At the risk of sounding oh so simple… I wanted to share a couple of my views from my last month ‘on the road’ which has taken me from Wimbledon to Dublin. From U14 Tennis Europe events to Grand Slam Senior events with some ITF Junior events, it has been fantastic to see a range of levels.
Soto Tennis Academy players have been competing at Junior Wimbledon, U18 ITF events/U14 Tennis Europe Events in Edinburgh and lastly our Pro Team have been competing on the grass courts on the East Coast of England (Frinton and Felixstowe) before taking us to Dublin this week for the Irish Open $15,000 ITF Futures Event. Notable successes for Lilly Mould who made her first International Semi-Final, Anna Arkadianou who picked up her first ITF Junior World Ranking. Lloyd Glasspool and Pete Bothwell continue to go strong this week in Ireland and Alex Parker has shown some nice consistency to rise 600 places in the world. The Team will continue in Ireland for a couple more weeks whilst others go to warmer parts of Europe in Portugal, Macedonia, Turkey. Exciting times ahead for all involved at STA.
Of course, I have seen differences across the levels in many areas that go with International Level events from the facilities to the price of the sandwiches. In general, though a tennis tournament is just that… a tennis tournament. It really doesn’t change so much from the time we first played in the Adidas Grand Prix events in terms of the process we go through of signing in, warming up, waiting around, warming up again, timing your eating, then playing a match, dealing with the emotions of the win or the loss and I would like to think then cooling down, showering, reviewing our performance (and maybe getting back on the practice court after) However, there are 2 very simple areas that have stood out consistently for me over the last few weeks for those players that are having real success whether it is Novak Djokovic winning Wimbledon or Dan Evans winning a Futures event and it firms up my long-term beliefs on this..
They have a coach/team who ‘care’- and I mean really cares. They are invested in the person before the player and truly have a desire for that player to do well for the player and their families. You see this with ‘Team Djokovic’ and it is certainly reciprocated back in every interview we here from Novak. GB Davis Cup would be another great example of this, as they move into the Davis Cup Semi-Finals for the first time in 34 years! That team has been on a 5-year journey lead by Leon Smith and their relationships stem from a fundamental ‘care’ for each other.
They TRY! Always.. Every day, every ball. And by try I mean they really try, they don’t step up to play a point until they are fully ‘ready to compete’. If we say a tennis match is average 180 points for a 3 set match, so we agree that to win that match you need to collect 95 of those 180 points. Your opponent has 20 points in the match where he/she does not try 100%. All of a sudden you need to win 75 points to win the match and your opponent still needs to win 95. This isn’t a fair game now, is it!?
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Ask Mr. Kygrios if it is that simple! Or 99% of Junior Tennis Players I have seen the last 4 weeks.
Director, SotoTennis Academy
Inspiring Excellence | Tennis Academy Spain