Junior to Senior

I was out at Vince Barclay Coaching Academy on Sunday http://www.barclayacademy.com.au/ and Vince gave to me some material to read. So on my drive home 1 hour 15 minutes of it.. I started reading his paper Junior to Senior. It has been put together with some great advice by some very influential and well respected Australian and International Coaches and world ranking tennis players … it says “it is devastating to watch young players venturing onto satellites after a fine junior career, only to suffer soul-crunching defeats because they just don’t have a weapon to hurt their opponents. Their former strength, safety and consisentency in Juniors just won’t cope with the barrage inflicted by opponents who now step in, take the ball early, munch it to the corners and DON’T MISS” the foundations of these weapons must be established in the early junior years and become a feature of your game as you mature physically.” 

We see too many former No. 1 juniors and junior grand slam winners not making the transition into the men’s game,” Rafter wrote. “Their maturity is of a junior, their game is junior and their mentality is junior and that equals being a could-have-been or a should-have-been.”

 John Fitzgerald says of the question put to him.. If you could have your career over again, what would you do differently ? “I would pray for a bigger serve” he says “develop a game with weapons that will g ive you a chance of playing at the professional level. Don’t leave your run too late, and regret your reluctance to change.” Jason Stoltenberg says “Prepare yourself the right way, do your training, keep yourself physically fit you’re going to be there within a longer career than a lot of players.” Paul Anacone writes with Pete Sampras “Be more concerned about playing well than winning”  Winning the 14’s Hardcourts is not as important as one day being in the top 100 in the World.  “Work on your game technically and play lots of practice matches.. you need every aspect of your game. If you have technique when you are young, winning matches will come later” Richard Krajicek..John McEnroe says “I’d develop three weapons – weapons for both sides, plus a very big serve”.

I have once chance at this, there are going to be some colourful clashes, doubters and true supporters.I need to be mentally tough.. so I am going to give it my best shot and get the best hits I possibly can. I have seen how hard the overseas kids work and their ethics.. and I have to stand my ground and work hard.  I am going to practice and work on my game technically against the higher level of players here in Australia.. when the textbook says to “stay safe”.. but that only works up until your up against some quality well trained international level opposition,   so its up to me, the hard work now begins !!. Dad driving and the trusty old stringing machine.. cheers Blake

Articles – Junior and Wimbledon Open Champions