Andy Murray exclusive: Why tennis is all about teamwork

Andy Murray with tennis racket

News & Insights

MoneyPlus Features Team

27th June 2017 at 11:52am

In an interview with Standard Life as he looks forward to Wimbledon, Andy Murray shares his approach to training and explains why winning is all down to teamwork.

It’s always exciting to see Andy Murray triumph on the court, battling it out with the very best in the world, one-on-one. But winning a trophy is far from a solo effort and his achievements rely on many people’s efforts to make the most of his drive and talent.

The team around Andy has been carefully constructed to ensure that it has all the different types of expertise he has to be able to call on when he needs it, and having the right people is at the very heart of that.

To build the right team, Andy needs to know he can get the personal qualities he’s looking for, as he explains: “A good work ethic, strong values and, if they are travelling with me a lot, fun to be with!”

At this level of the global game, everyone in the team has to have total commitment: “I spend a huge amount of time with them. I always have three people travelling with me – my coach Jamie Delgado, a physio and one of my strength and conditioning team. They are with me for my training blocks and every tournament. Some of them spend more time with me than their families, and I’m very grateful for that.”

Teamwork and trust go hand-in-hand

With the right people in place, developing a stable relationship with them is essential: “The team I’ve got in place has been around me for a while now and that’s good, because it can be unsettling having people leave or new people settling in. It’s important that I can trust the people I work with totally, and that I believe in what they are telling me.”

“It’s important that I can trust the people I work with.”

In a parallel with the financial world, improving performance by just a small percentage can make a huge difference over the long term, and Andy’s team take a painstaking approach: every aspect of his training is analysed in detail and carefully honed.

“We work together on my training plans,” he adds. “The coaches and the strength and conditioning team will work on a plan, with input from me and my physios. It’s important everybody has a say, because it’s all part of the jigsaw in making sure I can perform best in my training and best on court.”

Getting in the match zone

Pre-match preparation is also managed very precisely: “I prepare for every tournament in a similar way. I’m extremely focused on making sure that I’m well rested and hydrated, and that I’m confident I’m ready for the match. I’ll talk through tactics with my coaching team before the match, spend some time with my physio, and then go through my usual warm-up routine. My warm-up is the same every time; it’s an important time for me as it’s really the time where I start to focus and get myself in the zone.”

However, while the analytical and psychological aspects are vital, sometimes Andy just has to put the graft in now to get results in the future. It isn’t always fun and he admits his least favourite are the gruelling heavy weights sessions.

“These involve high weight and low reps,” Andy explains, “so I’m often pretty tired and sore after them. They’re a necessary evil though, and ensure that I maintain the explosive power I need to succeed on the court.”

Again, another parallel with the world of finance. We know that many some of us find putting money away for the future can seem less fun than spending it immediately. But there is a lot to look forward to and the long-term rewards of saving and investing for the future can make any short-term sacrifice well worthwhile.

Always looking ahead to the next opportunity, Andy and his team are never 100% satisfied and constantly fine-tune the whole team’s approach as conditions change: “I continually adjust my training and preparation as new techniques or ideas or technologies come onto the market. I’m probably playing in one of the hardest eras of tennis ever, and you continually have to look at ways to adjust your game to get the edge over the competition.”

So while you’re cheering Andy on at Wimbledon this year (3-16 July), spare a thought for the dedication, precision and teamwork behind every cross-court winner. Although he’s clearly an exceptional athlete, his path to success might feel rather familiar.

Pensions are a long-term investment and the value can go down as well as up. You could get back less than you invested. This article is based on our understanding in June 2017.

 

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