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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    So you're the Coach ...

    Each of the following Players have had it with their Coaches and they get your name through a mutual friend to work with them. So you accept the challenge and how do you begin?

    Let's start with Carolyn Woziacki - current ranking #8 has had stellar year. I hate to have to keep saying this but on the WTA side, I am convinced if these women would review their step by step play during a rally, they would see a pattern where they are beating themselves more than not.

    Jelena Jankovic - boy o boy does she need your help. Plenty of talent & speed but the results do not support the effort. How would you redirect her physical & mental mindset?

    Ana Ivanovic - over heard your name being mentioned and is offering you more money than Jelena is. What would you do first out of the box with her game?

    Dinera Safina
    - Where in the World would you start with her? Mobility? Or maybe guts & determination? Or you might have a whole different approach for her?

    Amelie Mauresmo - You think there's still enough game in this girl and you have a game play. What is it?

    Maria Sharapova
    - All the tools but can you see how she could compact her game and rebuild her confidenece. She tells you that all she wants is to win one more Major Title and call it a day. Can you make that happen?


    And how about the guys who are looking to win a major other than Roger & Rafael.


    Novak Djokovic - he is falling backwards instead of rising to #2 and #1.
    What would be the first plan of action you would need to begin with regarding Joko?

    James Blake - You know you can help him so where do you start?

    Coach


    * These are just a couple of examples of Players who don't seen to get over the hump and you might be the answer.
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  2. #2
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    Sea Pines, Hilton Head, South Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach View Post
    Each of the following Players have had it with their Coaches and they get your name through a mutual friend to work with them. So you accept the challenge and how do you begin?

    Let's start with Carolyn Woziacki - current ranking #8 has had stellar year. I hate to have to keep saying this but on the WTA side, I am convinced if these women would review their step by step play during a rally, they would see a pattern where they are beating themselves more than not.

    Jelena Jankovic - boy o boy does she need your help. Plenty of talent & speed but the results do not support the effort. How would you redirect her physical & mental mindset?

    Ana Ivanovic - over heard your name being mentioned and is offering you more money than Jelena is. What would you do first out of the box with her game?

    Dinera Safina
    - Where in the World would you start with her? Mobility? Or maybe guts & determination? Or you might have a whole different approach for her?

    Amelie Mauresmo - You think there's still enough game in this girl and you have a game play. What is it?

    Maria Sharapova
    - All the tools but can you see how she could compact her game and rebuild her confidenece. She tells you that all she wants is to win one more Major Title and call it a day. Can you make that happen?


    And how about the guys who are looking to win a major other than Roger & Rafael.


    Novak Djokovic - he is falling backwards instead of rising to #2 and #1.
    What would be the first plan of action you would need to begin with regarding Joko?

    James Blake - You know you can help him so where do you start?

    Coach


    * These are just a couple of examples of Players who don't seen to get over the hump and you might be the answer.
    All of the women need strong mental training. I would basically bootcamp them all. Almost all of them rose to the height of #1, but then they began to fall. I would cut out Gucci handbags, mall shopping, and glamour shots photo sessions. The reason Henin was so good was because she trained all the time instead of hitting the hot night spots. Safina just needs to relax and add a bit of topspin to her shots when she is nervous or not on. She hits the same shots whether she is on or dismally off. On her off days, she needs to hit a bigger topspin shot with more net clearance. The rest of them just need to make the decision to make tennis their #1 priority like it was when they were hungry for the #1 position. As for the guys, Djokovich needs to develop a little bit more of a weapon. He needs to work on his patience as well. As for Blake, I knew this about him when I hit with him. He needs to lose some upper body fat and build his legs up. I always thought he was a bit soft when I trained with him, but I never said that to him. He has more mass up top than in his lower body and I think his legs give out during matches. After that, I would work on his patience and rallying skills. He wants to end the points too quickly sometimes and he tries to create openings that are just not there at times. He is very intelligent and I think his mind starts to wander in long rallies and then he starts to press out of fear. Don't you find it funny that James plays a claycourt style game and has no huge weapons, but can't win on clay and usually beats himself? He needs to do 100 ball rallies and other drills to get his consistency up as well so that he will be comfortable in long rallies. I find it hard to understand why someone would play his style of game and not be able to win on claycourts. To make it simple, all of them (except for Djokovich) need lobotomies because they are all talented, but their minds are their own worst enemies.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    We had two kids, Scott & Jason in our last season who were essentially equally gifted in the curt. They both had dependable serves, ground games and for the most part knew when to attach when the opportunity presented itself.

