Never underestimate the power of visualization.
"I was always dreaming about being the best in tennis," said world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who became the first Open era player to win three consecutive Australian Open titles after beating Andy Murray 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-2 in Sunday's final.
"I remember as a kid, I was improvising and making little trophies out of different materials and going in front of the mirror, lifting the trophies and saying 'Nole was the champion!'"
The 25-year-old claimed an unprecedented third straight title in Melbourne and cemented his place among the game's all-time greats -- a feat all the more remarkable given the Serb's upbringing amid conflict in the Balkans during the 1990s.
"We didn't have a childhood that is similar to some of our generation of tennis players because we grew up during the war. There was a lot of struggle, difficulty financially ... but we survived," said Djokovic, referring to the three-year war which was the bloodiest in Europe since World War II,
"It was really hard to succeed and I have to thank God for the big support from my father and my mother and all the family," added Djokovic, who spoke to CNN's Open Court show, prior to the start of the season's first grand slam in Australia.
"They believed in me and gave me hope when I was facing a lot of disbelief, a lot of doubts.
Backed and also blessed with some impressive sporting genes -- father Srdjan and his uncle Goran were professional skiers -- Djokovic began his tennis odyssey at the age of four.
"I saw tennis on the TV and I saw the tennis court (near his parent's restaurant in Kapaonik, southern Serbia) and my father brought me a small tennis racket. That's when I think we all fell in love with the sport," he explained.
It was here that Djokovic caught the eye his first coach Jelena Gencic. "I knew that Nole would be the best in the world