Rafael Nadal recently shed some light on the keys to his on-court temperament, explaining why he never resorts to violent acts such as breaking rackets. Nadal also revealed that he practices yoga, which helps him control his emotions both on and off the court.
The Mallorcan is regarded as one of the most mentally stable players in tennis history; he hasn't broken a racket his entire career, which is extremely rare. Nadal has frequently claimed that the credit for that goes to his uncle Toni.
When Rafael Nadal was six, his uncle, who was then also his coach, had warned him that he would stop helping him if he broke his racket. Nadal has obeyed that instruction ever since.
When asked to elaborate on his temperament in a recent interview, the Spaniard asserted that he likes to compete but that he also makes it a point to keep his emotions in check. Nadal further claimed that he has never "behaved like crazy", and that his philosophy in sport is to never give up.
"I like to compete, but I always control myself on the track," Rafael Nadal said. "I have never lost my nerves or broken a racket. I've never behaved like crazy. My philosophy is never to give up in sports. It happens to me the same when I play golf or soccer with my friends."
Nadal then talked about the role of meditation and yoga in his tennis career. He believes it is important to have "positive feelings" during a match, even if things are not going your way.
"When you're on court, it's important to control your emotions," Nadal said. "In my case, I practice yoga and meditation to be able to control my emotions when I am playing. You always have to enter the court with positive feelings. It is important to maintain confidence, even when conditions are not ideal."
"Watching golf on TV is a healthy pastime, rather than going out for a drink" - Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal is an avid golfer and a passionate fan of the sport. When he doesn't have any tennis commitments, he often spends his time playing golf or attending golf tournaments.
But in his latest interview the Spaniard revealed that he also watches a lot of golf on the television. Nadal claimed that he often ends up spending late nights on his couch watching the sport, before adding that he considers it a "healthy pastime" when compared with going out partying and drinking.
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"I usually watch golf on television," Rafael Nadal said. "Sometimes, I sit on the sofa and it gives me the early morning. I usually go to bed late when I see golf, but at least, I can sleep 5 hours. It's a healthy pastime, rather than going for a drink out there."