Why teen tennis sensation Coco Gauff is a brilliant example of owning your super strengths

She might have suffered a surprise first exit at this year’s Wimbledon tournament, but that doesn’t detract from the indelible mark that the extraordinary Cori “Coco” Gauff has made on the tennis world at the age of just 19. 

The emergence of “Cocomania”

Coco first made headlines when, aged 15, she defeated her idol, Venus Williams in a thrilling match that captured the world’s attention. Since then, she became the youngest player since 1991 to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon, made her mark at the 2020 Australian Open and the 2021 French Open, and represented the United States in the prestigious Fed Cup. 

While her exceptional tennis prowess has earned her reputation as one of the brightest young talents in the sport, it isn’t her remarkable skill that has captivated the hearts of fans worldwide, a phenomenon known as “Cocomania”.  

Introducing “super strengths” – it’s not what you do but how you do it   

“Cocomania” is a result of the kind of tennis player Coco is – her incredible talent on the court is only part of her success.  

Coco has become a global sensation because she understands and owns her super strengths – those sparkly qualities which are uniquely Coco. In the coaching world, we define super strengths as the unique things that you are both brilliant at – and love to do. Becoming aware of what your super strengths are allows you to unlock your full potential, show up with gravitas and make a lasting impact.  

In the case of Coco, it is her refreshing authenticity, infectious enthusiasm and political activism that have made her a teen prodigy who has redefined tennis for a new generation. Let’s dive into some of Coco’s strengths in a little more detail. 

Coco’s super strengths 

  • Enthusiasm – Coco has discussed in interviews how her immediate goal on the court is to have fun. Whether it’s her infectious smile, her light-hearted sense of humour in interviews, or how she relishes the thrill of the game, you can’t help but feel excited by the enjoyment she takes in her sport – and the electricity this brings to her matches.  
  • Authenticity – Whether it’s her relatable, down-to-earth nature in interviews or her openness around the more difficult emotions she feels in challenging defeats, Coco’s authenticity has allowed her to create genuine a connection with fans that transcends tennis. 
  • Political activism – By advocating for causes that matter to her, from Black Lives Matter to climate change, Coco has brought social justice causes into a sport that typically shies away from politics. This courage & passion has engaged a new generation of tennis fans, while demonstrating that athletes have the power to be catalysts for change beyond the sports world. 

Where does a personal brand fit in?

Tennis has always been a display of distinctive signature styles, from playing techniques to fashion choices. Coco is known for an intelligent style of play and phenomenal backhand, as well as her vibrant fashion choices, and love of silver jewellery and nail art.  These distinctive traits, together with her “super strengths”, the less visible qualities that make Coco stand out, come together to create a strong personal brand.  

In my eyes, a personal brand is a distinctive personal style & perspective. It is about bringing who you are to what you do & how you do it. In coaching, I help people actively manage their personal brand, because you have a personal brand whether you like it or not. Actively managing it is a powerful tool to help you show up as your best self – and make a lasting impact.  

It’s time to Unlock Your Brilliant Best

Are you interested in understanding your super strengths & personal brand, and leveraging both to unlock your full potential? These are just two of many tools we dive into in Unlock Your Brilliant Best, a group coaching course I designed to help women build confidence and show up with more gravitas.  

The next course kicks off on 29th September 2023. Get in touch with me here to save your seat.

Alex sat on a sofa with a mug and notebook


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