The evolution of tennis and its needs has soared in recent years that you will no longer see an elite player accompanied by a single person. Now they are complete teams, in charge of covering each of the disciplines, those in charge of taking care of the professional athlete and guiding him through the best of the paths. Daniil Medvedev, recent champion of the US Open 2021, knows very well what all this is about, although from the outside only the name of Gilles Cervara, His trainer.
Someone who has been fundamental in the process of the French Francisca Dauzet, Russian psychoanalyst and performance coach since 2018. A woman who has helped him polish his mental strength on the court, but also to be calmer off it. Thanks to your last interview with Tennis majors we can understand a little better where the quality jump from the current world No. 2 is going through.
Your professional work
“What interests me the most is knowing what makes a person come to a certain place, what they are looking for. I do not focus on his name, I do not judge his will or his defeats. Even if I know what your highest goals are, I am not here to rush you to achieve them. What I explore is the field of your internal goals, I investigate your universe and your performance, to see if there are obstacles of some kind. Sometimes it is surprising to see what an athlete is looking for, the key is to live at their own pace and synchronize with their energy ”.
Commitment by both parties
“I believe that human beings are artists, otherwise they would cease to exist as a species. Anthropologically, I am interested in knowing how they work. When I talk to a person that I am helping, I receive different types of information, from different sources. The more committed the person in front of me is, the easier I juggle with them, this is what makes for quick results. And with Daniil everything is very fast. When he takes what I propose and has the desire to grow, he is quick to grasp everything. The result is significant and powerful ”.
The different points to be discussed
“First of all there is the deep human dimension, which guarantees that the person reconciles with himself in the best possible way. Then there is the performance, the awareness of what this implies and everything the athlete will do to open up to that performance. Finally, we work on pure mental processes, which we build together and which he applies according to his needs on the court, where he is alone ”.
Questions that go beyond a result
“For a tennis player there is the challenge of a tournament and a ranking, but there is also a trace in the unconscious: What does this achievement represent in my history, in relation to my family, my country or my public image? Do I have the right to get it? Can success be a risk for me? It is a complex mosaic, since athletes have little time to make themselves known, they cannot postpone their goals for 20 years. The higher the person reaches, the more they have worked on these issues, the better the job will be ”.
Your role is important, but no more than others
“That would be an abuse. Everyone takes their place on Gilles’ team, who is the great project manager in terms of performance. The confidence that Daniil has in the work of all of us also comes from the results. He’s very pragmatic, it’s his way of going down the road. Years ago no one would have bet on him at the beginning, in fact, phrases like: ‘Daniil is not fit enough’ or ‘His technique is very strange’ were heard all the time. Sure it is, I thought, but it also has something different from the others, and that something else can take it to the top. This is what I told Daniil and I think it reached his subconscious ”.
A special player
“I think that right now there are no limits, only those that we set ourselves. It is a leitmotif that we constantly work on, that is why Daniil has an incredible capacity that not all human beings have. If you want, we can say that we are before a genius ”.