    Scott's season record in singles was 23 / 9 whereas Jason's was 21 / 6. If you were a scout, I would suspect you would not be too impressed with either of them other than their command of the fundamentals and potential. That is until they played each other.

    If you want to witness one of the best junior's matches you'll ever see, I mean one that you will talk abut for days, you have to see these two guys play each other. There was something about losing to the other that made them crazy.

    It reminds me of Sampras v Agassi where neither wanted to give an inch. Point is, everything they've ever been taught about tennis comes to light when they played against each other. Then you were in for a treat.

    But what is it about playing certain people that brings out your A-Game and how do you get your student to bring that game to every match?

    .
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Sea Pines, Hilton Head, South Carolina
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    Angry

    Quote Originally Posted by Coach View Post
    We had two kids, Scott & Jason in our last season who were essentially equally gifted in the curt. They both had dependable serves, ground games and for the most part knew when to attach when the opportunity presented itself.

    Scott's season record in singles was 23 / 9 whereas Jason's was 21 / 6. If you were a scout, I would suspect you would not be too impressed with either of them other than their command of the fundamentals and potential. That is until they played each other.

    If you want to witness one of the best junior's matches you'll ever see, I mean one that you will talk abut for days, you have to see these two guys play each other. There was something about losing to the other that made them crazy.

    It reminds me of Sampras v Agassi where neither wanted to give an inch. Point is, everything they've ever been taught about tennis comes to light when they played against each other. Then you were in for a treat.

    But what is it about playing certain people that brings out your A-Game and how do you get your student to bring that game to every match?

    .
    It's funny you say that. Kind of the Lendl/McEnroe thing. Man, I bet there was some foul language in the locker room after their matches. I bet they hated shaking hands too. I think that may be why Federer is so good. He never shows any emotion until the match is done. He sometimes pumps his fist or winces, but he is as cool as one of the other greats, Bjorn Borg. There is something about their way of being cool that makes their opponents afraid of them. Now, when you get two emotional players playing against each other, it is usually quite a match. I was coaching a kid named Alex
    Ferron and he was a true Irish kid with a giant temper. Somehow, he warmed up to me and was really easy for me to deal with. Well, he was playing this Swiss kid in the final of a tournament and they started yapping. Well, the Swiss players father gets involved and Alex ends up ripping his pants down on court and mooning everyone in the stands. Of course, everyone looks at me and I am pretty much shocked (but still laughing, sorry). Those two pretty much became the Lendl/McEnroe on the Florida and ITF circuit. Wow. I was scared to go to their matches out of fear of what might happen. They always played each other neck and neck. Those players you talked of earlier just need to refocus on tennis. There are too many distractions and whenever they lose, they can now use the excuse of "I am rich and famous, oh well." The true champions like Graf, Navratilova, Seles, etc. just really know how to focus when it is time to do what needs to be done. I mean they really were dedicated to practice, even when times were good. Those hours spent doing commercials, charity work (which is good), photo shoots, shopping, partying, nursing hangovers from partying, etc. takes away from their practice time as well as their recovery time which is very much needed in the crazy life of a tennis professional. They are as famous as rockstars and they have to be able to turn away from that and focus on tennis. It is flat out tough to do. Let me tell you, if I could just go buy a nice Ferrari Scuderia, I doubt I would make it to practice too much either. I think the key to really being great is the love of the game. The greats really love to play tennis. They don't need to be told to practice or eat right. They take the initiative themselves. The players you talk about in this post I think have other priorities now besides tennis and that would be the first area I would hit on with all of them. First question I would ask all of them is "Are you ready to commit yourself to really putting everything into your tennis?" That's what it takes now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    New England
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    Ego is a huge part of Greatness my friend. If anyone believes otherwise, they are fooling themselves. I'm not so sure that anyone starts their day off by saying, "I'm going to be the greatest" although I do believe there needs to be some sort of element within a person that makes a determination that they are willing to do whatever it takes to be where their Idol is at. If you're a young Player and you have dreams of playing at Wimbledon someday, then you truly need to make that a mind consuming goal in your life allowing nothing to stand in its' way and that means no one.

