Well Intentioned: Maria Sharapova on the Importance of Discipline, the Best Athlete’s Sunblock, and Her 80/20 Rule

From mantras to meditation, mindfulness to manifestation, Well Intentioned offers an intimate look at how to make space for self-care in meaningful ways, big and small.

Five-time tennis Slam winner Maria Sharapova is one of the most recognized names in the sport. Over her storied, nearly two-decade career, she became not only the first Russian woman to achieve the world number one ranking (at age 18), but also one of only ten women ever to achieve a career Grand Slam (meaning, she has prevailed at the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open). She has 36 career titles overall, and, officially, though this figure is much higher when you factor in brand deals, her tour winnings amount to more than $38 million. Case in point: If you’re looking for wellness tips to catalyze high achievement, read on!

Sharapova officially retired from tennis in February of 2020, but has since maintained a busy off-court life that involves motherhood, a number of entrepreneurial pursuits, and, as of this year, a partnership with Aman Resorts on a new program the hospitality group is calling “Wellness Immersions.” Sharapova has curated–and will host–the first in the series at Aman’s Amanpuri property in Thailand. It centers, fittingly, on optimizing performance and recovery.

“I’ve curated everything,” says Sharapova. “From when you wake up, to your first meal, to your first meditation or breath work session, to everything in between.” She adds: “What I’ve loved most about this so far is that we’re positioning it for all different levels. Whether you’re someone who works out frequently, or not, or who practices meditation, or not, we’re encouraging all different levels to participate. Routines are important, but not everyone will have the same routine.” Below, Sharapova sounds off on some of her own health and wellness regimens–tactics she’ll be bringing to Thailand and that she employs in her day-to-day life.

Stay Committed

“Years of discipline and routines ultimately lead to results. As I’ve spent the last few years transitioning to a new chapter of my life–with motherhood, with business–I’ve realized that so much of the discipline and so many of the routines that got me to Grand Slam finals have transitioned to my life now. With work, with being a mom…having discipline gives you resilience. One of the things I find challenging in today’s environment is that there are so may options and distractions too. So, keeping a routine is harder than ever. But to see results, you have to dedicate that discipline into yourself.”

Wear Sunblock

“Always, always put on SPF. I live in California most of the year. It’s one of the first things I do. That was a big part of my career, too. Applying SPF and reapplying SPF. For athletes, or athletic activity, I recommend Supergoop. It’s really the only SPF I can sweat in!”

Give Yourself Permission

“To lower anxiety, it’s important to allow myself to have the time–to give myself the time–needed. We live in an age of distraction, and when your mind is constantly working, you need to give it a break. De-stressing is not about having a specific thing, in my case. It’s about giving yourself permission to time out, and not feeling guilty about it. This is a big challenge–mothers especially face this guilt. But, you need to find a way to be okay with it, because it is so important.”

Trust–and Find Motivation Within–the Process

“I come from a very competitive background, which means I’m very results oriented. But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how much the process is a big part of the finish line. Many times, the process is even more important than the finish line, because it teaches you all these important lessons. Success is the goal, but it is ultimately something quick, when it happens. The happiness is very high and emotions are high, but when you think of all the work you put into to achieve that success…it’s over a much longer period of time. All goals require long roads, and finding a way to be inspired and motivated by the process is necessary.”

Rhythms of Consistency

“I try to dedicate at least one hour per day, five to six days a week, to my body. I don’t train at the levels I used to, but I’m quite diligent about being consistent–even if I have only 30 minutes in a hotel room. To be honest, I like the variety that I have in my workouts now. It was much stricter while training as a professional athlete. But, the consistency is what I’ve stuck to.”

The 80/20 Rule

“Diligence around diet is important but also challenging, especially when on the road. 80% of the time, I try to eat clean, and then 20% of the time, I love my cheat meals. I love sweets, so it’s not always an easy ration to keep up!”

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Aman Resorts’ Optimizing Performance & Recovery Immersion will take place from February 21 to 24, 2024.

This article was originally published on

More From Vogue

Share now on:
FacebookXEmailCopy Link