Some Lessons From Roger Federer

Here’s welcoming us to another week. It’s surprising how fast the month of September has gone.

Last week, Roger Federer arguably one of the best tennis players also announced his retirement from the game that brought him fame and fortune.

Federer as he is popularly called, played the game with such grace and poise; it was difficult not to fall in love with tennis after watching him play.

During his active playing days, he beat Pete Sampras’ record of 14 grand slam titles and became the first player after Andre Agassi to win all 4 grand slams.

As I am wont to do, I’ll be talking about some of the lessons we can glean from him:

  • Little things count: earlier this year, Brilla Pasta released a lovely advert involving Federer and an aspiring tennis player Zizzou. Five years ago, during a tennis conference, Federer had promised the boy that he will be around to play a tennis match with him.


  • When the boy came to Switzerland (where Federer lives) to play a tournament, Federer worked with the boy’s team to actualize the promise. I must confess that I must have watched that video several times but the lesson here for me is about making impact.


  • In everything we do, impact is key. The legacy we leave whether with our wealth or actions is sure to outlive us.


  • If at first you don’t succeed, try again: for someone with such a storied career, Federer didn’t win a quarterfinal match in his first 16 grand slam appearances.


  • When he finally won his first quarterfinal match and title at the 2003 Wimbledon tournament; he took off like a rocket and within 6 years he managed to beat Pete Sampras’ record of 14 grand slam titles.


  • The lesson here is twofold – never give up and the fact that there is no overnight success; just an idea whose time has come.


  • To everything there’s a season: Federer was the young chap who beat tennis great Pete Sampras in 2001; subdued his peers (Andy Roddick, Llyeton Hewitt) and battled gallantly with the next generation (Nadal, Djokovic & Andy Murray) but time – the great leveller, still caught up with him.


  • For me, time is one of God’s ways of making us confront our mortality. As such, we must endeavour to make the best use of our time and opportunities.

Please be reminded that the Smart Stewards Summit week is upon us starting on Tuesday, 20th September and Thursday 22nd September with the Masterclasses and the main event taking place this weekend (23rd – 25th of September) at Lakowe Lakes and Resorts.

Till next week, do have a great week ahead.


Toyin Oguntuyi

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