Look beyond the ball represents all the many adjacent components that create the environment in which a player can produce their best with the ball !
Leading up to the ball is the technical, physical, concentrated focus and tactical for the player to compete at the highest level – many,many hours and a lot of self indulgent searching of emotions, skills and belief.
The player is now at the ball and delivering countless of hits and plays … yes I have arrived ! Now is the time to understand the environment and the domino effects of where you are, what you are, how does that fit in this ‘elite’ world and who do I turn to for this next phase that will allow me, the player, to sustain everything beyond the ball …
Family and friends provide the emotional support | the coach to analyze and improve | the trainer to keep the physical ability going | the business/player manager to handle the financials and legal matters | then there is the mentor, can be one of the above, but make sure this role is holistically looking at your survival in the ‘elite’ cocoon of professional sport and especially tennis.
The mentor takes from all the others above and leads the path and the many twists and turns that need to navigate the area of cause and effect … actions and consequences !! They may not be a former player or someone close … but they must know life … seek them out and quite often they have a bit of grey hair that will indicate they care.