.

Read next: ’Novak Djokovic is the best,’ says veteran ATP ace

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