Novak Djokovic: My mind, insane diet, doctor and forgiveness

Full Interviews
5 Aug 202278:30
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TLDRIn this reflective interview, the tennis champion shares his journey from struggling with health issues and the pivotal moment when Dr. Igor Chetoevich introduced him to quantum physics and biofeedback, leading to a plant-based diet and improved performance. He discusses the importance of family support, the sacrifices they made, and the decision to stay in Serbia despite financial hardships. The athlete also delves into his mindset during clutch moments, the influence of rivals like Federer and Nadal, and his commitment to personal growth. He candidly addresses the emotional trauma of living through the NATO bombings in Serbia, his philosophy of forgiveness, and his dedication to giving back through his foundation focusing on early childhood development.

  • 🎾 Novak Djokovic's early career was marked by struggles with respiratory issues, including a mild form of asthma, which he managed with the help of Dr. Igor Chetoevich.
  • 🌿 Djokovic transitioned to a plant-based diet, eliminating gluten, dairy, and refined sugar, which he believes helped him overcome his allergies and improve his health and performance.
  • 🧘‍♂️ The tennis star practices mindfulness and meditation to maintain mental clarity and manage emotional and mental challenges during high-pressure matches.
  • 👨‍👧 Djokovic's family made significant sacrifices to support his tennis career, including turning down an offer to switch nationalities for financial stability and a better life.
  • 🏆 Djokovic considers Wimbledon a special tournament and it was the site of his first top-100 breakthrough, which he considers a turning point in his career.
  • 👨‍👦‍👦 The athlete grew up in a family with a strong athletic background, which he believes predisposed him to playing sports, although tennis was not initially a family sport.
  • 💪 Djokovic's parents were instrumental in his success, with his mother providing stability and his father being a visionary who supported his tennis ambitions.
  • 🤝 Djokovic feels he has learned valuable lessons from his rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, gaining insights into training, professionalism, and sportsmanship.
  • 💔 The loss at the Rio Olympics was a heartbreaking moment for Djokovic, who had high expectations but faced injury and pressure, leading to a first-round defeat.
  • 👨‍👧‍👦 Djokovic and his wife are parents to two children, and he expresses a desire for more kids in the future, acknowledging the joys and surprises that life brings.
Q & A
  • What significant change did the doctor Igor Chetoevich bring to the tennis player's life during the 2010 Australian Open?

    -Dr. Igor Chetoevich introduced the player to the world of quantum physics and biofeedback, helping him understand his emotional, mental, and physical bodies, as well as his food allergies. This led to significant lifestyle and dietary changes, including the removal of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar from his diet, which improved his respiratory issues and overall health.

  • How did the player's diet evolve over time, and what is his current diet like?

    -The player transitioned to a plant-based diet, removing animal products. His average day starts with warm water and lemon, followed by celery juice on an empty stomach. He then has a green smoothie with various algae, fruits, and superfoods. He focuses on eating light foods that require less energy to digest, such as fruits and salads, especially during the first part of the day, and includes grains like quinoa, millet, and wild rice, as well as sweet potatoes.

  • What was the player's family background in sports, and how did it influence his choice of tennis?

    -The player comes from an athletic family with competitive skiers and a father who played soccer. His mother graduated from a university of sports. The family's athletic genes and the construction of three tennis courts near their mountain resort in Serbia when he was young influenced his choice to play tennis, despite it being unknown in his family.

  • What sacrifices did the player's parents make to support his tennis career, and how did they manage financially?

    -The player's parents made significant sacrifices, including financial struggles, to support his tennis career. At one point, they had only 10 Deutsche Marks (equivalent to about 10 dollars) for the entire family. His mother took on multiple roles within the family, while his father provided and supported the vision of the player becoming a professional tennis player.

  • How did the player deal with the offer to switch nationalities to British when he was 14, and what was the family's decision?

    -The player and his family were offered British nationality when he was 14, which was a tempting proposition due to the financial and housing benefits it would provide. However, the player felt a strong connection to his home country and did not want to move to England. Ultimately, his parents decided to turn down the offer and stay in Serbia.

  • What was the player's breakthrough moment at Wimbledon, and how did it feel for him?

    -The player's breakthrough at Wimbledon came when he qualified for the main draw and reached the fourth round. This achievement qualified him for the top hundred in professional tennis. He felt that he had entered the elite arena of professional tennis, and it was a significant moment of arrival in his career.

  • How does the player handle distractions and pressure during clutch moments in a match?

    -The player handles distractions and pressure by consciously breathing and drawing on his experience in similar situations. He acknowledges his fears and emotions rather than ignoring them, transforming them into positive fuel. He practices mindfulness, meditation, journaling, and communication with his team and loved ones to address emotional issues that may surface during critical moments in matches.

