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September 10, 2007

the fed factor: parenting lessons from the court

I am obsessed with Roger Federer. I sit in front of the TV talking about the many, many ways in which the man just gets it right. Look at those other players, grunting, cursing, futzing with their shirts, grabbing towels every five seconds, adjusting what seem to be costume pirate bandanas on their heads. And over on the other side is Federer, calmly and sweatlessly crushing in his elegantly tailored black togs. He doesn't have a coach. He doesn't need to discuss an opponent's game “for an hour,” he says he can size it up in "15 seconds." Then at the end of the match he’s charming, gracious and humble. What does this have to do with motherhood? More than you might think.

We’re a generation of over-coached parents. How can we trust our instincts when we are bombarded with so many opinions and conflicting data? Getting just the right amount of information in the age of information might just be the key to success. Federer is not without coaching. He has had the best training. But then at a certain point he walked away. And let himself be the authority. When you trust yourself you’re less likely to screw up. Or second guess. And you’re more likely to feel great about what you’ve accomplished. So if we are to apply to the Fed Factor to parenting it would go like this:

• Information and opinions should be in service of your instincts. Read the basic spread of info and walk away. Your ability to adapt and think on your feet will be undermined if there are too many voices in your head.

• Never be smug about success. Accept that as a mother you are never “done.”
You won the Grand Slam today (the baby slept through the night), but there are other Grand Slams (nights) to come.

• Acknowledge your work. Fed is not afraid to say “I played really well.” There’s no false modesty. There’s no, gee wiz. You are working hard. Own it!

• Wear clothes that fit. You are busy (playing the US Open/raising kids), you should not have to deal with a wedgie.

by ceridwen at 10:50 AM
in daddy world | parenting


Thanks <3 This is good advice for a first-timer like me. Everybody always has an opinion and someone (usually people WITHOUT kids!) always has a lecture for me...

comment by Timmie at September 14, 2007 2:09 PM

You are a kindred spirit - and I am not a Mother nor a Mother to be - heck I am not even a woman!
But today I typed in the phrase "I am obsessed with Roger Federer" to see if there was anyone else in the world like me! I wasn't even a fan of tennis - and was really turned off during the Pete Sampras era when everything was so damn functional.
And then, one day, I happened to glance at the TV when a match from Wimbledon was on - and I saw something that captivated me: Roger Federer's game. I don't even know who he was playing! I just was in awe.
And since then - I am obsessed.
At least you can learn and apply lessons from watching him. For my part I am just the dweeb who admires.
I feel like a teenager! And because I feel like a teenager - here's a song that sums up what Roger Federer on a tennis court does to two left feet me. Enjoy the song - listen to the lyrics - they're fantastic.
Enjoy Motherhood - it's a beautiful vocation. God go with you.

comment by Dan at November 23, 2007 8:27 AM

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