Box of Crayons Blog


Roger Federer and “unforced errors”

Here’s the tennis superstar on his current form in the Australian Open

“I don’t care about unforced errors,” he said. “The guys that love the statistics, they love those things. I don’t care if I make 20 or 60 unforced errors. I don’t care, as long as I’m doing the right things and staying true to my game plan and it makes sense. If I’m just making errors and I can’t hit a winner any more, then I’m in trouble, clearly.”

I’m not sure what I like more – the piece about staying true to the game plan or the reminder that it is, in the end, about hitting more winners than the other person.

You, me, our managers and leaders – I suspect they spend a little too much time focusing on our “unforced errors” rather than pulling back to remember what the game plan is and to concentrate on how to hit the winners.

What do you think?

(And by the way, here’s why he can hit those winners. It’s obviously not just a mental game.)

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4 Responses to Roger Federer and “unforced errors”

  • SimplifyWithUs


    I’d say the key point is making more winners than your competitors.

    It’s not unlike your needs when you come across an angry grizzly bear in the forest with a group of other people. You don’t need to out run the Grizzly…..


  • Randy Bosch

    Great article re: “unforced errors” and the need to prepare in all ways to hit the winners and recognize that some errors are part of life! The “Dare to Fail” and “Fail your way to success” meme running rampant among “leadership” gurus is absurd. Failure is when you fall down and don’t get up. Errors are part of experience, experimenting, testing, real life. Roger Federer understands.

  • Jon Giganti

    Love this. Great stuff, Michael. As always. You now know why he’s a great champion. If you let all the failures hold you back…and all the naysayers…then, you’re in big, big trouble.

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