  • What was the player's experience at the Rio Olympics, and how did it impact him?

    -The player's experience at the Rio Olympics was heartbreaking as he was eliminated in the first round. He had high expectations for the Olympics, being the world number one and having won four slams in a row. However, an injury and the immense pressure he put on himself led to his early exit, which was a significant disappointment in his career.

  • How does the player perceive his relationship with his rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and what has he learned from them?

    -The player has a deep respect for both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. He has learned from Federer how to efficiently train and organize personal life to thrive in tennis. From Nadal, he has learned the never-give-up spirit and respect for the sport and opponents. Despite being rivals, they all understand the importance of setting a good example for others, especially young players.

  • What is the player's perspective on his future in tennis, and does he see himself playing at 40?

    -The player does not believe in limits and wants to play for a long time. He acknowledges that he will have to maintain the right principles and routines for his health and well-being. While he may not play at the same intensity or participate in as many tournaments, he might focus on the biggest tournaments that mean the most to him, suggesting the possibility of playing at 40.

  • How did the player's experiences during the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999 shape his outlook on life and his approach to challenges?

    -The player's experiences during the NATO bombing had a profound impact on him. He learned to transform feelings of anger and betrayal into strength and motivation for success in tennis. Over time, he has chosen to let go of hatred and anger, focusing instead on forgiveness and love as a driving force in his life.

🎾 Journey of a Tennis Champion

This paragraph delves into the early career of a tennis player who, by 2007, ranked third in the world and went on to win his first grand slam the following year. Despite his success, he faced numerous challenges including health issues related to respiratory problems and allergies, which affected his performance. A pivotal moment came in 2010 during the Australian Open, which he describes as one of the lowest points of his career. It was then that Dr. Igor Chetoevich entered his life, introducing him to quantum physics, biofeedback, and the concept of analyzing his emotional and mental state. This holistic approach, along with dietary changes, particularly eliminating gluten, dairy, and refined sugar, led to significant improvements in his health and performance on the court.

🌱 Transition to Plant-Based Diet and Early Influences

The speaker discusses his transition to a plant-based diet, attributing it to the need for more energy and focus during training and matches. He shares his daily diet routine, starting with warm water and lemon, followed by celery juice, and a green smoothie with superfoods. The paragraph also touches on his early life, mentioning his family's athletic background and how tennis was not a traditional choice in his family. He recalls the sacrifices his family made to support his tennis aspirations, including financial struggles and the emotional toll it took on them. The narrative also explores the offer to switch nationalities to British when he was 14, which his family ultimately declined, choosing to stay in Serbia.

🏆 Overcoming Adversity and the Path to Success

This section highlights the player's journey to success, including the pivotal moment when he qualified for Wimbledon and achieved a top 100 ranking. He discusses the importance of mindfulness, meditation, and acknowledging his fears and ego to overcome challenges during clutch moments in matches. The player also reflects on his heartbreaking loss in the first round of the Rio Olympics, an experience that taught him about handling pressure and expectations. He talks about his respect for his rivals and how their interactions set an example for younger players, emphasizing the importance of sportsmanship and the influence of his family in shaping his resilience and determination.

👨‍👧‍👦 Balancing Fatherhood, Tennis, and Personal Growth

The paragraph explores the player's personal life, focusing on his role as a father and the impact of having children on his life. He expresses gratitude for his supportive family and the sacrifices made for his career. The player also discusses the emotional challenges of being away from his children due to his tennis commitments and his desire to maintain a balance between his professional and personal life. He shares his hopes for his children's future and the importance of teaching them to be the best versions of themselves, regardless of the path they choose in life.

🎓 Early Childhood Development and Philanthropy

The player talks about his foundation's focus on early childhood development, explaining the importance of the formative years from zero to seven. He shares the story of how his foundation, initially helping various causes, shifted its focus to improving preschool programs in Serbia after learning about the lack of attendance from UNICEF. The foundation has since renovated and opened numerous kindergartens and works with parents to promote supportive parenting. The player also discusses the challenges of running a foundation in Serbia, including the issue of taxes on donations, and his long-term goals to extend the foundation's work beyond Serbia.

🌟 Humble Success and the Impact on Serbia's Image

In this section, the player reflects on the impact of his success on the perception of Serbia. He discusses the power of sports to unite people and improve a country's image, particularly in the West. The player also talks about his discomfort with the attention and visibility that comes with success, including his name and picture appearing around town. He expresses his love for Serbia, not through the lens of politics, but as the country that nurtured him and allowed him to grow into the person and tennis player he is today.

🗣️ Multilingual Skills and the Joy of Travel

The player shares his ability to speak multiple languages, including Italian, English, French, German, and Spanish. He emphasizes the importance of learning a few phrases in the local language when traveling as a sign of respect to the country and its culture. Although he mentions that he doesn't enjoy traveling as much as he used to, especially when he's away from his family for extended periods, he has learned to handle it emotionally and mentally, focusing on his tennis career and the love for the game.

