Jose Mourinho believes his Chelsea squad – and footballers in general – can learn a lot from the mental strength shown by tennis players on court.
Having guided Chelsea to the Premier League title last season, Mourinho was a regular at the Aegon Championships at Queen’s last week – a tournament eventually won by Andy Murray.
And Mourinho, who admits he is a “big, big fan” of tennis, continues to be impressed by the way the sport’s top stars handle the pressure placed on them during their matches, something he thinks footballers could do well to tap into.
“I really love it, I love the game,” he said. “I have a special respect for the players because I think it’s not enough that they are physical or technical, it’s maybe the most important thing the mental point of view.
“Lonely people competing is more difficult [than team sports].
“A lonely man or women on the court is responsible for their success, responsible for defeat, and I think this capacity to deal with huge pressure I think is something I try to learn with them and bring it to my job and my sport.”
With Wimbledon on the horizon, Mourinho will be doing his best to catch as much action as possible but concedes pre-season preparations at Stamford Bridge may stop him getting to the All England Club in person.
He added: “It’s quite difficult for me to travel to a tournament even to Wimbledon, but I’m the kind of one that can be a week at home, watching a tournament, watching for three or four hours of a match, no problem.
“It’s more than a tournament. Wimbledon is more than a grand slam final, it’s a special one.”
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