Roger Federer's unforgettable Dartmouth College speech: ‘Effortless is a myth’ and other life lessons | Trending - Hindustan Times

Roger Federer's unforgettable Dartmouth College speech: ‘Effortless is a myth’ and other life lessons

Jun 13, 2024 08:48 AM IST

Tennis legend Roger Federer received an honorary doctorate from Dartmouth College. In his commencement speech, he shared inspiring life lessons with students.

Tennis legend Roger Federer received an honourary doctorate at Dartmouth College in the US on Sunday. In his unforgettable commencement speech, Federer gave inspiring life lessons. He said the word “effortless” is a myth and that he is what he is today not just because of talent but because it took years and years of hard work.

Roger Federer received an Honorary Doctorate at Dartmouth College. (Instagram/dartmouthcollege)
Roger Federer received an Honorary Doctorate at Dartmouth College. (Instagram/dartmouthcollege)

The 25-minute speech, a masterclass in life lessons, is not only being widely praised, but is also seen as one for the record books.

Federer, 42, was awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters honourary degree for his philanthropic work.

Addressing the Class of 2024, he began his commencement speech by saying that this was the second time he was setting foot on a college campus.

The Swiss sporting legend shared with students three life lessons he learned through the course of his tennis career.

“Effortless” is a myth

The first one, Federer said, is that "effortless" is a myth.

"I say that as someone who has heard that word a lot. 'Effortless.' People would say my play was effortless. Most of the time, they meant it as a compliment... But it used to frustrate me when they would say. 'He barely broke a sweat!'," Roger Federer said.

"The truth is, I had to work very hard... to make it look easy. I spent years whining... swearing… throwing my racket… before I learned to keep my cool... I didn’t get where I got on pure talent alone. I got there by trying to outwork my opponents."

‘It’s only a point'

The second life lesson from Federer was: It’s only a point".

"You can work harder than you thought possible... and still lose. I have," he said, recounting how he processed his loss to Rafael Nadal at the Wimbledon 2008 finals.

"I lost Wimbledon. I lost my number-one ranking. And suddenly, people said, 'He had a great run. Is this the changing of the guard?' But I knew what I had to do... keep working. And keep competing," Federer said.

‘Life is bigger than the court’

The third life lesson from Roger Federer was: "Life is bigger than the court."

"I worked a lot, learned a lot, and ran a lot of miles in that small space (tennis court)... But the world is a whole lot bigger than that" he told the students. He said that when he started out, he knew that while tennis could show him the world, it could never be the world.

"...even when I was in the top five... it was important to me to have a life... a rewarding life, full of travel, culture, friendships, and especially family... I never abandoned my roots, and I never forgot where I came from."

Federer spoke about his love for travel, not just as a tourist but even for his philanthropic work.

(Also Read: Neeraj Chopra meets Roger Federer in Switzerland, says ‘we will…’)

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