I really enjoy playing and watching tennis. From Connors (Determination / Cool), Chang (High School), Roddick (Serve / USA), and now Rafael Nadal (Mental, Physical Giant, & Federer Dominator). If you have had a chance to see Rafael Nadal on the red dirt he is a Gladiator / Matador of the highest order. Playing tennis on clay is the most demanding surface mentally and physically.
Rafael Nadal is the greatest clay court player of all time, but will probably end up as the greatest tennis player of all time barring injury. So how does this relate back to developer skills and the trying times we live in. The fact he is constantly trying improve and relentless in his determination. (Olympic Gold Medalist, Wimbledon and Australian Open Champion)
Here are few quotes about and from him:
"All the hard work, the dedication I put into it was well worth it. And that is what sport is really about. A victory tastes amazing only if it is the result of hard work."
"But I know everything is very difficult. Every title, I know how tough it is to win every one. "I don't know if I'm going to win more. "You never know when that (will) stop. So you have to be precautious, be humble, and continue working."
Peter Bodo, tennis.com Senior Editor
"Twenty-two is a pretty young age to claim you're the greatest ever, at anything ... This inability to slow down, lose interest or rest on his laurels is a key to understanding Nadal, and it points to some of his extraordinary virtues as a competitor. Chief among these is his sheer love of tennis combat."
"Why should Rafa even care? ... because it isn't about checking things off a to-do list (de-throne Roger Federer; win Olympic gold, take the title in Melbourne. . .), it's about loving your job, which for me means going out every day to prove that I'm the baddest hombre on the planet."
"No player in our era has shown such a profound and simple love of competition, and it's that devotion to the process that has enabled Nadal to transcend the stereotype of a 'clay-court specialist.'"
Psychologist Allen Fox, author of "The Winner's Mind" and a former touring pro:
"You know he's never going to quit, and it's a nasty prospect .... Nadal has a throwback head to the old guys. Jimmy Connors was probably the last of the bunch, where he went after every point"
Nadal's Davis Cup teammate, Feliciano Lopez:
"He's very ambitious and has demonstrated that he wants it more every day," Lopez said. "In spite of everything that he's already achieved, he still has the same attitude and desire."
Two-time French Open finalist Alex Corretja
"Everything that he's obtained no longer satisfies him, and because it doesn't, what he seeks is to repeat and to win again," Corretja said. "That makes him the greatest one."
Ben Franklin (Couldn't resist)
"Energy and persistence conquer all things."
What impresses me the most about Nadal is his intelligence, drive, commitment, hard work, humility, and hunger for learning.
Here are developer parallels I see from Nadal's character and core attributes:
- Determine to become excellent at Object-Oriented Programming (See Java, Flex, or .NET Platforms)
- Don't stagnate, constantly be learning. Try learning new programming language like C#, Java or new OO framework
- On your programming problems, persist until you succeed. Don't give up and get help. A genius is someone who stay with the problem longer
- Reinvent yourself constantly and solidify base skills such front-end, middle-tier, and database skills.
- Be working on the right objectives and highest value activities
- Get exercise regularly, do what it takes, be creative, consistent, and smart to make sure you exercise
The human body was not designed to spend so much time in front of computer