Here’s our third featured post from Head Coach CJ on his experiences and observations from the world of tennis – Do you agree with Chris? Let us know over on our Facebook page!:
JUNIOR / ADULT TENNIS
“Having spent a week helping to run our LTA grade 3 tournament that attracts players from all over the UK, I find it amusing that no one looks to the future of their tennis.
“Everyone wants the win today and forgets to see the importance of thinking ahead. What I actually mean is ALL the junior players I have watched this week only have a skill set that can get them through matches now. This basically boils down to getting the ball in the court.
“Now getting the ball in play is No. 1, however how you deliver it and where your able to deliver it too are very different. A spinney ball landing mid-court over and over may work now, but it WILL NOT LAST! When you speak to players, their knowledge of tennis can be reasonably good, however the understanding of HOW TO is very poor.
“A basic example could be, a player knows what serve and volley is and what it looks like, but they don’t have the UNDERSTANDING of how to do it and when it might be appropriate. They are also lacking in the ownership of the skills required as well. How often do you hear a junior player refer to losing to a hacker, whatever that may mean? Instead of understanding they DON’T HAVE some basic skills to defeat this style of player (drop shots and some form of volley should get the job done).
“I’m confident that if players found the time to organise their own practices, and where encourage by everyone to experiment and explore they would come across some interesting skills that they would enjoying using. Just imagine if junior tennis players had the mind-sets of skateboarders, failure would be seen as getting closer to nailing the skill, and everyone would be looking to learn new skills to show off.
“Instead, junior tennis players see failure as negative and attempting a new daring skill way to risky and could result in the loss of a POINT! I remember watching a player (aged 10) winning a match extremely comfortably, and to be honest was never going to lose. I kept encouraging her to try some drop shots and volleys. After much encouragement from me she attempted a drop shot and lost the point. She glared at me as if to say that’s your fault, and never attempted it again. She went on to win the match without dropping a game.”
Do you agree with Chris? Let us know over on our Facebook page!