Friday, 30 December 2016

'A FINAL POST FOR 2016'

As always I write a post to thank those who have tuned into this site over the past 12 months and in particular to those who I have upset with the content of some of my posts, well it's like this, we are all entitled to an opinion.
Tennis is the type of sport where so many perceptions confuse what's really important and that is of course simply getting the ball over the net and keeping yourself in the point as long as possible. Nothing worse than losing a match as opposed to being beaten, there is of course a huge difference though some 'gurus' will tell you otherwise.
My theories on the sport of tennis are perhaps not unique however every coach has a different way of explaining things, I am no different in that aspect. 
Part of me hates tennis due in large to the way in which it is now run by Governing Bodies who have taken all the uniqueness away from the game with their 'modules' and their 'latest methods' as far as teaching the game is concerned. Creating robots is now the 'norm'.
Part of me loves tennis because it keeps me amused as both a side project with my writing and my coaching as the thought of teaching the game full time repulses me for more than one reason. If you have read any of my book you will understand my reasons for coaching on a part time basis and why I charge accordingly.
If the public choose to spend up to $90 an hour with someone who claims to be a full time tennis coach even though they only 'work' before school and after but charge like a wounded bull to make up for the hours they sit on their arse during the day then good luck to 'em.
Just because someone owns a price tag that looks like they know what they are talking about it doesn't necessarily mean that they know how to teach tennis. I had a lesson before Xmas with a Doctor who hit me just two tennis balls on her backhand side before I corrected the obvious problem which was the grip, as always the grip.
'I had a lesson last week in the South West on our tour'.
So how did that go ?
'Yeah ok'.
So why are you holding the racket like that ? Did the coach not tell you how to hold the racket ?
'No I was only taught how to swing'.
( At $70 an hour personally I would like to be taught from the beginning, the grip may just help )
It seems that the public is more interested in spending big dollars or rather looking for the most expensive 'Zen Master' to learn from however it can be deceiving in a sport such as tennis as many charge that price to make them look and sound a whole lot better than what and who they really are.
All of these examples of course keep me entertained and keep me writing which hasn't been a whole lot lately due to work committments in my 'real job'.
The year 2016 will also be a year that I will remember for quitting the ATPCA ( Australian Tennis Professional Coaches Association ). I asked them for a full refund due to their inability to control who joins their association which is in fact in opposition to Tennis Australia.
Allowing TA coaches (who gain funding from their Governing Body to run their own programs) to be part of the ATPCA is in my opinion nothing short of farcical. I believe you should follow one or the other because if you follow both it shows that you have an identity crisis of epic proportions.
If you know nothing about either well I suggest you look up the ATPCA and do some research, these guys have no time for TA yet allow TA coaches into their system. All way too contradictory for my liking, yet that's tennis in Australia for you.
Remember if you are an ATPCA 'qualified tennis coach' it will not be recognised as a qualification by Tennis Australia as they have stated. So you do the sums on what I have just written. I refuse to be a part of either, way too much bullshit involved and no loyalty required.
I will leave you with a couple more posts from my book 'Delusions of Grandeur' which I put together in October this year and posted on this site, a book I am proud of and one that begins on my parents garage wall in Albany, Western Australia and then took me to Paris nine years later.
We all have a tennis story, we all have a theory or two on how the game should be played, I am sticking with my ideas and my rather affordable lesson costs that many wouldn't get out of bed for. Difference is simple, I aren't full of my own self importance, many in this sport are.........
All the best in 2017
Regards GT

Saturday, 3 December 2016

'WHAT DID YOU EXPECT' ?

I find the following article to be not at all surprising. Tennis is a sport that does not look after the players who are battling to make their way, it only keeps paying the elite more money.

Not too many players are ever going to win a Slam yet they keep increasing the prize money in the major tournaments to an obscene amount with no justification.

Perhaps inflation ? If that's the case then increase the prize money in the lower tiered events. Those players are the future of the game yet most will never get the opportunity to finally show their full potential as they will not be able to afford to stay in the sport.

This article is typical of where the sport is currently, a sport which is happy to help Novak surpass the $100,000,000 mark yet fails to help future champions stay in the game......

Spanish authorities have detained 34 people, including six tennis players, involved in a tennis match-fixing network that made more than half-a-million dollars from lower-tier tournaments in Spain and Portugal.

Key points:

  • Alleged fixing occured in Challenger and Futures-level tournaments
  • Police say they found evidence of fixing in 17 men's tournaments in Spain and Portugal
  • If convicted, 34 face prison sentences of up to four years
Police said that Operation Futures probed several Futures and Challenger tournaments in Iberia for the past several months and found evidence that results were rigged.
The tennis players were not identified, but authorities said they were ranked between 800 and 1,200 in the world. Their Spanish rankings ranged between 30 and 300.
Police said they found evidence of match-fixing attempts in 17 men's tournaments in five cities, including Madrid, Seville and Porto.
Authorities said the two alleged leaders of the network were among those detained across 12 Spanish cities. The leaders were based in Seville and La Coruna. All those detained were Spaniards and are expected to remain free pending trial.
If convicted of corruption in sports, they could face prison sentences of up to four years.
The investigation began after a tip given by a player to the Tennis Integrity Unit, the sport's anti-corruption body.
"Investigation of corruption allegations by law enforcement agencies takes precedence over tennis disciplinary action," the body said in an email.
"The TIU will continue to work co-operatively with (Spanish police) and offer its full support and access to resources."
Authorities took the case forward after noticing an unusual amount of online bets related to the suspected tournaments.
The network allegedly used instant-messaging groups and social media to attract online betters who would pay for the information about rigged results.
The players who accepted participating in the scheme would receive about $1,000 for each match. In some cases, they were asked to lose specific points or games.
The network's earnings in some of the tournaments surpassed $10,000.
The Challenger tournaments are second-tier events organized by the ATP, while the Futures are single-week competitions organized by the International Tennis Federation offering either $10,000 or $25,000 in prize money.
There were nearly 39 Futures tournaments in Spain this season, and more than 10 in Portugal.
AP

Sunday, 27 November 2016

'GETTING THE OLD LEGS GOING AGAIN'




Rested throughout winter, wrist is on the mend, not happy with my current 77.5 kg's either, way too much beer and lack of exercise over the cooler months. Thought it was about time I gave the old legs a bit of a run again. Funny isn't it how with a sport such as tennis we often look back at the days when it was a lot easier, just as the great Jonny Mac once said 'The older I get the better I was'. Love that terminology. 
Tennis is like that, it makes us feel old when we can't quite do what we used to do when the legs moved a lot quicker, however that's the appeal, it's a challenge.
You can take up a job as 'resident coach' anywhere you like in the World and look back on past days on court and the narrow losses that drove you insane or you can keep hitting the ball and finding ways to keep testing yourself.
When I had a scan on my wrist the Doc said 'It's stuffed, but you may just be able to manage it with a bit of care', so that's what I did, I managed it. I look at the older guys who play on the Seniors Tour who still hit the ball with all the brilliance that they once did twenty something years earlier, albeit a little slower than what they used to. Yet they still do it, not as much, not as well as they once did, but they still play, that's inspiring.
Going to hit a few balls this summer, I reckon with a lot of tape, a memory that still works ( despite too much beer ) and a desire to still show my students that I can still walk the walk ( with a slight limp ) I will still test the old legs.
You are a long time retired, see you on court soon,
Regards GT

