Mental Toughness

Mallorca: Final Chapter

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My son’s month in Mallorca came to an end on August 30, 2013. He returned home to Atlanta safe and sound, maybe a bit taller, more than a bit stronger, and definitely more mature and responsible.

As we expected, additional information about his time in Mallorca has come to light since his return. My son has shared his experiences with the other players training there and his experiences with the various coaches – both on and off the court. We found out that he had a narrow escape with an early More >

Counting Down in Mallorca

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My son’s Mallorcan Adventure is coming to an end very soon. He’s returning home next Friday after spending a great month at Global. Once he’s been home a while, I’m hoping he’ll be able to reflect on his time in Spain and share some insights with me. For now, all I know is that it’s been tough – very tough – from a physical standpoint as well as a mental and emotional one. Training at Global is different from what he’s used to at home. There, they are training players for the pro tour, to be More >

What’s Wrong with US Tennis?

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For those of you who read my trip report from my time in France and Spain, you know I had the fabulous opportunity to take a lesson on the red clay in Mallorca at Global Tennis Team Academy, run by well-known coach Jofre Porta who has worked with Carlos Moya and Rafa Nadal among others.  While I didn’t get to work with Jofre himself, I did work with one of his coaches, Vinicius Oliveira, who spent some time talking with me about how juniors train at their academy.  I also had the chance to More >

When College Coaches Are Watching

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As if competing in a tennis tournament weren’t tough enough, how does a junior player handle the added pressure of playing when he/she knows a college coach is watching?

Now that my son is finishing his sophomore year of high school, he’s going to be facing these situations the remainder of his junior tennis career.  Even if the coach is there to watch his opponent and not necessarily him, my son still needs to be prepared to handle that extra piece of the puzzle.  In hopes of giving him More >

Sometimes You Just Need A Break

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After playing 3 tough tournaments over the past 5 weekends – with 4 back-to-back tourneys looming ahead on the schedule – my son got sick.  Nothing serious, mind you, but just the kind of exhaustion-inspired viral junk that makes you feel like garbage.  It came on slowly at first but then hit like gangbusters the day before we were supposed to leave for the ITF event in South Carolina.  He begged me to call the doctor for an antibiotic in hopes that he could feel good enough by the next day to More >

Our Impact On Our Children’s Development

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The passages below are excerpts from a rather lengthy email I received this morning from sports psychologist, Dr. Jorge Valverde.  I am reprinting them with his permission.

Our responsibility as parents is like a mountain:  the bigger the mountain to climb, the stronger we must become, and our strength must come from wisdom and inspiration.

Dealing with discipline issues

-       Establish boundaries and natural consequences and follow them closely -       Present one front as parents, More >

You Gotta Have Faith

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A big thank-you to my amazing yoga instructor, Lisa Jones, for the quote above.

Sometimes I get a major wake-up call which catches me totally off guard.  This weekend’s tournament was one of those.

The week leading up to the tournament was a rough one for my son.  He came down with a cold/sinus infection on Monday and immediately started taking a antibiotic in hopes that he would feel significantly better by the Saturday start day.  All week, he shortened his practices, even resorting to More >

Pusher or Grinder?

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The word PUSHER is often uttered with disdain and a snarl among junior tennis players.  It is the supreme insult to hurl at another player, as in, “I can’t believe I lost to a pusher!  I must totally stink at tennis!”

But, really, what is a pusher?  And is it such a bad thing to be called one?

According to coach Don Petrine, pushing is a style that one encounters in developmental tennis (and perhaps senior and club tennis).  “A pusher uses all your pace on the ball, never generating their own More >

Beyond Winning & Losing

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Our state qualifier for the Southern Closed was this past week.  For the first time ever, my son knew when he applied for entry to the tournament that he would get in – he had worked hard all year to move his state ranking into a proper position.  Now the challenge was getting far enough in the Qualifier to secure a spot in the Closed.

The Tennis Gods smiled upon him with his draw, but it was still up to him to capitalize on some great opportunities to get to the Round of 16 (or further) and More >

There’s No “I” in T-E-A-M

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UGA Men's Tennis Team - 2007 NCAA Champions

Jim Courier, Bob Bryan, John Isner, Mike Bryan, Ryan Harrison

I know I’ve written a lot lately about high school and college tennis, but it’s just where I am right now, so please indulge me one more time!

I watched this past weekend’s Davis Cup matches with great interest, not only because my childhood friend’s son was playing for the US but also because our #1 singles player, John Isner, was a 4-year member of the University of Georgia men’s More >

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