Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sam Lane Finishes 14 Nationals in Style

Sam Lane won the 14s Boys Plate singles final in Auckland today.Lane( South Canterbury) defeated Lawrence Darling( ex South Canterbury and southern rep now Canterbury) in the final 6-0 6-4. Lane was brilliant in the first set executing his powerful forehand after setting up the point.Concentration lapsed a little in the second set but he still closed out the set and the match 6-4.Lane will now focus for his next tournament starting in Hamilton in a few days....the 12s Hard court Nationals.

I fly out tomorrow morning to Auckland to coach a very inexperienced Southern 14 boys team at the National event.It will be tough going against some of the best juniors in the country and getting the boys to believe they can compete will be the first task.I will then move on to Hamilton where I will be looking after South Canterbury players Sam Lane,Annabel Ellis and Anna Cochrane who is competing in her first nationals.

Junior players and parents have to come to terms at some stage on how far they want to go with their tennis.Nationals is a good place to sit and listen to Parents trade stories about how much court time their child is doing per week.It is true that the main contenders will have done a lot of training as well as playing a lot of matches and tournaments.The key to success at the end of the day is however how much of this training is parent driven and how much does the child really want to do this?There are so many story's of failures stemming from parent driven motivation..the player must have the self motivation to succeed.As a coach I have seen parents trying to live their dream through their child and their sport.Parents play a huge role but the way i see it! its support with a capital S and sacrifice with another capital S , because to reach the very top you have to forgo at times family holidays,sometimes go without certain luxury goods as indeed tennis at the elite level is expensive.

I believe the junior player that works hard , willing to go out and serve buckets of balls on their own,wanting to hit at every spare moment will end up achieving.I also see junior players turning up every two weeks with another new pair of shoes, new shirts and new racquet's every six months,Parents booking lots of hours with the pro coach each week because their child couldn't be bothered to put in other practice outside their coaching hours.In so doing it creates a player that just will not be able to stand on their own when the level of play increases....we all know this syndrome the picture below says it all.

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