Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Mind is willing but the body aint what it used to be

South Canterbuy 12 and Under quad team once again came out on top for the Southern Region last weekend in Timaru.This is the second quad the team has won this season.Thanks to our girls that only dropped 1 match all weekend and that was in a 10-8 third set tie break they pulled the team through.Both boys and girls matches are counted for the overall result.Winning all their matches in the final round against Otago the girls had to rely on one of the boys picking up a match and that came with Sam Lane defeating Paddy Ou convincingly.This weekend the Southern senior teams will gather in Dunedin.Coming out of a retirement ....well I guess i haven't really ever retired from playing " the eye" will once again raise a sweat on the court this weekend in Dunedin.With age you have to play smarter, hope the opposition is not at their best and pull out every trick in the book as the age difference of your opponent could be 28 years younger at best!!!! Yes the eastern forehand grip now looking more like continental with years of ball feeding from coaching goes against the modern topspin semi western forehand that bounces above waist height.Guile and placement tries to overcome the power play of the modern era! " why cant we use the old wood racquet's" how would these youngsters cope with those!.Doubles is not too bad , but its that damn game of singles that will be my undoing.

The above picture is a collage of South Canterbury Juniors from Last weekend

Monday, February 22, 2010

Begg takes Otago Doubles Title - Loses Semi's of singles .

Tyler Begg teamed with Otago Singles winner Ryan Chow to take the mens doubles title from Mattais Weiland and Jan Carboch 6-3 6-0.Earlier Tyler and Ryan both Canadians squared of against each other in the Semi's of the Men's singles.Begg lost the first set when he was broken at 4-4 all and Chow held to take the set.Begg then took control of the second set to runaway with it 6-1 then kept his form to set up a winning lead 5-3 in the third.Begg had Chow down and out but failed at the last hurdle and this is a good lesson for all players, don't get ahead of yourself as Tyler was thinking about the end result and the win .......however its never over until both players shake hands and Chow threw caution to the wind and Begg suffered from that classic tennis term "choked".Every player has lost a match like this at some stage in their tennis career and its important to learn from these losing matches.Focus only on the point at hand,play only in the now, do not change what you have been doing to set up that lead,play to win not play to wait for a mistake from your opponent.I guess Tyler had a little consolation knowing he was beaten by the winner and coming so close and naturally will feel a little hurt, but its this feeling that should drive him harder when in the same position in future matches and learn to close when in a similar situation.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Around the District - Busy Busy Busy

Once again we take tennis to the schools in 2010.Jeff West has left South Canterbury to wing his way back to Texas.We wish Jeff all the best for the future.Joining our team this term is Gabrielle Grady and back after the January break is Tyler Begg from Canada. I would like to think the syllabus I have built over the past few years is one of the best on offer with a great progression of hand eye co-ordination skills leading to technique. By lesson 1 all students have a modern forehand swing. Guaranteed.!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Begg takes Greymouth Open Men's Title

Tyler Begg took out the men's singles title with a hard fought three set win in the final against Jamie Poole of Christchuch.Begg the Top seed had comfortable wins to reach the final and after winning the fist set 6-3 allowed momentum to slip with some poor shot selections in the second set.Begg was able to assert himself again winning the third 6-4.Poole defeated Oliver Petri the second seed 7-6 6-3 in the semi's.Tyler teamed with Leela Beattie to win the mixed doubles event and Leela took out the Ladies Singles.Great to see the mixed doubles event included in the program.There are few too many Mixed events until you reach Veterans in New Zealand.Greymouth also include mixed events in their Open Junior Tournament also and should be commended for this.Begg will turn his attention next week to the Otago Open held in Dunedin.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Back on Deck

Its been a little quiet on the Tennis Front one could say a " lull before a storm" and I believe plenty is brewing here in New Zealand but more on that in another post. Back to business here in South Canterbury with coaching resuming in full swing this week.The major event looming is the 10s and 12s quads and the above picture are strong contenders for the South Canterbury 10's boys team.New Zealand and Australia compete against each other in many different sports.How hard is it to set up an annual test match in Junior tennis incorporating the 12s , 14s,16s, and 18s age group.Played annually on a reciprocal basis.This can further identify local talent as they are pitted against their Australian Counterparts.How hard would this be to set up? This would create a great atmosphere with all age groups being played as a team with the younger age groups being inspired by the older age groups seeing what is needed to transgress as they play along side.I suggested a few years ago a North Island vs South Island event from Open right down to 10s ,many thought it was a good idea but may have been put in the too hard basket.With all the money being spent on other area's would not events such as these help with development and also be an opportunity for New Zealand selectors to see what is exactly out their talent wise.Its also about bringing the best juniors together more often and with a purpose, and it adds to the Tennis Calender, I suggest these events to be held over the Winter period where there is a void of tennis and incentives for juniors to keep playing.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Edged in History

We know Serena Williams and Roger Federer will always be remembered through the ages with accomplishments made. Time will tell if the two Junior winners of the Boys and Girls singles titles will follow Serena and Rodger.

