Wednesday, 23 October 2013


Tough subject this one but why not tackle it head on ? This is the situation in life that is rather embarrassing in junior sport yet it rears it's ugly head regularly , especially in Tennis , so why is this ? Easy one to answer ; Tennis is the game , as is golf , that Parents who didn't perhaps 'make it' either in life or their preferred sport , can finally have 'bragging rights' that has their surname written all over it .(Team Sports unless you are a standout, don't quite have the same effect) I often wonder whether the name has anything to do with sport , personally i wasn't 'gifted' in my choice of first or last names , Sweden's Joachim Johanssen was always going to be a Tennis Player , if he failed at that , racing car driving would've been his other option . Back to the Headline; There needs to be an 'Odd's Book' given to each and every parent who's child takes up the game of Tennis  with the headline 'One in A million'......
When i trained full time for  nearly two years in Queensland i saw a thing or two regarding talent and when i toured  Europe i saw it on an even bigger scale , it was outrageous , as Redfoo would say 'Ridiculous'. (He's a singer with weird lyrics). 
The art of Tennis is just that 'an Art' , maybe the toughest individual sport in the world that requires the player to be not only technically brilliant , but mentally and physically brilliant at the same time . As a coach of the sport you see many examples of 'my kid has what it takes , I want you to make her a champion' , that's a big call.It's like 'Santa Claus' , what are the chances?? Nick Bollettieri trained Andre Agassi , Brad Gilbert made Andre a Champion with his tactical mind and views on the game , Andre's Father though was the person who taught him to play . So if there is a Tennis Coach out there who can do all of these things with a budding junior talent of the game of Tennis then i would love to meet him . Each 'Coach' knows his limitations , some have a talent in certain areas of the game yet lack in others , having the talent to do all of the above is a 'gift' , Rafa's Uncle Tony may just be this Man but let's put Rafa into perspective. Carlos Moya took  a young 14-15 year old Rafa under his wing and hit with him regularly which took his game to an unbelievably high level , Uncle Tony reaped the benefits of Moya's tuition . More than one element is responsible for a future Champion of the game , 'real coaches' are aware of this fact and have a realistic view on the whole process . The other side of the coin is 'ugly parents' who sit behind the court watching their child play and offer the occasional remark to the unlucky opponent trying to upset them enough to 'give in' to their 'prodigy' . 'Come on buddy that was inside the line ' or 'if you call a close one out again , look out', or my all time favorite. This is where the 'peanut gallery' comes into the equation and we have all seen it . 'Touring Squads' from which ever town they are from have a habit of going up to the back of the fence and even push their noses through the gaps! These 'peanuts' have a habit of asking their mates' for the score and even offer 'advice' to their opponents yet the 'Touring Squad's 'Coach' turns a blind eye , he is hoping for the whole process of winning to speed up with a little help from the 'gallery' .
In reality the 'process' is a long , painful and financially debilitating one to take a kid from novice to Champion , that 'One in A million' book may just be worth that figure......

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