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

'THANKS GUYS'

As always a big shout out and a sincere thank you to the usual suspects who tune into my site, you inspire me to keep writing. You give my site credibility by tuning in as without your regular views I would probably pack it all up and start one of those Mickey Mouse pages that most of the new breed of 'tennis coach' own.
If you haven't already read my previous pages I recently quit the ATPCA due to their inability to control who joins their organisation as Tennis Australia 'coaches' who receive funding from TA are in fact allowed to join the ATPCA.
I love the way that certain 'Zen Masters' of the sport have to belong to certain organisations so they are kept up to date 'with the latest coaching methods'.
If you are a good tennis coach you need nothing except your knowledge that you have acquired over the course of your playing and coaching career as one thing is certain in tennis, you only get smarter. 
The only reason I was a member of the ATPCA was because I liked the idea of distancing myself from Tennis Australia, not because I was interested in their views on the 'latest methods'.
Back when I joined the ATPCA the entire Industry owned a lot more moral fibre than what it does today. Now days you can join certain organisations over the phone or through email without so much as a hint of loyalty or at least passing a playing test yourself, classic.
Donald Duck could pass a Tennis Coaching Course in Australia......

Saturday, 12 November 2016

'TA OR ATPCA ' ?

I wrote the following piece around three years ago however the whole debate now has resurfaced. Why ? Well it's like this, Tennis Australia coaching programs now have guys and girls from the ATPCA working for them.
All you have to do is look up a tennis coaching organization anywhere in this Country and put a coach's name into the system.
Once you have done this it will then tell you where the coach is aligned to, whether it be TA or the ATPCA. 
The funny thing is this, many TA 'gurus' who swear by TA in fact have assistant coaches working for them who are paid up members of the ATPCA. 
I find that to be nothing short of hypocritical.
So do Head Coaches really care who their assistant coaches are signed up with, whether it be TA or the ATPCA ?
Or is it only Tennis Australia themselves who really care ?
'TA OR ATPCA' ( written in 2016 )
I once read a rather amusing statement in the paper regarding Tennis Australia Coaches as opposed to 'others' , namely The ATPCA (Australian Tennis Professional Coaches Association).
I also read the letter that was distributed to tennis clubs around Australia, written by Tennis Australia in 2012 who did their utmost to demean the ATPCA.
In a word it was PATHETIC.
Whilst I do not have the article or letter in front of me they both read something along the lines of ; 'Tennis Australia recommend Tennis Australia Coaches only for junior tennis programs, nation wide, etc etc. 
Let's put this into perspective ; Woolies recommend their food over Coles , Dan Murphy's Liquor recommend their product over other Liquor providers as does Toyota over Mazda , but they word their sales pitch's a little smarter than what was written regarding Tennis Australia vs 'others'.
It is no secret that the ATPCA and Tennis Australia do not have much time for each other so rather than me try to explain it I will simply put the Link at the bottom of the page , it's worth a read. 
It is fairly easy to see where the issues began . 
So back to the newspaper article, this was written by a coach who runs TA programs and who is a paid up coaching member of Tennis Australia. 
So where does his point lay ? 
Nowhere, it is a small minded opinion and lacks any substance or credibility. It is a rather humorous way of trying to degrade other Tennis Coaching Associations but falls short of doing anything except embarrassing himself and his Organization.
Now here's the thing, this coach is now a member of the ATPCA as well as running Tennis Australia coaching programs.
Why is this ?
Is there a lack of vision here ?
Is there an identity crisis here ?
Why would you possibly want to be a member of both the TA and ATPCA Coaching organizations ?
Is it simply just something that looks good on a resume ?
Personally I quit the ATPCA about a year ago as I did not receive the answer I was looking for. I asked the ATPCA to explain to me why TA coaches could join the ATPCA after all the crap that has been said about them by TA over the years.
I believe firmly in being a member of one or the other, not both. 
Remember, TA state that if you are a member of any other tennis coaching organization your 'accreditation' will not be recognized. 
Why not TA ?
Not recognized by who ?
Tennis Australia ?
Get over yourself TA.
The ATPCA has been in existence for over 45 years, fact.


Anyone who is prepared to publicly write that their Coaching Provider is better than any other's without a detailed description as to why , including the performance win / loss ratio compared to the other's , in my opinion has his or her head firmly stuck up their own a... 
(I urge you to look up the following article , worth a read )
TA BLUNDER - ATPCA TENNIS
Good day
Regards Glenn

'A MUST READ '

The following piece of literature is from someone who did the sums on tennis, it's tough to read if you are looking to make the sport your career but here it is , word for word from 'tennis insiders.com;
'Right now there are about 14 US players on the ATP and WTA tours who are earning a net profit. They span about 17.5 years of playing on tour. That means that the US as a Country produces about 8 1/10's of one paying job per year as a pro tennis player. If you are pushing your child for that 8 1/10's of one job then you need to have your head examined. The pro tennis system is broken beyond belief. It is nothing short of a flat out Business catastrophe perpetrated against our sport .... but it is still our catastrophe. So unless you are going to start a new pro tour ..... you are looking at 80 percent of one paying job per year. 
It cracks me up that the 100's of 1000's of dollars that people spend on their kid's tennis, berating them after their losses, devoting their entire family's live's to the cause ..... only to find out that the average professional tennis player loses money as opposed to makes it.'

Thought that was worth a repost, I put it on this site quite some time ago as I thought it had merit.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

' THE HACKER '

