In Roger Federer’s Commencement Address at Dartmouth College, he offered the following advice:

Effortless is a myth

“People often mean it as a compliment but the truth is,” he said, “I had to work very hard to make it look easy. We should be proudest of the victories we earn when the competition is fierce. Because they prove that you can win not just when you are at your best, but especially when you aren’t. Most of the time it’s not about having a gift. It’s about having grit.”

In Samurai Claremont speak: Keep showing up for training – when you feel like it, and especially when you don’t. Train until your mind forgets and your body remembers.

It’s only a point—perfection is impossible

“When you’re playing a point, it is the most important thing in the world. But when it’s behind you, it’s behind you. This mindset is really crucial, because it frees you to fully commit to the next point and the next one after that with intensity, clarity, and focus. The best in the world are not the best because they win every point. It’s because they know they’ll lose again and again, and have learned how to deal with it.”

In Samurai Claremont speak: Don’t fixate on the scoreboard. Let the point go, even if it’s an Ippon. Stay calm and focused, and be ready with the next one.

Life is bigger than the court

Federer underscored the importance of embracing the fullness of life and finding fulfilment in many ways.

In Samurai Claremont speak: Be budo in how you live your life – inside the dojo and out – from making your bed, to doing your schoolwork, to socialising with your friends and family. Be disciplined, adaptable, stay focused, and behave with integrity.

The path to mastery is not paved with talent but with strength of character forged through consistent effort and commitment to growth. True victory comes not just on the court or in the dojo, but in how we conduct ourselves with discipline, composure and integrity, in all aspects of life.