Here is the podcast and transcript, Martina was in top form and dare I say quick on her feet? Here is part of the summary:
In their conversation, she and Tyler cover her illustrious tennis career, her experience defecting from Czechoslovakia and later becoming a dual citizen, the wage gap in tennis competition and commentary, gender stereotypes in sports, her work regimen and training schedule, technological progress in tennis, her need for speed, journaling and constant self-improvement, some of her most shocking realizations about American life, the best way to see East Africa, her struggle to get her children to put the dishes in the dishwasher, and more.
Here is one bit:
NAVRATILOVA: I just wanted to leave no stone unturned, really. The coach, obviously, was technique and tactics. The physical part was training, working very hard. I’ll give you my typical day in a minute. The eating was so that I could train hard and not get injured. So it all came together.
The typical day, then, when I really was humming was four hours of tennis, 10:00 to 2:00, two hours of drills and maybe two hours of sets. Then I would do some running drills on the court for 15, 20 minutes, sprints that if I did them now, I wouldn’t be able to walk the next day.
NAVRATILOVA: You know, 15- to 30-second sprinting drills. Then we would eat lunch. Then I would go either play basketball full-court, two on two for an hour and a half or little man-big man. It’s two on one. I don’t know, those people that play basketball. You just run. You just run.
COWEN: Which one were you?
NAVRATILOVA: It switches. Whoever has the ball is the little man. No, whoever has the ball, it’s one against two. Then you play little man, the person plays defense, and then the big man plays center. It’s not two on one, it’s one against one and then one. Then whoever gets the ball goes the other way. It’s run, run, run.
Then I would lift weights and have dinner either before lifting weights or after. So it was a full day of training.
COWEN: What about 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M.?
COWEN:Billie Jean King once suggested that you use writing in a journal every day to help you accomplish your goals. How does that work for you? What is it you do? Why do you think it works?
NAVRATILOVA: It worked because it really centers you. It narrows it down, whatever long-term goal you have. It becomes more real and more current because it narrows it down in that, “What do you need to do today?” and “Did you accomplish that goal?” You have a big goal. You break it into smaller goals, into smaller goals, until you get into, “OK, what do I do today to get to that goal?”
…Try to be honest with yourself. Be honest but also be nice to yourself. You see that with most champions. They’re perfectionists. You beat yourself up too much. I preach and I try to strive for excellence rather than perfection.
If you strive for excellence, perfection may happen. [laughs] It’s good enough to be excellent. That’s good enough. You don’t need to be perfect because perfection just happens by accident.
I asked her this:
COWEN: What was it like to go skiing with Donald Trump?
My favorite part was this:
NAVRATILOVA: Tyler, you need to drink more water. You’re not hydrating at all.
Remember, above all else, sports is cognitive! These are some of the smartest humans of our time, even if it is not always the kind of intelligence you respect most.