 Every player owns a style that they are comfortable with, some are effective, some aren't. Some look good, others look a little less glamorous. Either way we all have a particular style about us when we step onto a tennis court. So how would I describe myself ? Well I don't really need to as others have already done it for me. Yes folks I am officially 'the hack' ! 
It has been said to me and about me on at least two occasions but I would suspect there have been many more 'hack' comments sprayed in my direction over the years. So why am I a hack ? Well that's an easy one to answer, I simply keep getting the ball back into play and I am not really that interested in putting it back into the hitting zone of my opponent. 
So what is a hack ? Most kids will tell you that the terminology is not a compliment, more so a derogatory remark about a player who does things a little differently on court. Those things may include things like moon balls, plenty of lobs, sliced backhands as opposed to the 'cooler' topspin drive, softer hitting and an uncanny ability to do it all on a regular basis. This style drives opponents absolutely nuts because that sort of style should not be effective, yet it is, it is very, very effective. 
If you don't believe me then take a read of Brad Gilbert's best seller 'Winning Ugly', it confirms it.
I once wrote a post about a match that I played locally against a hot shot teenager from the City where I was in total awe of his hit up form yet that's where his ability to intimidate me ceased. Apart from being down an early break I won the match in straight sets but once I started getting on top his frustration became obvious, 'This guy is a hack'. 
That's the best he could come out with, he said it loud enough for me to hear it which gave me all the information I required to keep doing what I was doing as I knew it was getting to him.
So what was I doing ? I was annoying him in a way that he quite possibly had never been annoyed before because his game was big, particularly the forehand but he only hit it well if I gave him a hard ball in his hitting zone. After the first few games I realised that I was almost trying to play his game so I changed it up and gave him nothing that he liked and he did not recover from my change in tactic because I believe he fitted the mould of a lot of young tennis players. 
The player I am referring to is the ball machine player who can hit for an hour against a machine and believe that this is what is going to make them into a smart tennis player. 
It's all very well to be a 'macho man' when you play a sport like tennis however very few players can win by blasting winners at will all day long, leave that to the pros, in fact leave that to a player with few brains because even pros don't expect to blast winners all day. 
A smart tennis player or pro will actually win a match by making less errors than his opponent, not necessarily by hitting more winners but that's me stating the obvious, most people with an ounce of tennis grey matter will know that anyhow. 
I also apologise once again for giving a personal example on this site of mine however I firmly believe in relevance when writing about tennis and I have played a lot of tennis matches in my 35 years on court.
The smartest tennis players and coaches are the ones who have played a lot of matches, it's how you learn the game. You can be a 'seasoned tennis coach' in your own funny little World or you can draw on some past matches whether they be a win or a loss when you are looking to teach others the intricacies of tennis.
I was no star, in fact I was an average tennis player, a 'hack' to be more specific but I played enough matches to know what is right and wrong and what is effective when it comes to tennis. 
Happy to be a hacker, it can frustrate your opponents beyond comprehension, trust me and if you don't then please feel free to read 'Winning Ugly' by BG. He knew how to win without a conventional 'big' game........

' THE TOWEL, NECESSITY OR HABIT' ?


There is no way in the World that a tennis player requires a towel handed to them after each point by a poor little ball kid who actually signed up to chase tennis balls and not a pro who keeps pointing to his towel. How did this ridiculous habit even start and who let it happen ? ! Talk about pampered indeed.
I watched Groth ( who does sweat profusely ) sometime ago ask for the towel at an Australian tournament after each point he played and one thing occurred to me, it was a habit not a necessity. Let me elaborate. Groth asked for his towel after being aced after towelling off just moments earlier at the end of the previous point. 
Sure he won't stop sweating once he's started if he is that sort of person however a sweat band surely can do the job on the ace points as opposed to asking the ball boy to keep running the towel his way. 
To me it does nothing for the sport, in fact it gives it a prima donna type of aura as sweating and sport go together, it's like bacon and eggs. I don't see the big guns like Murray, Federer, Rafa and Novak going for the towel after each point. Sure Rafa has his funny habits however getting ball boys to run a towel to him after each point is not one of them. 
Roger simply uses his sweatband to wipe away the flow from his brow. McEnroe used to use his sleeve, Cash had a towel on his hip and Borg, well I don't believe he sweated at all, he was from another planet.
Let ball kids do their jobs, let them chase tennis balls and let the pros chase their own towels. If that means that they use all their time in between points risking a time violation then so be it but don't give other professional sport people the ammunition to call tennis a sport for the pampered......

'TENNIS, A RICH PERSON'S SPORT'

The recent post on the ATP site in regards to Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic is one of those typical tennis stories that have you both proud of the man himself yet almost angry at the sport and the way in which it is run. Victor didn't even turn pro until he turned 26 years of age, Borg was the same age when he retired.The reason the inspirational little man from the Caribbean didn't turn pro earlier was because he couldn't afford to, pretty simple really. The article begs the question, what if he had the funding to turn pro as a teenager or in his early twenties at least ? Many what if's with Victor Estrella Burgos.
I wrote a post on my site quite some time ago about this man because I was taken back by his desire to earn his spot in the Tennis World amongst the big guns albeit as a 'veteran' right from the very start.
I believe the yearly expenses of a tennis pro add up to around $150,000 including coaching also which means that three grand is needed per week just to make ends meet. Now that figure has not been plucked from thin air, it appears to be a fact.
The USTA has stated that it costs around $143,000 per year to fund the life of a Pro Tennis player however that figure could actually be halved by some. Apparently it costs $70,000 alone just to fund a travelling coach for the year so if you are a struggling player you may not even consider a coach. Tough to get better if you don't have someone analysing your matches and explaining where the improvement needs to happen.
I have always been rather bemused at the ever increasing prize money at the Grand Slams in particular as I am sure that all players would be more than happy with a 'capped' two million for a title win. Yet each year we read on in awe of the three or four million dollar first prize for a Grand Slam win which is more than an average Lotto win in the land of Oz.
I have often stated that I firmly believe the next Novak is sliding around on a clay court somewhere in an obscure South American Challenger event relying on a semi final showing just to break even for the week. The pressure to perform would be nothing short of enormous. Some say that it's the nature of the sport where only the strongest survive but I disagree with that.
If you have bucket loads of money you do not have to make the semis each time you play because you have a financial back up and no pressure as far as a time frame is concerned. Look at Victor's circumstances, he saved his coaching money and received nothing else to help him speed up the process of getting him on tour. 
That to me is a blight on the entire tennis system that boasts $100,000,000 in Novak's account now days, ( Before Tax of course ). 
Unless you are a 'once in a generation' talent such as Zverev or Coric you will scratch around for years on the Challenger Circuit earning the equivalent some weeks of a Check Out chick's K Mart wage. 
You know what I would love to see one day ? I know this is a real pipe dream but a portion of the Grand Slam title winner's purse to go into a fund to help the struggling future of the game simply make ends meet. Whip out a hundred grand before the cheque is even written, he won't even notice it's gone.
Victor Estrella Burgos is a man who could have been a top twenty player if he had the funds to support himself at an earlier age, no risk whatsoever. It is inspiring to read his story and how he will do his best to make sure in his Country at least the youth of the sport do not struggle like he had to.
As one last example that I believe to be most relevant, when Victor was just 23 he defeated a then 18 year old Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay in three straight sets in a Davis Cup match. Victor was ranked 1,110. Yes that isn't a mis print, ONE THOUSAND, ONE HUNDRED AND TEN. Cuevas sits currently at World Number 21.
As Victor says on the ATP World Tour site, he had the ability, just not the finances to make it happen. A rich person's sport indeed is tennis........

Monday, 7 November 2016

'JUST A THOUGHT FROM GT'

I have always wondered why on earth Pro Tennis players receive new balls after seven games because surely those balls are still rather hittable after those seven games. To me all it really does is give guys like Karlovic, Querry and Isner even more ammunition for their already ridiculously fearsome delivery.
Let's look at the average Saturday at your local tennis club, new balls at 1 pm, still in reasonable shape albeit either a little fluffier if played on synthetic grass or a little worse for wear if played on a hard court. So what's my view ?
Well as always I have a theory on what I believe should in fact transpire in a tennis match remembering of course that it is the same conditions for both players. New balls each set, nothing more, nothing less.
At least that way if it gets to a tie breaker between Isner and Karlovic it may just come down to the return instead of the serve which when you think about it is far from a spectacle for the crowd. Ace, unplayable serve, Ace, Ace, Ace, unplayable serve, pretty ordinary tennis for the public who pay good money to see the ball hit over the net more than twice during a point. Call me old fashioned but I love a good rally in tennis. A barrage of aces and unplayable serves will not wear a ball out like long arduous rallies so giving the big servers new pills after seven games really is not helping the sport become entertaining.
So what of two baseliners ? Should they receive new balls after seven games ? Well maybe they have a more solid case for it to happen however a certain style obviously cannot dictate a ruling in tennis so the rules must not favour one or the other. Baseliners may argue that their style will in fact warrant new tennis balls every seven games however it may just come down to tactics if each player knew that each set was to start from scratch with a new batch of furry things in a tin.
I firmly believe tennis players are pampered way too much and watching a pro dig for a new racket to go with the new balls even if that racket has being doing magic things thus far defies logic. New set, new balls, toughen up, spare a thought for the club player who is lucky to see one set of new balls each week let alone each seven games.
Allow for tactical matches as opposed to adding gunpowder to some already heavy artillery, just a thought......

