Monday, 27 January 2014


Tennis is a game that requires an ego to play , it also requires an ego to teach , some can deal with the 'responsibility' , others let it go to their head. The problem with a one on one sport is the issue of being better than your opponent, especially at a young age but not knowing how to address the situation , some let it go to their head. Boxers are egotistical , look at 'The Man' Mr Mundine, ego freak but he walks the walk , not just talks the talk, he has every right to be egotistical , he can belt most with a right hook , a testosterone fueled sport , one that shows a masculine side. So why is it with a sport such as Tennis that egos are born and chests are puffed out like pigeons when a victory is had and why do these ego freaks believe that they are next in line to take on Mr Mundine ?? I am no psychologist but it stems from early child hood , as it did for me , a sense of achievement if you weren't setting the world alight in either team sports or life in general , winning at a one on one contest made life so much more enjoyable . In a nutshell if you had a win in at Tennis it was a win in life as you beat all before you , albeit maybe one person if you were playing singles, euphoria.
Tennis Coaching is very similar , especially with some Coaches that perhaps didn't succeed with their playing careers as there is now a desire to win at teaching , pupil's results are a reflection on their own capabilities as a mentor , some handle it with modesty , some don't. 
The best players don't always make the best Coaches , as Boris Becker found with his new 'pupil' Novak Djokovic , the World's number 2 male Tennis player . Novak was looking for that 'edge' , it didn't happen in the 2014 Australian Open as he fell to a guy that was ranked 6 places behind him with a Coach that no one has heard of . I give these two 6 months at best . Boris never won the French Open , he has no advice that he can give Novak going into this Tournament , nothing that will make him do anything different as the French Open is a mind and physical test , Boris lost in consecutive years at this Tournament to 'smarter ' players . 
Boris Becker will be looking for a new job soon, watch this space.....
Back to Coaching ; Am i an Ego freak ? Possibly , i still play Tournaments , teach the game and I write about it in detail , I give my opinions regularly , quite possibly I am egotistical . Do i give my students false hope ? No , I am strangely too honest in this respect . Do I charge outlandish prices that are unjustified ? No , I under charge , I have delivered mail for nearly 20 years at around $22 per hour and don't believe that I should be charging as much as $70 per hour just because the 'book' says so . I have had twice as much experience as guys that haven't been out of their back yard who 'teach' the game to people who have stars in their eyes cos this guy has a sign on his car and a big glossy banner that says he is a man to be 'respected'.
Tennis is a game that you have to earn respect , some go for the easy fix, the big signs and the smoke and mirrors routine plus big advertising that sways the public their way .
Good luck to them , each individual has their own way of doing things , like life in general and it's what makes each day a new challenge. 
Tennis however is a sport that needs to be respected , not unlike the great Anthony Mundine who talks the talk and also walks the walk , a one on one Master who generally wins the battle , both physically and mentally . Is he a Self Opinionated Ego Freak ? You betcha he is but he backs it up.
Tennis is not unlike a boxing match , 60 feet from your opponent but the self respect it gains from a win is in a lot of ways like a Title Fight .If you can win at Tennis and it gives you a win in life then this is the sport for you . As a Coach however I am wary of the process , it can turn young kids and adults alike into different people , some call it 'white line fever' . Tennis can define a person , that's where a good Coach is worth his weight in gold.......

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