Results Speak For Themselves

ESPN wrote recently on the subject of Roger Federer – “Confidence, as slippery as a wriggling eel, cannot be seen or touched or tasted. Still, you can smell it coming a mile away.

Like true love, confidence cannot be bought; it must be earned. It’s about belief, a faith based on a history of success.”

The question was whether Roger still had that confidence. 61 consecutive wins on grass, why shouldn’t he? The media loves to play the amateur psychologist. They probe for some chink in the armor, looking for something that will make for a good story. But Roger just points to the results column. The interesting thing about pointing out how someone has come close to faltering is that you can look at it two ways. On the one hand, yes, the person has shown a level of fallibility. They have almost failed. But at the same time, they have almost failed. Which is more remarkable, the appearance of fallibility? Or the ability to overcome it, like Roger has overcome so many other opponents, both physical and mental?

If opponents continually get closer and closer, yet never seem to actually succeed, what does that really mean? As with Tiger Woods winning in a playoff, is it remarkable that someone was able to push him so fully? That he was forced to birdie on the 18th to send the match into a playoff which then went to sudden death? Or is it more remarkable that he is able to somehow, against so many odds, find a way to win? What matters is that he hoists the trophy at the end of the day. His name is etched in there. Only his name. No mention of how he almost did not win. Only that he won. Nothing more. And nothing less. Confidence does not concern itself with “almost.”

Tiger. Roger. They simply find a way to win. Somehow, we get caught up with the fact that it appears that they are walking this tightrope, that at any moment they might stumble and come crashing down, suddenly human like we always knew they were. Yet in doing so, we miss the remarkable feat that they are able to even step up onto this tightrope. They walk the delicate line made only of success. One win after another, they keep putting one foot in front of the other. It does not matter how close they come to falling, only that they do not. Or, to put it another way, it matters only that they stay upright. We may be loathe to listen, but the results speak for themselves.

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