Thursday, 3 November 2016

' WORTH A READ'

I had a lesson recently with a teenager who had spent around five or so years playing tennis in various programs around the State as he and his family moved around a bit. He spoke to me about wanting to improve his technique so we hit a few balls and then I brought him up close to the net.
" Show me how you would treat this ball thanks buddy " as I dropped a ball in front of him nice and low about half way between the net and the service box. He netted the first three balls that didn't even look like clearing the net. We tried again, 'Just a little more height on your follow through mate, let's clear it this time, nothing fancy, not too much pace".
Net, net, net and net again on the next four balls I drop fed to him. " What would you say is the problem with your forehand Champ" ? as I asked the obvious. 'Not sure, maybe my grip'. So we had a look at his grip which wasn't totally incorrect but we made a slight adjustment then I fed another five balls to his forehand and he cleared the net just once however his shot went long.
Here's what was going on. The kid had never been shown how to loop a ball into court. All he knew was how to drive it hard with a net clearance of a bee's proverbial. The kid had no idea on topspin or how to take the pace off the ball and simply roll it into play and he had been playing for around five years.
"Have you ever had a one on one lesson mate ? "  'No, just group lessons'. So as usual I did the sums on the whole thing. What is happening in many programs is rather obvious, too many kids in a lesson, kids running around looking busy but no real substance to the sessions and definitely no work on technique. I asked the kid whether he had been shown how to abbreviate a shot, you know, break it down into parts and his reply was 'no' again.
Sure it's a requirement for a kid to have a fun session , run around and come off the court saying 'That was great fun Dad' ,but surely part of those sessions must be about slowing the tempo down and at least looking at the mechanics of a shot. Or are some coaches worried about boring a kid to tears ?
Are gimmicks taking over from learning ? I asked this particular student to throw me a few balls just as I did to him and I showed him how to simply roll a ball into play without the drive type of motion that he thought was the ONLY way to hit a tennis ball. I broke the shot down into parts and even started with holding the racket up near the throat to prove I could hit a ball into play with plenty of clearance and not so much as a racket handle to help me.
I also hit a few balls over with just my hand as he threw the balls to me. I struck the ball with the palm of my hand and proved that I could also hit topspin without a racket. ( Sorry, maybe a gimmick there ) I wanted him to see the motion that was required to come up on a tennis ball from underneath it to create spin.
He gave it a go himself and actually had some success with it which I was not surprised about because I have always found that hitting a tennis shot in parts is how to build technique. Tennis teaching to me is all about thinking outside the square and not necessarily following programs that look great yet miss the mark as far as technique building is concerned.
I still am rather bemused by certain programs in tennis that are a total waste of time yet are seen by some parents in particular as a program of substance for their child. Forget the 10 or 12 student classes, total waste of time once again and find something that has a bit of bite to it like a program that explains the game in detail at an affordable price.....
Hang on GT, that may just make way too much sense.....
Heading to the Wheat belt again this weekend to spread the word on the game, you know the word that explains the sport of tennis without all the glossy stuff that seems to be associated with the sport now days.....
See you all in a few days
Regards GT

Friday, 28 October 2016

'THANKS FOR TUNING IN'

As always I send out a big thank you to those who read this site and in particular for those of you who have taken the time to read my book 'Delusions of Grandeur'.
The book is dear to me as it retraces most of the steps that I have taken in tennis from a 12 year old kid to a 47 year old who still gets a kick out of playing occasionally but who focuses more time on teaching the game now days. 
Like the old adage goes, 'you are a long time retired', so I suppose I drained every ounce out of my ageing legs and played every local tournament I could while I was fit and willing. There's plenty of time to coach, not so much time to play, fact of life.
In case I have forgotten to say thanks to an old mate of mine I will do so now. To Pete Rundle who partnered me in the Albany Open Mens Doubles two years ago, thanks heaps mate as it was officially my last local tournament due to a buggered wrist and a knee that simply doesn't run fast enough anymore.
Legend Pete, thanks for 'carrying' me.
So to coaching, it's funny but I always preferred to play the game than coach but now that the body is no longer able to do what it used to it's a natural thing to focus more on tuition.  I can still run the young players around when we play points though as you find ways to outsmart your opponent as you age in tennis, you only get smarter in this sport, trust me.....
The Wheat belt coaching sessions are nothing short of inspiring as the breed of player in those small towns have a desire to hit a tennis ball that you don't see every day of the week, they quite simply love it and they remind me of the Tambellup kids of 2006.
My good mate and Albany Open partner of 2012 Dave Bignall and I taught a group of kids at the Tambellup Tennis Club that I swear were the best group of kids I have ever seen for two seasons. They hit balls to Dave and myself that you would swear were being hit by 16 year olds and they were just 11 and 12 years of age at the time. No fear....
Now that the body has resigned itself to just teaching the game I have been working on some tactical improvement sessions as the years have taught me one thing in particular, it's all very well to keep refining technique however that part of the game is useless unless you know how to put it into a match.
This season is a little different for me, I am no longer chasing a title, I am simply chasing the improvement in players from the regions that I am teaching the game in and I am focused on giving a player some ideas to help them think their way through a match.
My tournament play however over 35 years has put me in good stead to guide the youngsters and the 'experienced' tennis players through the difficult times in tennis and by that I simply mean the mind games that go with the sport.
Anyone can hit a tennis ball, very few actually know what to do with it, that's where us 'old blokes' fit in.
I look forward to seeing you on court this season, thanks for tuning in.......