    Think of all the Players that wanted to win all four majors and then think of the Players that stode in their way of achieving that. For Ivan Lendl, it was Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and subsequently Pat Cash. For Andre Gomez, it was Ivan Lendl in winning the French. etc. For how do you feel about the one guy who stops you from achieving History? Although Martina Navratilova, people are quick to label her as winning the most Grand Slams in history but actually, many of those Slams were doubles. When it came to Singles, all was good until Steffi Graf came along and I feel Martina had a certain dislike for not being able to over-come that obstacle once Steffi became accustomed to winning, that told her, the days of winning Singles Slam titles were over. And if it wasn't Steffi preventing her, it was Monica.

    Point is, if you have visions of greatness your become one-pointed. You can see the finish line, it has your name all over it and just before you reach out to take to trophy, there's this other person taking it away from you.

    People can call Martina the greatest all day long but in Martina's mind, she knows Steffi Graf as 22 Singles Titles and Martina only has 18. Which ain't bad at all. But that's something that will bother her for the rest of her life.
    She wasn't able to do it.

    Pete Sampras, although full of Class, had to sit and watch Roger Federer take over as winning the something Pete most likely thought, he would enjoy for many years to come. I'm sure Pete knew that someday, some guy would come along and win more Singles Titles than he did but I'm sure it never occurred to him it would be that quick. Trouble is, I can't see anyone winning more than 15 Single's Titles anytime soon in today's game. The only thing Roger has failed to accomplish was winning all four in a Calendar year and breaking Borne Borg's consecutive record at Wimbledon. So he'll have to live with that disappointment.

    But when Pete & Andre faced each other, it was all about Ego. They both wanted to show each other that their A-Game was better than the others'.
    It had nothing to do with the people in the stands. They probable weren't that much aware of the people in the stands at that moment. It was merely a grudge match.

    I have kids who want to be great Players someday and I'm trying impress upon them that when they walk out onto the Court, they have to leave it all behind regardless of who they're playing. They have to play each match as if that person is will stop them from greatness if they do anything less.



    .
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  6. #6
    I would have to agree with TennisKing about the boot camp thing.

    Jankovic, Safina and Ivanovic need to take a very hard look at why they play the game. What are their motivations? What are their fears? What are their needs from the game? And these questions need to be answered honestly.

    There are no obvious physical limits to any of those three, Safina is perhaps a bit slow, but...

    Maybe they could study Serena Williams, and take note at how she never, and I mean never, backs down from a fight in a match that has meaning. Read: Grand Slams. Study her body language, study her demeanor between points, etc...couldn't hurt.

    Just some quick thoughts

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    You've confused me.
    Please explain what you mean when you say 'have had it with their Coaches and they get your name through a mutual friend to work with them'.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robyna View Post
    You've confused me.
    Please explain what you mean when you say 'have had it with their Coaches and they get your name through a mutual friend to work with them'.
    He is saying that the player wants to get rid of their coach and finds out about you as a possible coach.

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