How watching Andy Murray play Wimbledon could help your career

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Managing realistic expectations is the key to success say psychologists. Let Murray be your guide.

Andy Murray at Wimbledon

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Watching Andy Murray kill it at Wimbledon is not only entertaining, but it could help you be more successful in your own career.

Psychologists analysing the athlete say that Murray's ability to manage his goal expectations teamed with his long-term determination is the key to success.

According to research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, athletes who recognise early when a goal is unattainable and switch their focus to other objectives are the most successful at achieving their main career goals.

For example, last year Murray dropped out of the French Open after a back injury, missing out on the chance of playing in four grand slam finals in a row. However that decision allowed him to recuperate in time for Wimbledon, where he went on to win.

The research says that when a goal becomes so difficult it is impossible, self-motivated people find it harder to stop striving for it, causing psychological distress. However, the most successful people are those that aren't too proud to accept it is out of reach, and change tact.

"Our experiments showed the importance of a person realising early enough when it was better to continue striving for a goal or when it was best to let go and adopt another similar goal," said Professor Nikos Ntoumanis, an exercise and sport psychologist from the University of Birmingham.

The study also found that people motivated by personal enjoyment of what they do will work harder for longer. However people pushed by external pressures or feelings of guilt won't be as successful.

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