Sunday, 23 October 2016

'WORK THIS OUT' ( YMER BROTHERS )

I have always been fond of Swedish tennis as most of you who read this site are well aware though there is a current tournament being played in Stockholm that has two rising Swedish stars defying all kinds of logic.
Two brothers by the name of Mikael and Elias Ymer have made it through to the final of the Mens Doubles event at age 18 and 20 though that's not the only thing that I find remarkable about these two players.
It has been well documented that the average age of a current successful male tennis pro is around 25-27 years of age but what I find so infectious about these two brothers is their rankings. They have a combined current World doubles ranking of over 2000.
Mikael actually does not own a current ranking in doubles though his career high is 1387 which he achieved last year. Elias is currently ranked 954 in Mens doubles so if you do the sums on all of that you should be smart enough to work out that these two really have no place in a World tour final yet they have already taken out teams that have made it inside the World top 20 and even higher.
How is that possible ? Heart. These two are playing in their home town tennis tournament and they are playing at a level that is in fact well above what their rankings suggest.
It reminds me of Rafa at 14 and 15 playing practice sets against his mentor Carlos Moya which did two things, it took Rafa to another level but it also made Moya a better player as he was well aware of a kid breathing down his neck. Does a World number 1 appreciate a teenager belting regular winners past him with almost an attitude that has arrogance written all over it ? It is well documented that Rafa and Carlos made each other better, despite their age and difference in experience.
Whether the Ymer brothers win the doubles event in Stockholm tonight is almost irrelevant, the fact that they are defying tennis logic by even winning a round let alone making it to the final is inspiring for any budding tennis professional.
For the record, Elias has earned just shy of 100 grand so far this year but Mikael, well, he has pocketed what most council rubbish truck drivers take home in a month, 4 grand. Maybe that's before tax.
Silly sport tennis, it keeps dishing up stories that keep guys like myself scratching their heads in bewilderment at just what makes sense and what doesn't. It's a sport that can defy logic or it can have us 'experts' saying things like 'yeah that was always going to happen'........

****** FOR THE RECORD******
The Swedish duo won the final against Pavic and Venus by the score of 6-1, 6-1 in 51 minutes. What planet were those two on do you think ??
Quite remarkably the Ymer brothers came back from 6-9 in the final set super tie breaker to win it 11-9 in the first round.
Splitting around 30,000 Euros may just pay for a few expenses for a couple of battlers who have earned what Federer probably has as loose change in his car glove box.
Swedish tennis hasn't had a lot to smile about in recent years, these two lads may just be the start of something special once again.....

Friday, 30 September 2016

'WOULD IT BE ' ?

Would it be perhaps that in reference to my last post on this site one of the major reasons that the adult/ junior tennis relationship almost ceases to exist locally is because of where the youth of the sport are coached now days ?
As mentioned on many an occasion by my good self on this site the ONLY place to teach kids tennis should in fact be at a tennis club. Why ? Because it creates an environment for the youth of the game to soak up and look forward to one day playing against the adults in both tournament and club play. Yet that's not what happens now days.
The greed of the new breed of tennis coach is so rife that they have to resort to bypassing the local tennis club and instead conduct lessons on school grounds before and after school which does no favours for a sporting club. Why ? Because most are obsessed with making money and not at all interested in the future growth of clubs despite what they tell committees in their spiel at meeting time.
I mentioned in my last post that tennis in Albany has gone down hill since Holmsey left, that's a fact. Pete held all his coaching at tennis clubs locally and it's why certain clubs held record membership numbers that will never, ever be revisited. Is it more than a coincidence that within two years of Pete leaving town a tennis club that he was involved in went complete belly up and folded ? You do the sums.
All tennis lessons need to be held at a tennis club, it creates interest in the facility and it shows respect from a coach towards the game because that's where tennis players are born out of, tennis clubs.
I reiterate from my last post that tennis in my home town has died a slow death due to greed, lack of vision and complete incompetence by certain individuals as they have been involved with dealings from Walt Disney characters who know nothing about how to keep a sport in vogue.
You may have the occasional win, you may have an occasional champion but you will never, ever have again a sport that once had enough numbers playing that it rivalled the sports of today, nowhere near it. Tennis is a sport that requires intelligence to play and even more intelligence to keep the numbers and memberships flowing, not to mention the standard rising.
Every time tennis is taught at a school, well, the local tennis club misses out, yet it's accepted by both Tennis Australia and local tennis associations as 'the way to go'.
It's no wonder we still play Davis Cup ties on grass courts here in the land of Oz.
No intelligence, no vision, no idea...........

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

'SILLY SPORT'

Tennis would have to be one of the most ridiculously over rated sports in the history of people running around chasing balls due in large to the 'people' who run the sport. The things I have witnessed over the years has given me much dialogue for both this site and my rather inventive book that I have put together over the past few months.
Take for example my hometown here in sleepy hollow, Albany, WA where for some reason tennis went from having people lined up at the car park on Saturday afternoons to get their name up on the board to play 5 or 6 sets against the best that the Community offered to what it is today, not a blip on the local sporting calendar. Why ? The wrong people in charge of it all, among other things.
Certain sports in certain towns can be made or broken by Committees and unfortunately tennis in my home town was taken over by people who lacked an education in the sport but were full of their own self importance which was unfortunately the reason why the sport lacks a heart beat now days.
Do we simply play the blame game or do we do something about it ? Here's what I did several years ago.
I went to no less than FIVE major Businesses in town and explained where I saw tennis at the time as to where it was many years ago in this town and I asked for a minimal amount of sponsorship to get at least one new tennis tournament on the local calendar, not just any tennis tournament however. I suggested a competition that pitted juniors against seniors, juniors playing with seniors and just about every grade imaginable to just about every tennis player in the region with a 'tweaked' scoring system to spice things up.
I also added that I was not at all interested in putting my name to it as I do not big note myself as many others do in this game either locally or elsewhere, I simply felt the sport needed something a little different than the Albany Open in January . Why ? Because that's when half the town leaves for holidays. You need a date on the local calendar that has all local players available. 
I simply asked for nothing more than a local Business or two to jump on board and give the dying sport of tennis a much needed lift in Albany, WA.
No replies, no one was interested and I in fact knew three of the Managers personally who I have hit tennis balls with and against for many years who I would also consider as friends', ( And I don't have many ).
That's one thing I tried, I also suggested a Men's Sunday Competition because of the fact that Saturday afternoon hit and giggle doesn't really get the juices flowing for anyone who can hit a reasonable tennis ball. Most clubs however would rather have 50 people turn up on a Saturday arvo and sit off every second set whilst sipping cups of coffee and talking about how the weather is and how the rain fall has affected the local wheat crops.
When I was a kid two clubs in town had Saturday and Sunday tennis such was the desire to play and such was the way in which the sport was run. It was run with a vision to make it a sport that would see adults and kids mingle together and test each other, to lift each other's standard, to build a club and to maintain a club. Today I see nothing of the sort, it's more a free for all and who can come in, make a few bucks here and there, talk the talk at a Walt Disney Committee Meeting and pat each other on the back about how well the sport is going. A real comedy routine. Here's another for you.
Many locals don't like me due to my rather outgoing way of explaining how things are and some have even gone to the lengths of saying they will not play a local tennis tournament if I turn up ! This was relayed to me by more than one person around five years ago. So this is what I have done over the past 18 months, I have played a total of ZERO tennis tournaments and I have put in a total of ZERO dollars towards any local tennis club membership. Now here's the funny part.
I know for a fact that certain people don't play local tennis tournaments due to their inability to actually play the game at all yet they blamed yours truly for not playing, but hang on I haven't played for a year and a half and those 'people' still haven't graced local tennis tournaments. Wouldn't be because they lack the balls to put it on the line would it now ? C'mon GT that's a bit harsh.
Personally I played EVERY single year that I ran a local junior tennis coaching program and not once did I offer an excuse, no injuries, no 'Business meetings' I simply turned up and played and you know what ? I won more than I lost. That set an example to my students. 'Our Coach can play the game, he doesn't just talk about it'.
Tennis takes balls, in more ways than one, it's all very well to talk about how good you were, it takes guts to actually put it on the line, that's where the industry now harbours 'people' who have no idea how to walk the walk, they simply talk a good game.
I hit tennis balls locally under duress for years, my wrist is absolutely f..... yet I had a cortisone regularly just to get through and when my club wanted me to play for them in the Champ of Champs did I take the easy way out and play dubs ? No I put up my hand to play singles and I still own the local record for five titles, not once was I interested in playing dubs like the fragile ones who were too soft to put it on the line.
Locally tennis now is a sport I am more than happy not to play because no one owns a clue on how it should be run. I have offered ideas but the Committee members of most clubs are there for a reason, they never knew how to play the game so they simply play it in a Board room where they own every title imaginable and are simply 'unbeatable'.
My old Coach Holmsey who I wrote fondly of in my book had more than just the ability to play and coach the sport of tennis, he owned a brain that knew how to manage the sport also and that requires intelligence.
That's what tennis needs in every single town, intelligence, not Mickey Mouse, Daffy Duck and many other Walt Disney characters running the show who own a head full of very little except self importance and delusions of grandeur that never amount to anything.
Silly sport tennis, run by real silly 'people'...........
Nuf said. Over and out.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

