What ingredients do you need to make it as a tennis player?
Becoming a famous tennis player is the dream for a lot of young players, it was a dream of mine for over half of my life. As you would of heard time and time again it is not an easy thing to make a reality, its a long, hard road that requires a massive amount of dedication and self drive. If you have the SELF MOTIVATION, the WANT and the right team around you there is no reason why you can’t be Australia’s next Ash Barty or Alex De Minaur.
Tennis is a great sport for anyone to get into. Whether you play once a week in a group lesson, play a social comp with friends, have private lessons and play tournaments or have big dreams of making a career out of it. It is a sport that you can learn as a child and will carry through to a sport you can play into old age.
If tennis is more then a sport for you, something that you have a true passion for and would love to one day have as a career there are certain attributes that will help you get as far as you can and jump ahead of your peers.
DEDICATION, HARD WORK & SELF DRIVE
Dedication, hard work and self drive/motivation are 3 of the big attributes needed to make your goals a reality. YOU need to WANT to play tennis, in our own experiences as players and coaches we have seen it too many times where players are not playing for themselves. They are playing because their parents want them to, they are playing because they are told they have talent and should pursue it, they are playing because they have done it for so long they have no idea what else to do with themselves. This is your journey and it is about you!! Your parents are here to support you as much and in anyway possible. Your coaches are here to make you the best player you can be, give you constructive advice (even if its harsh at times), guide you in the right direction with training, equipment & tournament schedules and to be there every step of the way to support you along this ride.
If tennis is your dream and your passion time on court is essential and we’re not just talking time with your coaches, we are talking anytime on court, whether it be squad training, playing competitions, playing practice matches against friends, doing baskets of serves or even dragging mum or dad down to have a hit. It all counts in the big picture and shows how dedicated you are and how much self drive you have towards making your goals a reality.
When I was young I was living in Temora, a small country town. The town had 12 tennis courts, 6 with lights and no resident coach, a coach would travel from Young every Wednesday to coach all the local kids on that afternoon, so I would only have a private lesson and a group lesson once a week. When you only have the opportunity to have a tennis lesson one day a week the self motivation to improve and better yourself is something that you really needed. My dad would finish work every afternoon at 5:30pm and when he arrived home every evening I would have the balls in the car and would be sitting on the front step of the house in my tennis gear with my racquet ready to go. Dad had no choice but to carry the washing basket full of tennis balls on the court and hit balls to me for over an hour every night. It was that or hear me hitting a ball against the side of the house for over and hour, I know what I’d choose. It was easy for my parents to take me to the courts, take me to lessons and drive me to tournaments because they could see tennis was my passion, drive & my love for the game was so strong. They loved seeing me happy.
Along with time on court you also need time training physically, whether its cardio, strength, flexibility or agility work it all comes hand in hand with you making yourself the most fit individual you can be and giving yourself the best possible chance to be that much better then your competition. Every little bit counts...
At the end of the day you are in charge of your future. Your parents can find you a great coach, drive you to lessons, pick up your tennis balls and support you in every way possible. Your coach can give you all the technical, tactical and training tools and help send you on the right path for your journey. But its up to you to listen, respect, put your head down & bum up and give it a red hot go!!
That burning feeling inside you is passion and drive to get better!! Jump on the court & hit balls!!