The French Open, Wimbledon, Monaco, Silverstone, FA Cup, European Cup, The Ashes, World Cup Rugby and so much more in the massive world of sport. It is truly a kaleidoscope of opportunity to play and follow a myriad of sports so I will choose a few events to spotlight in this Locker Room Power Blog, a book that gives competitive people 1000 insights for a penny apiece.

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Tennis

I think there is a good chance Novak Djokovic  can create history and win all four Slams this year, becoming only the second player since Rod Laver in the Open era to do so in a vastly more competitive arena than Laver had to contend with in 1969. This would seal his claim to the status of an all time great and begin a debate of GOAT. Who can stop him in Paris? Andy Murray or Rafa Nadal. I cannot see beyond them on clay although Ferrer is dangerous. Wimbledon is different and here there are many potential players to upset the form book such as Federer, Murray, Raonic, Berdych, Kyrgios and Nishikori. If Nadal wins the French then his confidence will be such that he will add himself to this list although seeding and recent history suggests otherwise. Wimbledon is Rogers’s major chance and his ability to serve and volley has improved since last year where he was within a whisker of winning. I will be surprised if the title does not land in Novak, Roger or Andy’s hands.

Britain will have a more interesting line up with Kyle Edmund maturing fast, James Ward more confident following his Davis Cup wins and Liam Broady anticipating a debut. Paris for the women is interesting because Serena has not performed well in recent years so will be desperate to win again but I do not make her favourite. The mantle of favourite must belong to the defending champ and recently crowned Rome winner, Maria Sharapova going after her third French title. This is nothing short of amazing because everything points to clay being her worst surface yet she has come to master the use of the extra time it gives her to set up and use her power and clean ball strike to hurt opponents so badly that they cannot exploit her movement, which has also improved. Maria is simply a genius in her ability to compete and wring every ounce of performance out of her mind and body and therefore is a fantastic role model for any aspiring athlete. This is how a dedicated pro operates and uses her Locker Room Power to the max. The other contenders are Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova. Wimbledon again is a tournament that asks who will beat Serena. Kvitova is the defending Champion and showing signs of form by winning Madrid and Sharapova can win if someone beats Serena, the only player who mentally has an edge over Maria. I’m sure another player will emerge this year to stake a claim and upset one or more of these three with the most likely being Halep, Bouchard or Lisicki (who comes alive on the grass). Hopefully a relatively unknown young player will emerge from the crowd and capture the fans imagination.

Football

The FA Cup is always a great occasion and I was lucky enough to see last years final with fellow coach Jim Edgar from the Hull end and it was a fantastic day full of energy and friendly banter. This year Villa will attempt to overthrow the champions Arsenal and have a good chance. Tim Sherwood has galvanised the side with belief so with desire high it will be a keenly fought contest as Wenger tries to continue building momentum and their belief that Arsenal can fight for the Premiership title next season. Barcelona are the big beast in the European jungle and with Messi back to his best it is unlikely Juventus will stop this team making more history, but what a wonderful season Juventus has put together.

Formula 1

The weekend of the Monaco Grand Prix is very special from the die hard enthusiasts who camp on the hill for up to a week before year on year in “their spot”, often meeting once a year for decades to the billionaires on their glitzy yachts. I was fortunate to watch from the Hotel Paris in 2007 and it remains one of the great spectacles of my life. The organisation is clockwork with the temporary walls and barriers protecting spectators and civilians just walking about to clearing the track of accidents – everything is pure precision. The racing is cat and mouse, interesting because maintaining the immense concentration to stay on the track and defending or attacking the only two small opportunities to pass and places of seeing an F1 car at low speed. Qualifying is more important in Monte Carlo than any other track and pure top speed less relevant. Whoever gets pole between Rosberg and Hamilton will be nailed on favourite to win, but the great thing about Monaco is the slower teams can surprise and if mistakes are made points can be won because an error on this track means hitting a barrier and out of the race. Lewis probably did a bit too much travel before the Spanish GP and with margins so small a touch of fatigue can swing the pendulum. However the mental benefit from relaxing and doing other things may well pay dividends through the season and I expect Lewis on pole and to win. His LRP is immense at present with his relaxed approach oozing confidence in the same stratosphere as Novak.

Formula 1

The weekend of the Monaco Grand Prix is very special from the die hard enthusiasts who camp on the hill for up to a week before year on year in “their spot”, often meeting once a year for decades to the billionaires on their glitzy yachts. I was fortunate to watch from the Hotel Paris in 2007 and it remains one of the great spectacles of my life. The organisation is clockwork with the temporary walls and barriers protecting spectators and civilians just walking about to clearing the track of accidents – everything is pure precision. The racing is cat and mouse, interesting because maintaining the immense concentration to stay on the track and defending or attacking the only two small opportunities to pass and places of seeing an F1 car at low speed. Qualifying is more important in Monte Carlo than any other track and pure top speed less relevant. Whoever gets pole between Rosberg and Hamilton will be nailed on favourite to win, but the great thing about Monaco is the slower teams can surprise and if mistakes are made points can be won because an error on this track means hitting a barrier and out of the race. Lewis probably did a bit too much travel before the Spanish GP and with margins so small a touch of fatigue can swing the pendulum. However the mental benefit from relaxing and doing other things may well pay dividends through the season and I expect Lewis on pole and to win. His LRP is immense at present with his relaxed approach oozing confidence in the same stratosphere as Novak.

Rugby

England rugby has a summer to get its ducks in a line and iron out the small indiscipline’s and errors that I believe will determine their success or not in the World Cup. Stuart Lancaster has created a culture of togetherness and appreciation that will ultimately succeed and my hope is that the team gels with that little bit of magic in time to win the tournament. The All Blacks are clear favourites but I don’t fancy them to win with Australia, Ireland and Wales to surprise with the winner coming from England, South Africa or Oz. Tournaments always gain a life of their own so predictable results invariably are often wrong, but part of being a fan is to speculate.

Cricket

An example of foreseeing an Australian white wash in the Ashes seems very reasonable this far out, but England are mostly a young team and how quickly they mature is a million dollar question. They certainly need strong and inspiring leadership which engenders belief in their ability to hurt Australia and counter their LRP (see “Weapons, making Statements and Countering LRP” chapters in LRP). Is Alistair Cook this person? The new coach needs to be inspirational and his winning mentality totally believable to the team.

In Summery

There is so much magnificent sport around the world this summer. Can Froome regain the Tour de France title? Can McIlroy win back to back Opens and another US Opens or will Tiger finally recapture winning form? The Derby, The Durban July (the big horse race in South Africa), athletic and more F1 Grand Prix’s and so much more! Whatever it is that interests you share your thoughts and enjoy the thrills and spills.