'POACHING' ( For those who lack the ability to create)

The following is a snippet from a chapter from my book. In regards to my book, quite honestly I couldn't give a fat rat's toss bag if I don't sell a copy. It's a personal view on tennis and it's from the heart, not from a con man's view on the sport who relies on gimmicks and loud clothes to gain cliental.
I have always relied on my past experience to teach the sport of tennis, not videos and a Governing Body's recommendation on how to coach the game. That stems from 18 months of training in Queensland and getting clay court lessons from Frenchmen who had clay on their toast for breakfast. Long story that one, it's in my book.
The following typifies the tennis coaching industry as it's full of Arse holes who lack the ability to teach so they poach from those who know how to. Silly sport tennis..........

I once had a conversation with an astute teacher of the game as I asked them what they thought of poaching, did they ever do it and had they ever had it done to them. This is what his answer was, 'Thommo it's like this, anyone can poach a kid, happens all the time because it's all part of the sport but let's look at it.
Anyone can pinch a kid from a program with offers of things like scholarships, free restrings, cheap lessons etc but deep down they will always know that it was not their tuition that got the kid to their current ability.' Coaches who are struggling for publicity or numbers will go the easy way out and see a kid with potential at a tournament and slip them a Business card on the sly rather than create a talent themselves.
Some kids may be worth a future ten students if that's where they think a player was born out of so naturally a Coach will look to gain some star players any way they possibly can. Morally incorrect ? Absolutely, but it happens regularly and I would be surprised if it has not happened to just about every tennis coach in the business at one point in their career.So what does a coach do about it ?
Smile, take it as a compliment, others want your students because what you are doing is not hype, it's substance and in the current coaching climate that is worth it's weight in gold. Many coaching programs are simply hit and giggle tennis and that's fine if the cliental are all happy with that but if a student is looking to play tournaments then they will be looking for something with a bit more nuts and bolts to it.
Let's face it, if people are really happy with you then they will stay with you regardless of what else is offered to them. If they move on then there was a hint of dissatisfaction with you anyhow so if it didn't end then, well it would have at some stage down the track. I got offended once but I immediately thought about what the 'Zen Master' had said to me and I thought to myself 'You know what Glenn, that kid will always remember where they learned to play the game know matter where they move to.
If I got one kid to that ability I know I will get another, smile, you are doing a good job'. ( I think I did it with gritted teeth, but I did it )
Anyone can poach a kid from another, not many can create a statue out of sand, there's an art to that......

Friday, 23 September 2016

'HEY JIM, JUST CHECKING'...........

In case you haven't read much on this site of mine I will reiterate a point that I made after the 2016 Australian Open after I took exception to a comment made by 'Mr Egotistical' himself, Jim Courier.
During the Federer/ Goffin match in the Round of 16 Jim came up with a theory as to why David Goffin of Belgium was ranked so high and quite frankly I found it both hilarious and insulting all in one.
Now you are probably aware of my views on certain Commentators of the Tennis World and why I don't like many of them and it's because of their ridiculous way of taking sides or refusing to even acknowledge a player. One at Wimbledon this year came out with "I don't know anything about this player" which I found to be rather confusing because if you take 5 minutes out of your busy schedule it's easy to look up.
You see on the ATP World Tour site there is that much information about players that it's easy to find out in probably less than 5 minutes what certain players like, dislike, their rankings history, prize money and where they reside. If I was a commentator and about to call a match then I would use my initiative, look up the site, do some homework before the match and perhaps even bluff my way through a few things.
'I see David Goffin has made over one and a half million dollars already this year, his Father is in fact a Tennis Coach in his home town in Belgium and he was voted by his fellow peers 'the comeback player of 2014'.
Now if a commentator doesn't already know this sort of stuff about a player such as Goffin well they really have no excuses because it's all there in writing, all you have to do is both use your initiative and press a few buttons, simple really. Back to Courier, Mr Egotistical.
At this year's Aussie Open Mr Ego felt that it was his duty to explain to the public why David Goffin was ranked World number 16 and he was far from complimentary about it saying among other things that he received ranking points from Davis Cup matches that held no significance. Well Jim it's like this buddy, Mr Goffin is now ranked World number 14, he did even get as high as number 11, so how did that happen then ey ? Did he bluff his way to that number ??!
You cannot fake a World Tennis ranking unless maybe it's in the Futures events where guys are ranked down in the seven and eight hundreds for example but on the World Tour it is basically an impossibility to hold a 'fake' ranking. Try telling that to Mr Ego himself.
I touched on the Jim Courier book reading saga in an old post where I relayed some facts about this particular person bringing the sport of tennis into disrepute. This all came about when Jim thought it would be a good thing to read a book at the change of ends, a book that had nothing to do with tennis and which had arrogance written all over it.
I believe that Mr Courier was told by certain people in tennis that this antic was not to be done again due to the look that it gave the sport. If every tennis player sat down and read a book at the change of ends it would look like a children's nursery rhyme session with the only thing missing being the ball kids huddled around the offending player with big cheesy grins waiting for the moment when 'Itsy bitsy spider crawled up the water spout'.
Jim Courier is far from perfect yet he makes out that he is a man of great integrity and who never put a foot wrong, I tend to dispute that and I take exception to him bagging current players and their rankings. Sure I may have had a dig here and there regarding certain players however it has never been over their World rankings, probably just their antics. A player is a number for a reason, not because he wears fancy clothes.
Personally I think Jim Courier should apologise to the little guy from Belgium because it was uncalled for and lacked substance yet that's Jim Courier for you, full of his own self importance. Silly sport tennis, full of silly egotistical people......

