I attended the South Island Indoor Champs with a group of 7 players lending a hand with tournament preparation and support.Players ages ranged from 7 years to 13 years.As a coach you learn so much by watching your players compete in a tournament situation.Both the player and the coach comes away from events such as this learning a lot and going forward to the next event and of course what the goal for that player will be in their lesson plan for the next block period.Find Below a brief summary of each player.
Rebecca Delaway :Had an outstanding tournament reaching the Main Draw 14 Girls singles final.Watching Rebecca progress to the final it was great to see the improvement in 1.Serve, much more balanced and ball toss improved,Rebecca often throws in a few doubles but during this tournament the double faults were few and far between and this allowed Rebecca to keep up he momentum in buliding points especially on her serve.Reading the play is improving and of course this comes with more Match play and tournaments.Rebecca lost the final to the top seed from Christchurch 6-3 6-1 but a very close first set and even though the scoreline was 6-1 in the second Rebecca made her opponent work for her win.Rebecca and partner RileighFields took out second place in the combined 16/14 doubles.
Brylee More : Reached the final of the 10s Girls singles going down to the top seeded Auckland player Sarah Kate Weekley 9-1.Brylee on her way to final beat Emma White 9-0 from Southland and then 9-5 fellow North Otago player Mackenzie Phillips 9-5 in a great tussle.From the weekend I could see more point construction happening although in the Final Brylee was trying to finish the point too early however did make her oppenent work harder towards the end of the match.Brylee partnered Mackenzie Phillips where they had a Match point only to lose 9/8 against Weekley and White.This was an outstanding match and both girls fought back from a bad start to edge ahead.A tie break had to decide the match and the title.Fantastic effort girls! Great Tournament Brylee
Mackenzie Phillips: Mackenzie won the plate event for the 10 girls after losing to Brylee in the Main draw. I was very impressed with Mackenzie and she has made great inroads in the past 6 months,improving all aspects of her game. Her forehand return in the doubles proved devistating at times.
Her reading of the play and movement is another key area Mackenzie has worked on.She partnered Brylee in the doubles and as mentioned above lost a tense tiebreak to secure the runner up.Great tournament.
Jordan Phillips : Is only 7 and played her first major event. Jordan shows a lot of potential for age and she played some fantastic points over the weekend.Jordan really showed great concentration and took it too all that she played...even her sister Mackenzie : ) .This event will of helped you a lot Jordan and the experience gained is invaluable.Great Work Jordan
Kate Caldwell : This was Kates first event in the 14s age group and I am sure she learned a lot from her matches here. Kate played well to take the first set and then led 4-2 in the second in her first match , her oppoenent leveled and took the set and then the next to win in 3. Kate like many of us lets the thinking of how she had the lead in the second and two games away from winning the match take over.We cant change the past and must try to be positive for the rest of the match.It even happens to Federer Kate he blew a two sets to love lead last year at Wimbledon but he bounced back to win the event this year. Kates final match was a 6-2 6-1 loss and moving forward from here point contstruction and movement to shorter balls and the serve are areas to pinpoint at coaching. Well done Kate the experience gained will help enormously.
Josh Eckhold: Could of played in the 10s event but elected to play 12s and played some good tough matches.This time last year Josh had not developed into the player he is today.Point construction, technique and not dropping the old head has been major improvements in Josh's game.
Josh is now competing for every point and construction and keeping in the play is much improved. Josh no doubt will put some extra time into his backhand over the next training block.Well Done Josh
Nay Nay : Is only 9 but playing well above her age and is one of the best for age in New Zealand.Nay nay is also coached in Christchurch by Mark Wilson.Nay Nay is learning to develop her ability to maintain an acceptable level in match play, playing tough on the key points can be installed at an early age and Nay Nay has the ability to improve this area and her 9-1 win over Tiesha Holden from Timaru was indeed very professional not allowing her opponent any free points and was hungry for all the points.After having a talk about her previous match and the ability to go out and be professional whoever the opponent ,paid off.I think Nay Nay took a lot out of this weekend.Well done.