In 2008, the then 22-year-old Rafael Nadal met his long-time on-court nemesis Roger Federer on the centre court of Wimbledon. Federer had been the world No. 1 player in tennis for 237 consecutive weeks and for the past two years; he had defeated Nadal and put a halt to his Wimbledon dreams. The chances of Nadal winning the tournament were slim. But that year, the game changed. The rain interrupted the 2008 finals and it went on for 4 hours and 48 minutes. And by the end of a much-gruelling match, Nadal defeated Federer to lift his first Wimbledon Cup.

On winning the title, the-much-in-disbelief Nadal said that it was a dream to play on centre court at Wimbledon and he never imagined winning it. It’s not just Nadal who has claimed that winning Wimbledon is a dream. Current Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic from Serbia recently said, “I managed to achieve a lifetime goal and I managed to make my dream come true."

For a tennis player, winning this tournament is equivalent to you making your dreams come true. And there are a few lessons you can learn from these players.

Stay motivated

Nadal and Djokovic were both runners-up in grand slams before they won the championship. While they had both lost to the best players in the sport, neither of them lost their motivation to play. On the other hand, they came back with a vengeance. The same applies when you plan to achieve your goal. Many of my clients tell me that they have a hard time keeping up their investments and living on a strict budget. I tell them to look at the bigger picture and derive the motivation to stay true to their financial plan.

Be disciplined

The key to success when it comes to sports is discipline. Even on an off day, Nadal puts in 2 hours of training. He says it helps him stay fit for the match. Following a disciplined approach when it comes to your financial plan will not only help you stay on the right track but also ensure returns on your investments.

Coach can help, but your performance matters

Every player has a coach, who he/she would trust. And while they are always ready to help, when it comes to the game, it’s only the player who has to perform. This applies to your financial life also. Financial planners can advise you how you should invest and the best investments in the market, but in the end it is you who has to decide what would be best suited for your goals to come true, depending upon your resources.

Be ready to sacrifice

Sacrifice is part of the game. Nadal sacrificed his love for football for a career in tennis. While he still misses the game, he says that it was worth it. Reaching your goal also involves a certain amount of sacrifice that you would have to make. Certain budget cuts will be required, certain pleasures have to be given up; but sacrifice leads to your dreams. If you have trouble in cutting corners, ask your planner to help you create a budget without cutting too much into your financial plan.

Setbacks are not the end

In 2009, Nadal withdrew from his favourite tournament, citing an injury. In 2010, he came back to plush grass lawns and won the tournament. In every financial plan, there are bound to be a few setbacks. The answer is to not to quit when it happens but to make sure you carry on as it leads you to your dream.

Certain incidents, including medical emergencies, death or divorce, are beyond your control. At times like these, its best to talk to your planner and figure out an appropriate step to make sure your financial plan stays on course.

On winning the crown Djokovic said that it was due to a lifetime of hard work, “For these kind of days, I was practising every day, being dedicated, being a tennis professional." And now it’s time you start planning your Wimbledon dream.

Sumeet Vaid is founder and CEO, Ffreedom Financial Planners

We welcome your comments at