Wimbledon Special: a 'process mindset'

Wimbledon Special: a 'process mindset'


Johanna Konta beat Simona Halep to reach the semi-finals of Wimbledon yesterday: the first British woman to do so since Virginia Wade in 1978.  Her playing was brilliant, but so was her BBC interview immediately afterwards.  “I definitely felt very clear on what I was trying to achieve out there.  Regardless of whether it was going my way or not I felt I really stuck to my true self and just tried to create as many opportunities as possible...”  “I felt quite consistent in my general approach...”  “I just continued to trust in the fact that what I was doing was going to bring me good things.” 

Asked when she had started believing she could be a champion, Konta replied, “Ever since I was nine years old.  I’ve always believed in my own ability; I’ve always dreamed big.  But again, I’m much more process mindset orientated, so I don’t give myself too much time to dream, and focus more on the work.”

So although she dreams big, as any would-be champion must, she has stuck to the process of tackling each moment as it comes, ‘regardless of whether it’s going her way or not’.  Pretty cool.  A ‘process mindset’ is also something the Alexander Technique champions: developing the mental discipline to attend continually and consistently to the ‘how’ of doing anything.

Tim Henman was also impressed by Konta’s “mentality on the court.”  Sports correspondent Rob Bonnet asked about Konta’s repeated use of the term ‘process’ - a new one on him in terms of tennis vocabulary.  “It’s process, not outcome…” said Henman.  “What you’re really trying to focus on is the way that you want to play - the process of that point - and not worry about the outcome.  So whether you’re playing the first point of the match, and you’re serving, (or) whether it’s five all, thirty all in the third – that should really be irrelevant.  You want to have a clear process of the way you want to play, and the outcome will take care of itself… It’s a little bit like staying in the present tense; there’s no worrying about a shot that you’ve missed before, or what’s going to happen in the future...”

Not worrying about what went before or what will happen next; just following the process of how to do whatever it is you want to do, and letting the outcome take care of itself.  Sort of takes certain kinds of pressure off, doesn’t it, ‘life in the present tense’?

Follow Frances

Join Frances Butt's mailing list to keep up to date with her blog.

Sign up