🏓 Training and Tennis Club Memories

The player takes a trip down memory lane, visiting his old tennis club where he spent most of his childhood. He reminisces about the hours spent playing social games, resting, and training. Despite the existence of more modern clubs, he highlights the rich tennis tradition of his old club. The player also discusses his training routine, focusing on balance, weight transition, and shot length. He shares insights into his serve technique and the changes he made to avoid injuries. The paragraph ends with a light-hearted moment of yoga and stretching exercises, showcasing the player's camaraderie with his training partner.

💡Respiratory Issues
Respiratory issues refer to problems related to breathing, such as asthma or allergies. In the video, the speaker discusses how he struggled with respiratory issues early in his career, which affected his performance on the tennis court. This led to various health challenges and impacted his ability to compete effectively.
💡Quantum Physics
Quantum physics is a branch of science that studies the behavior of matter and energy at the smallest scales. The speaker mentions being introduced to quantum physics by Dr. Igor Cetojevic, who used it along with biofeedback to help address his health issues. This introduction was pivotal in understanding and managing his physical and emotional health.
💡Dietary Changes
Dietary changes involve altering one's eating habits, often to improve health or performance. The speaker discusses how eliminating gluten, dairy, and refined sugar from his diet significantly improved his allergies and overall health, which was crucial for his athletic performance.
💡Early Childhood
Early childhood refers to the period from birth to around eight years old, a crucial time for development. The speaker emphasizes the importance of early childhood development through his foundation, which aims to improve preschool education and support for young children in Serbia, recognizing its long-term impact on individuals and society.
Philanthropy involves giving money, time, or resources to help others. The speaker's foundation focuses on early childhood education, demonstrating his commitment to philanthropy by supporting children's development and education, which he views as a way to give back to his community and make a lasting impact.
💡Emotional Growth
Emotional growth refers to the development of a person's ability to understand and manage their emotions. The speaker describes a period in his career where he had to focus on his emotional growth, recognizing that achieving success in tennis wasn't enough for personal fulfillment. This involved addressing deeper emotional issues and developing greater self-awareness.
💡Family Sacrifices
Family sacrifices involve giving up personal desires or resources for the benefit of family members. The speaker talks about the significant sacrifices his parents made to support his tennis career, including financial struggles and personal hardships, highlighting the essential role of family support in his success.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present and fully engaged in the current moment. The speaker practices mindfulness techniques such as meditation and journaling to stay focused and manage stress during high-pressure situations, like important tennis matches, which helps him maintain mental clarity and emotional balance.
💡Olympic Games
The Olympic Games are a major international sporting event. The speaker describes the 2016 Rio Olympics as one of the most challenging moments in his career due to high expectations and resulting disappointment after being eliminated in the first round. This experience taught him valuable lessons about handling pressure and expectations.
💡National Identity
National identity refers to a person's sense of belonging to a nation. The speaker discusses his strong connection to Serbia, despite opportunities to switch nationalities for better financial support. His decision to stay loyal to his country reflects his deep sense of national identity and pride in representing Serbia on the international stage.

Struggles with respiratory issues and allergies since childhood, impacting performance.

Meeting Dr. Igor Chetoevich introduced quantum physics and biofeedback, leading to significant health improvements.

Diet change, including removal of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar, contributed to alleviating allergies and enhancing performance.

Transition to a plant-based diet for better focus, recovery, and overall health.

Daily routine includes warm water with lemon and celery juice for detoxification.

Utilizes green smoothies with algae and superfoods for mental clarity and longevity.

Prefers light meals for optimal energy during training, avoiding heavy digestion requirements.

Family's athletic background and early exposure to tennis courts influenced his passion for the sport.

Parents' sacrifices, including financial struggles, to support his tennis aspirations.

Turning down an offer to switch nationalities for better financial support and opportunities.

Winning Wimbledon and achieving a top 100 ranking marked a significant milestone in his career.

Coping mechanisms for high-pressure situations include conscious breathing and mindfulness.

Learning from rivals like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, adopting their strengths into his game.

The importance of self-belief and confidence in achieving career goals.

Reflections on the emotional impact of war experiences during childhood and the journey towards forgiveness.

The significance of open-mindedness and love as a driving force for personal growth and resilience.

Challenges of balancing a tennis career with family life and the desire to be an active father.

Approach to financial management, learning from parents and life experiences.

Novak Djokovic Foundation's focus on early childhood development and its impact on Serbian society.

Involvement in a PhD program at the University of Belgrade to further understand and improve early childhood education.

Philosophy on the importance of giving back and creating social change through his platform.

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