Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tis The Season To Play Tennis

All over the world million's of kids will awake to find "under the tree" or in their Christmas stocking a brand new tennis racket, used wisely this item will provide you with a lifetime sporting opportunity.No doubt their are some that will go onto win a "grandslam" However there will be many that wont reach this achievement.Their will be many people such as me that through tennis has made lifetime opportunities, new friends and lead you on different pathways of life .For me the sport of tennis has brought many people into my life ,pupils and opponents,administrators and parents.Its given me great opportunities to travel and experience different cultures not only within my own country( Australia) but all over the world,Cairo,London,Los Angeles etc , I have experienced the highs an lows as a coach and a player,become a surrogate parent at times and above all have met many people that have affected my life through this game.I came from a small country town in Australia population 300 , I haven't won a grand slam !,but this game has been so much a part of my life.And yes just as Life will deal good and bad times so will tennis,for all those juniors opening their presents and receiving a brand new tennis racket ,grasp what a great game this is and it too will become part of your life ,lead you to many adventures and take you to many exciting places.I could never imagine when i received my first tennis racket that I would end up coaching and playing in many countries, making friends worldwide,remember not many of you will become world number 1 but enjoy the game and it will open the world up to you MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sam Lane "Tears" Up Otago 12 boys Field

Sam Lane convincingly won the 12 boys singles at the recent Otago Junior Championships defeating Henry Hailes 6-0 6-1. Lane attacked continually and Hailes had no answer to the power and accuracy of Lane.On route to the final Lane was a dominant force in all matches defeating Tom Russell ( Southland) 6-0 6-1 in the quarter finals then Paddy Ou ( Otago) 6-0 6-1 in the Semi's.Lane will be hoping for a success full 12s nationals and teams event in January. I have said it many times before that only in competition do you know where you are really at with your game,parents are unfortunately at fault in side stepping tournaments delaying answers that will only be all too late in their child's next important competition game.Tournament play is often the best learning curb of all ,Its my advice for parents to think carefully what build up is most beneficial and take the hard yards in making sure that tournament play is to the forefront.
Congratulations to all juniors who chose to play events leading up to Christmas, of course it is acknowledged that family commitments around this time can take precedent, however those that did have the opportunity are certainly ahead of the Field come nationals and I am predicting some huge upsets in January and some disappointment for players that have been absent from tournament play leading into nationals.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Its been a "blue blue day" Courts improve vision for tracking a tennis ball.

The Australian open has gone blue and intern so has the US Open in having blue as their court surface colour.Tennis South Canterbury are changing the court surface color also at the association courts in Timaru.Tracking the ball should be easier as players no doubt will enjoy the new change in color.4 courts are in the process of "make overs" in ready for the 12 National teams events next January held in Timaru.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Christmas Wish list

Dear Santa,
I know you had to check your naughty or nice list a few times just to make sure my name turned up on the nice side, but I assure you; I tried to be a much better tennis coach than in 2007, and in 2009 ill even try harder, this game of tennis has its ups and downs players and coaches but Santa its such a great game one can enjoy for a lifetime.And so Santa i present you with my Christmas wish list.
#1 May all my tennis pupils receive exactly what they put into their game and realize that by working harder and keeping their tennis constant they will reap the rewards that this game has to offer not just on the court but in their personal lives also.

# That my top dog ranking rises and that players overcome the fear of entering events and playing opponents that may lower their grading number.

# That parents realize that winning is not everything and that losing matches often help more in their child's development,let the coaches coach and enjoy seeing your child compete,realize that improvement rates are different for each individual and be prepared for a lull and above all remain positive, remember that practice is a key component and this goes hand in hand with tennis coaching.

#That the Pacific region will once again become a world power in tennis, Santa I know that this is a hard ask due to our isolation but try to work on it.

#That all players remain healthy and play for the right reason and if they do that then Santa we will see the passion come out in this game.

#No ones perfect Santa and coaches and players all make mistakes its a human trait help us move on and acknowledge the good things .

#One more thing Santa there are a lot of volunteers behind the scenes to make tennis a success, these people know who they are so make sure you look after them.

#Oh one last thing an Aussie winning the Australian Open would be good also ,can you work on that, and that more money is spent on players and not on needless bureaucracy,it is time to acknowledge coaches and players that are doing a good job and help them .

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Winning a tennis match not a simple formula

There is a formula for winning a tennis match however solving this equation is often beyond a lot of players and may take many matches to get the answer and even then that answer may be different depending on the opponent, yourself and playing conditions.There really is no logical solution especially in sport and especially tennis .For example during a match there are so many momentum changes eg drops of concentration,nerves,anger,choking,luck both good and bad,one of the keys to solving the formula is too only deal in the NOW try not to spend too much time in thinking what has just transpired or in fact thinking too much on an end result.You may find you are playing not just one game but three, past ,future and present. This is a common fault with a lot of junior tennis players , they generalize outcomes before they have occured and you spend time playing an imaginary game that has not happened. The end result will take care of itself as long as you can address what is actually happening in real time.!When you play a match you must give a 100% effort in all departments.One common error is taking your oppenent too cheaply and before you know it its a set all,you may not have done your homework in discussing a game plan with your coach or devising one yourself .As we know some players take the court and assume they will win the match before the ball is hit then cannot mentally prepare for the moment when you are 4-3 down ,you spend too much time thinking this cannot be happening, im better than this .....again playing games that are just not happening in the NOW.One of these formula's that you must realize sooner rather than later is that you create the future by what is happening in real time.We can control our actions ie playing to the backhand 80% of the time,attacking and finishing at net all these must be done by you, if you can think what is happening at the moment you will eventually find the winning formula, dwell on what has happened or what might happen is a losing formula for sure.