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

'PRODUCING A CHAMPION'

If ever I get hit by a bus (which will make some people happy) I would like the following part of my book to be forever aligned with my good self. I never really had aspirations to make champion tennis players because I am aware of the process involved and I find it totally uncomfortable.
What I do however feel happy about particularly locally here in sleepy hollow down south is the fact that I kept a tennis club going in more ways than one. The most important factor as a tennis coach I believe is that you have a vision to keep a club going.
It's a necessity to look further than your wallet because in the long run a club will always look back on the times when Saturday afternoons were pumping with members, particularly the younger ones.
It's all very well to run a program with plenty of kids walking through the gate for lessons but did you really gain memberships at the end of it all and put kids on court against the adults when it mattered ?
Keeping a kid in the sport of tennis is the most difficult thing to do as a coach or a parent. I would much rather keep a tennis club running than burn a kid out for personal and financial gain before they could enjoy court time as a club member.
That's where the Industry fails, allowing an $80 tennis 'lesson' to take place does nothing to keep people in the game for long periods of time. All it does is show the public that certain 'people' in tennis are full of their own self importance........

 'PRODUCING A CHAMPION' ( Part of Chapter 15 )
Did I ever produce a player who will forever be known as a 'Champion Tennis Player' ? Absolutely not. In my time on a tennis court coaching students of all ages I can honestly say that the success rate was minimal as far as tournament victories were concerned.
What I did do though was make it affordable to learn and I never once burned a player out through the actions of too many lessons to either try to speed up the improvement process or for financial gain.
A coach with any clue on the sport of tennis will look at things realistically when it comes to training and court time.
There are many examples of kids burning out at a young age due to coaches offering too many sessions and not looking at the big picture. It isn't entirely the fault of the coach though as parents can often push their 'prodigy' too much, too soon.
I once played the final of my local Doubles Championship with a 16 year old kid who I taught as a seven year old and we played two older kids in the final who I also used to coach. Just being on court in a local tennis tournament final in front of a big crowd with three former students was an absolute thrill although we lost the match.
To me that was a win for my early tuition of those players. Sure they had grown up, been elsewhere, had another coach, given up the game, taken it up again, the usual story with kids however I had an impact into their tennis ability.
My partner that tournament also lost in the final of a City tournament when he was around 13, no big wins yet he was competitive with the best in the State in his age group, same as I was. That sort of thing I suppose gives you heart that your tuition is of substance and not just hype.
To produce a player that goes beyond those type of results and regularly beats the best in the City requires a whole different type of attention, something that never really appealed to me to offer a player. As always, I was wary of the process involved and the mind set of the student required to implement it.
Producing champion tennis players is a tough gig but some put all sorts of pressure on to achieve it, as a coach or a student who believes they have the goods. Some coaches will swear by their process of training a kid five days a week but probably what is happening will not really be doing the kid any favours or their parents' credit card any good. Tennis I believe is a sport where quality will usually prevail against quantity and it needs to be treated with that type of philosophy to keep kids in the game for longer periods of time. If you look at the average age of a tennis professional now days who is making a handy living it is not someone who is in their teen's, it's 25 plus.
Grinding a kid into the ground at age 13, 14 or 15 is not how you create champions, that's how you put a kid off tennis altogether.
Parents also need to be realistic. It's the type of sport which requires all round thinking and not a '5 minute' program which will make the coach rich and the kid worn out.
As the saying goes, 'Patience Grasshopper'.......

Saturday, 17 September 2016

'CONFUSING'

The latest Davis Cup tie between Australia and Slovakia will once again go down in history as a chance missed by Tennis Australia to show some faith in their players' ability on a neutral surface. Of course I am referring to the ridiculous decision to play the tie on a grass court against a nation who's singles players' own a combined ranking of no less than 250, ( Kovoliak 123, Martin 127 ).
These rankings of course are ridiculed by the top two Aussies who have a combined ranking of 36 with Kyrgios at 15 and Tomic sitting at 21.
So would the outcome have been any different if it were played on a hard court at the Rod Laver Arena ? You know that's the little stadium Tennis Australia put together to take Australian Tennis out of the dark ages of the Kooyong grass court facility which unfortunately for many years held this country back from the rest of the World. 
Sure Wimbledon is played on grass but fair dinkum how many players are going to win Wimbledon ? There's hundreds of events on the tour calendar played on clay and hard courts that are going to develop a player's game and any player with any set of brains will train regularly on those mentioned surfaces.
Grass is a novelty and not one that is trained on regularly and sure many players dream of winning the big one at the All England Club. Most players however will realise that the French Open, the US Open and even the Australian Open are more realistic goals as they own surfaces that are played on all year round. So how often is grass played on ? Let's do the sums.
IT HAPPENS FOR ABOUT THREE WEEKS OF THE YEAR. A week prior to Wimbledon plus the two weeks during Wimbledon yet for some reason it is looked upon by Tennis Oz as the ONLY surface that Davis Cup ties in this country should be played on. Why ? Because the hierarchy are reluctant to move with the times here in the land of Oz and would much prefer to dream of 'the good old days' of Newcombe, Laver, Emerson and the likes who 'owned' Wimbledon and the Australian Open in the 60's and early 70's.
Move on Tennis Australia, the sport has changed, the styles have evolved and the training routines do not involve cutting, rolling and chalking grass tennis courts anymore because most tennis professionals now days only go to the net to shake hands. Serve and volleying is no longer in vogue unless your name is Roger and the great man has almost finished his brilliant career. I wonder how often even he practices on a grass court ?
Tennis Australia has a Davis Cup Captain by the name of Lleyton who unfortunately swears by a grass court surface and will also unfortunately back decisions indefinitely to play all Davis Cup ties here in Australia on grass. What that does is show the youth of the sport in this country that we do not practice what we preach and in fact confuses up and coming players who train on nothing but hard courts in Australia. Where is the logic ?
A hard court surface is one that gives no advantage to either player, it simply asks the better player to both out think and out hit their opponent, that's the beauty of a neutral court. Here in Australia we don't know how to think our way through a Davis Cup tie without reverting back to a surface that holds no significance whatsoever to budding young players keen to learn from the best.
Here in Australia we are still in the dark ages with our tennis and it's why even our best players fail to reach the latter stages of the big events on the World stage. It all stems from decisions made by certain people who should still be riding Penny Farthing bikes and wearing long white trousers when they play tennis with their wooden Dunlop tennis rackets.
Fair dinkum tennis in this country has a long way to go..........

Monday, 12 September 2016

'THE FRUITLOOP'


The following is from the 'fruitloop' who basically doesn't like me. This 'person' believes they are around 20 years younger than they actually are and also called Serena 'Samantha' and Lleyton 'Clayton'.
It's what I have to deal with and unfortunately this 'person' holds a seat of 'responsibility' locally, God help us. Read on, it's a masterpiece......


