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.......