Federer media skills an example to athletes

31 January 2017

He may be one of the best tennis players to ever grace the court, but it’s the communication skills of Roger Federer that make him one of the game’s most popular characters. He proved this again after his Australian Open victory on Sunday.

Fans want to know how their sporting heroes tick and how they feel after historic wins or devastating losses. They want to hear answers that they can’t predict.

How many time have you heard a sportsperson say they were either happy with the win but there were things to work on, or they were disappointed with the loss and they’d be working on fixing the things that let them down at training? I must say I often feel sorry for sports reporters because they are often given very little interesting information to work with.

But not those tasked with reporting on Roger Federer. He gives reporters and fans what they want and information that isn’t obvious or boring. During his victory speech on Sunday he said: "Tennis is a tough sport. There's no draws but, if there was going to be one, I would have been very happy to accept a draw tonight and share it with Rafa really."

How interesting is that and what an amazing way to communicate the respect he had for his opponent?

He was also totally honest in a press conference the day after the final. He said he hadn’t thought he could win. He said: "I thought I could possibly be dangerous for a top guy, maybe beat one, and then that would probably be it.”

This ability to share his feeling and be interesting does wonders for the popularity of tennis. It also almost guarantees him a lucrative career in whatever he decides to do when he leaves the court for the last time.

If you would like to grow your skills in dealing with the news media, join my new LinkedIn Group, “Media Training Tips for Modern Leaders” at this link

Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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