Li Na’s coach fired up the Chinese star

In Melbourne we are in the tennis fever season with the Australian Open now on its second week.

Even before the grand slam tournament started one of the big topics was how the top players brought in new coaches to help them reach even higher levels of performance.  Even Roger Federer who for many years was coachless, brought in Stephan Edberg, and so far everyone acknowledges that Roger has not looked that good for a couple of years.

That’s a lot going on about coaches, but the one that really called my attention was Li Na, the most successful Chinese tennis player ever.  Li Na has been coached by her husband for years with actually great results, but clearly he was not helping her getting to the level she believed she was capable off.

So I will refer to a few published material related to Li Na which also include verbatim as she is certainly a genuine person and speaks straight from the heart – Her English is not perfect but she is no doubt a wise young lady.


“Chinese tennis star Li Na said that her coach saved her marriage after he took over coaching duties from her husband Jiang Shan.

 According to Sport24, Li credited her coach Carlos Rodriguez for saving her marriage life, saying that it is much easier for husband to be a husband as he is not a coach anymore”.

That shows how hard it is for a person directly involved with your life to coach you with honest and straightforward feedback and still remain in good terms.  You like your coach not because he is nice to you, but because s/he keeps you focus on your path to achieve what you want to achieve.


Then in round 3 of the Australian Open,  Li Na , ranked #4, was extremely close to be knocked out by Lucie Safarova, ranked #26, which was going to be an absolutely unexpected result, a shock!


Li Na’s coach fired up the Chinese star.

“Yesterday I do a lot of practice, you know, because I really make (coach) Carlos (Rodriguez) sad when two days ago for the match,” Li said.

“Normally every match we will talk after the match, but you can look the face. Really unhappy.  Even yesterday I know if I didn’t do something for sure he was so pissed.

“So, yeah, I try a lot yesterday and also today match. But at least today I think make him a little bit happier. Feel much better.”

Most people can get additional motivation to perform better when they feel that they have let down someone who really cares about them.  Coaches are like mirror – they do not pretend that things are good to make you happy. And at times you will be happy by making your coach proud of your progress.


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Have a good day!

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