Ivan Lendl: "If you can be good at your job and have a good time doing it you'll be better at it" © Bob Thomas/Getty Images
Ivan Lendl: "If you can be good at your job and have a good time doing it you'll be better at it" © Bob Thomas/Getty Images

Bring out the best like Ivan Lendl

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
14 July 2017

One of the toughest business tricks is keeping your team motivated, something the tennis pro-turned-coach clearly understands

Workplaces are made up of many different personality types, but perhaps one of the most challenging is someone like Andy Murray, who could be described as a moody perfectionist.

After Murray won Wimbledon for the first time in 2013 – the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 – he said of Lendl: “He believed in me when other people didn’t.”

Before his historic win many doubted Murray had what it took to clinch a title. He would look physically worn out during matches and have emotional outbursts – not the traits associated with a winner. And he has been through 10 coaches in 11 years.

But Lendl saw something in him. The Czech-born player, a Wimbledon champ himself and considered among the best of all time, was approached by Murray’s camp in 2011 to see if he would coach, something he had never done before.

“Andy is probably the only player I would work with,” he said in 2012. “I knew going in that he was a hard worker and that was the most important thing.”

Lendl and Murray also had one crucial thing in common. Both had been finalists in four Grand Slams before winning the fifth. “I understand how he feels,” said Lendl. “Some players learn quicker than others. I was one of the slower players. You just go, do your thing, keep doing it and when the door is open you step through it. But you have to be ready to step through it.”

 

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