'Hello Mr G Thompson. I have recently moved to Albany to further advance my career. As a single lady in her late 20's, I naturally want to get to know people, so becoming involved in a sport seems the ideal way to do this. Although I have never played tennis, watching it recently on television has encouraged me to consider this game as one of my options. While doing some research about tennis in Albany I cam across your website/blog. As it is titled Tennis Technique I assumed it would have coaching tips and advice on how to become a tennis player. Being a complete beginner, I have no real clue about tennis, however as cost is not an issue for me, I am prepared to pay for an extensive amount of coaching lessons and wish to be taught the game correctly. When reading through chapters in your blog, I was quite stunned and more than a little confused as to the contents and why you have even titled your blog "Tennis Technique"? In the interest of free speech and, given my professional position within the Health Services sector (to which I have a university degree), I feel I am in a sound position to comment on your blog chapters. It is (in your own words) an opinion piece and therefore, in the public interest, open to comment and reply. Your blog chapters do not hold any value to anyone interested in learning tennis. You seem to be using this blog as nothing more than somewhere to complain about things you do not agree with. You appear to be very preoccupied with talking about prizes and matches you have won many years ago which holds no interest to someone such as I, who merely wishes to employ the services of a competent coach. I do not wish to receive a history lesson of tennis games that took place decades ago. Chapters you have written stating Samantha Williams had thrown a prize into a rubbish bin is quite simply ludicrous and I can't image how you would think anyone actually believes you could possibly know that this took place? I do not recall seeing or hearing anything in the press regarding such an incident, so it is rather hard to believe you would have any knowledge of such a bizarre event ever taking place. I'm sure Miss Williams would be quite unimpressed to know such whimsical things were being said of her. So if you would explain why you continue to comment on famous players as if you know them personally and are qualified to make inexplicable criticisms of them, I would be very appreciative. I find it quite disappointing that you would berate such wonderful athlete's of your chosen sport (such as Australian icon Clayton Hewitt), so i can only imagine what a young impressionable child would think if they were unfortunate enough to stumble across your blog. Though you profess to love tennis and claim to be promoting it in a positive way, I take issue with your claims and thus, feel compelled to voice my opposition. There is nothing in any of your blog chapters that has convinced me that you are genuinely interested in actually teaching people how to play tennis. To the contrary, your comments are in fact very negative and indicate that tennis in Albany must be in a very sorry state, and , subject to looking further afield, is something I am not sure I wish to become involved in. If I am misinterpreting what you are saying in your blog Mr Thompson then please feel free to correct me, although it seems nobody actually leaves comments on your blog or perhaps you disable comments you feel contradict your views?'

Comment from GT.
I know who wrote this because they wrote another complaint to someone else locally about this site and I had to sit through a meeting because of it. I lost around 30 minutes of my life at that particular meeting that I will never be reimbursed for, total waste of time.
As I explained at that meeting, no one has to read this site yet some do just to find fault with my opinions. I simply write to express, it's who I am, it's a release just as others drink, play golf or otherwise. I live in a town where tennis has taken a huge step backwards since my old coach Holmsey left because it now lacks a vision.
It has about two senior events per year, doesn't own a pennant competition for any age and nothing changes from year to year, particularly the standard, that's another story.
I do not own a membership to any club and I refuse to play locally, it has a lot to do with who is running the sport, Mickey Mouse......
Good day.
GT

Saturday, 10 September 2016

'FUNNY STUFF AGAIN'

The following post is from a while back and it outlines the reasons for me changing the name of this site from 'Tennis Technique' to  what it's called now 'View Point'. It all came about because of a rather lengthy email I received from someone who regularly complained about the content of this site so I accommodated their wishes.
One of the complaints I received was about the 'Serena Williams farce' at the Hopman Cup and it outlined the 'fact' that she threw her runners up trophy in the bin which was witnessed by more than one person. The incident has also been confirmed on a Western Australian Tennis Facebook page by someone who saw it happen who was in fact an official at the tournament.
I thought the following post was worth another look, hope you enjoy.....

Thanks 'Champ' for your rather lengthy email, brilliant piece of work. The reason why I won't be publishing it on my site is because I won't give you that satisfaction. Only one person has complained about the content of this site and that's you, not sure why. You seem to be as disillusioned with the sport as I am, yet you take your frustrations out on me, not the game.
Your latest 'rant' touches on topics such as my 'past wins', 'lessons in history of the game' and questions whether I actually teach tennis. So just for you Champ let's clear it all up.
I originally put this site together as I felt rather than try to beat them let's join them instead, referring to Social Media pages which people seem to be attracted to like mosquitoes to a light. I felt that the public needed to see who I was on a site before they spent money on a tennis lesson. Fair enough ?
I felt that with 27 years teaching the game both here in Albany plus Perth and Queensland as well as a stint playing in Europe my experience would be enough to attract some business.
So anyhow the occasional ads in the paper worked minimally and a few students came to me by seeing the ads but I have still found that word of mouth is the best way. The other way of receiving clients has actually been through me playing the game, hence my occasional win here and there both locally and in Perth. As you get older in this game you have less success on court so if I do have a win, sure, I may write a brief light hearted chapter on 'old blokes' still showing the young fellows a clean set of heels. Words to that effect.
I find that playing tennis tournaments shows your students that you can 'walk the walk' instead of 'talking a good game' as many 'gurus' of the sport do now days. No examples are given by many and I believe it shows a distinct lack of heart.
After all if you can still play the game, are fit and have any ability whatsoever you will jump at the opportunity to show your clients that you can in fact teach what you preach. It's one of the reasons I still play as I am no longer prepared to pay for big glossy ads in the local paper, I will instead look for some 'free publicity' every now and then by playing a tournament. If you can still walk, well.......
Now as far as the 'history lessons', well Champ my knowledge of the game is pretty good, I can remember scores from 30 years ago, matches that shaped the sport of today and I remember incidents in matches as though it was yesterday. So quite simply I put it on this site.
If you aren't interested then may I suggest you go and buy a Tennis Magazine and simply read about the sport today and you will no doubt read some wonderful things.
It will be all about how good the sport is going in this country in particular without the controversy of years gone by when 'free speech' ruled the air ways.
You see Champ the Australian Tennis Magazine was in fact bought by a rather large organization who now regulates everything written about the sport in this country. It was bought for that reason from a 'tennis nobody' who used to write controversial content but got paid out to no longer print stuff that may have had a bit of an 'edge' to it. Long story, worth looking up.
As far as me teaching the game of tennis, well it's like this Champ, I do it for a hobby, a bit of fun, I don't rely on it for a living, not interested. I simply do it because people ring me for tennis lessons who like my down to earth way of teaching the game. I am not really interested in taking students away for tournaments as I simply don't have time and quite frankly I aint a 'baby sitter'.
My parents took me away for tournaments when I was a kid so I am not about to become a taxi service for others who are too busy to watch their kids play competitions.
As far as the 'Serena trophy in the bin' incident, well it's like this buddy, it happened. I know someone who witnessed it behind the scenes at the Hopman Cup and they relayed it to me, apparently it's a fact. You see that's what I do on this site, relay some facts and opinions, it's my opinion but I will relay facts as I receive them. It's not a 'Walt Disney' look at tennis, it's a fair dinkum dissection of the game.
I will continue to write on this site however as of this weekend I will be changing the name of this site, just for you Champ as you have given me a great idea, thanks very much.
All the best and I hope you continue to tune in.
Regards GT
Footnote- I know who sent me the complaint, and although I refer to them as 'Buddy' it was in fact a female who wrote it. Funny stuff indeed......