Mean while the Auckland ITF Junior Grade 3 is providing some upsets....or are they upsets just on paper.Due to Mickey Mouse seedings that go along with these events you will always get upsets.To a certain extent if you can afford to play a lot of ITF's and you pick the right region and tournaments you will no doubt increase your ranking.Thats great it looks really good if you bring up the rankings list however is it a true indication of where you sit in the World ,for most..........NO. You can even get a World ranking reaching a quarter final of a Grade 4 Tournament in doubles at Timbuktu.Top Seed Ben McLachlan who is ranked 47 in World ITf Junior rankings would qualify for the New Zealand Transitional Player Incentive Program and could qualify for up to $18,000 of funding from Tennis New Zealand for this ranking.Yesterday Anton Bettink the 15th seed and ranked 553 at the start of the tournament defeated McLachlan 6-4 6-4.Both are 17 , looking at the funding status at this stage on the Transitional Player Incentive Program Bettink is not receiving anything.What I am saying maybe the funding is reaching players too late too help development.How the points accumulated must also be more stringent.Is the Transitional player funding adequate or should there be funding available at an earlier age?What about college players of the likes of James Meredith, what funding is available for that type of player who will not be accumulating ATP points because they are at college.So by the time a player such as Meredith finishes college at about 22 or 23 to qualify for the top funding you have to be ATP 235 or 185.Lets look at the Girls Event in Auckland, 4th Seed is Kathryn Westbury who on the entry List is still listed as a New Zealander but yet has never represented so allegiance to which country is vague has links also with Thailand.Westbury has the only WTA ranking out of the competitors in the Auckland Itf. On the ITF juniors she has only 157 ranking points. and is seeded 4th for the Auckland junior ITF.It comes as no surprise that she won Canterbury ITF last week and will be favorite to win the Auckland event.If she keeps accumulating points and reaches the top 60 ITF juniors she too will qualify for the top tier funding.Her current ranking would just about qualify her for tier three of the Transitional Player funding.Interesting that a WTA ranked player would choose to play Grade 3 and 4 tournaments in New Zealand what benefit is that? Maybe reading between the lines would find the benefits.Leela Beattie the 6th seed went down to the 12th seed JANG, Su Jeong (KOR) in a close match, Leela has an ITF junior ranking of around 261 .Jang is 499.Sean Berman was unseeded in the Australian Open Junior and went through to the final .What I am saying is all that is well and good having the transitional funding however what funding has been available for these players prior to Transitional Funding.Players are virtually funding themselves to reach this stage(even official New Zealand tours), it comes as no surprise that Juniors are forced to acquire cheap points at holiday spots such as Noumea and Fiji.It also comes as no surprise that the likes of Berman,Lavie and Westbury have left New Zealand early in their junior age to develop their tennis. So is this why the failure at Davis Cup and Fed Cup Level? Players arrive and qualify for the funding at 18 and 19 and it must feel like Christmas as they have virtually received peanuts to get to that transition.Then guess what we find out these players cannot cut it.New Zealand has a huge problem tennis is a summer sport not enough is done during the hibernation period(winter) to get juniors to where the action is, maybe more funding needs to be directed here than that unrealistic Transitional funding that is in place now.Maybe we could have both if we cut down on the administration costs : )

You can find details on the Transitional Player funding HERE

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hector- A Dolphin at Jacksonville University Florida

Heres an Update on Hector the Mexican that spent last summer coaching and training with me in South Canterbury.Hector played his first college match at the weekend against Florida A&M where his team went down 4-3.Good news for Hector as he won his singles match up 6-4 6-0.Doubles apparently did not go that well for Jacksonville losing all three doubles and the chance of picking up the doubles point.Well Hector you should of had a few more matches with me ..........to toughen you up.! Just Kidding we will all be watching your progress with interest.Good luck my friend.