Novak Djokovic | Meditation, Yoga & Veganism Helped Shape My Success
The Serbian tennis player shares his health and wellbeing tips
Not only does Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic have an entire new coaching team (he installed Andre Agassi as his new coach just before the French Open), but he’s also got a whole new court wardrobe. Last week, Djokovic announced Lacoste as his new sponsor at the Monte Carlo Country Club’s immaculate clay courts overlooking the Mediterranean.
Even among elite athletes, Djokovic is well-known for his devotion to eating clean, and his initial rise to No1 coincided with him going gluten-free. He’s also published a diet book and opened a vegan restaurant, Eqvita, just down the boulevard in Monaco. Amuse asked one of the mentally and physically fittest players on the ATP tour to give us five ways to up our own wellbeing game.
Check Your Diet
“My gluten intolerance was discovered in 2010. Before that I didn’t even know what gluten was. I also removed the dairy products and refined sugar from my diet as well, which is maybe even more important than gluten. I think that has helped me not only to be a better tennis player throughout my career in the last seven years but also a healthier person, an athlete that recovers faster. It worked for me – obviously I’m not saying this is the way to go for everyone. But it’s something that has been a very important, integral part of my career, of my life.”
“I do [meditation and yoga] out of a need to have an optimal state of mind and peace and calm, and at the same time happiness and joy. Everybody has their ways to reach that state of consciousness where you’re in a good mood and you feel love towards yourself, towards people around you, towards the planet. So I try to be aligned with this kind of approach and mindset in life […] Because it was definitely not an easy period for me in the last 7-8 months. The results were not there in the big tournaments. But more than results, it was that lack of balance on the court emotionally.”
Forget Your Fears
“I work very hard every single day to not have any fears. I think that fears are the biggest enemy of all of us in every aspect of our beings, whatever we do. If I paid too much attention to my fears, I wouldn’t be able to achieve what I have. Obviously this is a very particular period of my life with many changes. I stopped working with my team of ten years. I’ve had so many wonderful memories and moments with them. But it was time for all of us to move on […] It’s a new start and I look forward to whatever this new chapter of my life brings.”
Let The Love In
“I try to focus on the positive emotions that drive me, like passion, joy and the pure inspiration to play the sport that I love. I have to always go back to that core: the fact that I enjoy just holding a racket and playing on a daily basis on any regular court, not just the centre court of Grand Slams, brings me that excitement and that joy that pushes me to keep on going […] So I’ve had to rediscover this inner joy of motivation, of playing. And not only to win or lose, but playing for the sake of enjoying the game.”
Enter a new dimension of consciousness
“I’ve been blessed to become a father almost three years ago and my wife is pregnant again […] Personally my life as a tennis player has changed since then. Not in a way of not having enough motivation or playing enough tournaments, but entering a new dimension of consciousness and being aware of myself as more than just a tennis player. Now when I come home I have to leave the racket on the side and commit to the family duties, which I enjoy very much. And I think that brings me that sense of calmness and great recovery as well.”