By NewsGram Staff Writer
The pressures of being a professional athlete can take the heat out of the best of players. The top ones are able to deal with it as a part and parcel of the whole gamut of professional sport.
Novak Djokovic, the top tennis player in the world is regarded as one of the strongest tennis players when it comes mental toughness.
After recording yet another comfortable straight sets victory in Wimbledon’s Centre Court on Friday, Djokovic was asked what goes through his mind when he plays.
“I try to put myself only in the present moment, not fight against the thoughts and the pressure and the excitement, but just acknowledge them and be aware of present thoughts but also try to keep my composure and calm,” the defending champion said.
Situated on a leafy suburban street at a five minute walk from the All England Club, the Buddhapadipa Temple has been visited by Djokovic for quiet contemplation for several years now.
“Novak came here on his own. He just walked in and said hello to the people here and went on to meditate on his own”, an orange-robed Phramaha, one of seven Buddhist Monks who lives at the temple told The Independent.
The Serbian player usually meditates early in the morning when the grounds are quiet. He is respectful of the surroundings but does not speak to the monks.
“Sometimes he asks our staff to open the main temple for him, so he can get inside and sit still for a while there,” Phramaha said.
“I think he’s learned how to meditate on his own. He walks around the temple and spends one or two hours alone. He just comes to the temple to enjoy nature, the peace and the beautiful environment”, the full time monk added.
Decorated by a shady walkway weaved between trees and several arched wooden bridges that ascend into a grand staircase, it is easy to see why the world No.1 chooses to visit the temple so often.
Intricate murals and a floor strewn with Buddha statues and candles further amplify the beauty of the temple. Further accentuating the charm are a series of wooden signs engraved with Buddhist teachings put alongside the path.
“Though one may conquer a thousand men in battle, the one who conquers himself is the greater warrior,” the sign reads.
According to the Phramaha, meditation is helpful for athletes as it focuses the mind on solving “the problem in front of you”–in this case playing on a point-to-point basis.
“Just focusing on the now: that’s the benefit of meditation”, remarks the dynamic player Djokovic.