Posts tagged mental strategy
The photo above is from my 15 year old son’s room. His shoes are lined up perfectly – perfectly spaced, perfectly aligned – what 15 year old boy does that??? And, yes, the rest of his room, as well as his racquet bag, is similarly arranged. During tournaments, he eats the exact same thing for breakfast each day, the exact same thing for lunch, and the exact same thing for dinner. His before-bed-during-a-tournament ritual is well-rehearsed and impeccably executed each night, too. When I, jokingly, asked him about all this craziness he said, “Mom, I’m a tennis player,” as if that were all the explanation I needed.
AUSSIE OPEN SEMIFINAL MATCH SPOILER ALERT!!!!!
If you don’t want to know the outcome of the Djokovic-Murray semifinal match, stop reading now!
I watched that match with great interest, especially as it moved into the 5th set. Both players were looking a bit fatigued, and it was obvious that this match was going to come down to who was the most fit – both physically and mentally. While Djokovic has traditionally been plagued with physical ailments which caused him to either retire matches or lose them outright, Murray has been plagued with fatigue of the mental sort but has always been a beast physically. Today was different. Murray seemed to lose his legs early in the final set, struggling to stay in points long enough to do damage to More >
Going back to my last post on active viewing, I wanted to expand and talk a bit about what we – and our kids – can learn from watching the pros in action.
I have been spending a lot (understatement!) of time watching the Aussie Open this week. I’ve seen some good stuff and some not-so-good stuff, all of which has taught me lessons that I can share with my son.
Did you see Marcos Baghdatis play Stan Wawrinka? Did you see Marcos have a meltdown then start destroying his racquets on the changeover? I’m okay with a player venting frustration – tennis is a very frustrating game, after all. However, the fact that Marcos was only fined $800 (or $750 depending on which source you believe) for annihilating four perfectly good racquets is More >
With the Australian Open now in full swing, this is a great opportunity to do some active tennis viewing with your child. What do I mean by that? I mean, watching “tennis with a purpose” as our friends at CATennis.com call it.
For those of you in the States, the Aussie Open is a great tournament to try this since the matches are airing early in the morning or at night when your child is most likely home. Maybe you can watch during breakfast time or for a little while after dinner before getting started on homework?
Here are a few things to watch for and discuss with your child – or, better yet, have your child jot down some things he/she sees and then discuss them with the coach!
1. What type of attitude are the players displaying on More >
This next Q&A is with Lisa Dodson. Lisa currently lives and teaches in Northern California. She is a certified USPTA Pro 1 and PTR coach with over 30 years of teaching experience. She was also a ranked player on the WTA tour. As you will read below, Lisa is a passionate coach who has much to offer in the way of player development. Enjoy!
ParentingAces: What was your junior tennis experience like? Did you go straight from junior to the pros or did you play college tennis?
Lisa Dodson: My junior tennis experience was pretty unusual in today’s terms of developing players. I was the youngest in a tennis playing family so I don’t really remember the first time I held a racket but I do know that it was heavy and wooden! I played More >
In 2012, my tennis parent self resolves the following:
1. To let go . . . of my own expectations for my son, of my control over those expectations and their execution, of my anxiety over them as well.
2. To trust . . . my son to perform at his best and his coach to guide him expertly toward his goals.
3. To stay present . . . to savor each moment as it comes, without judgement, and to leave what’s passed in the past.
4. To separate . . . myself from my son, my goals from my son’s goals, my plans from my son’s plans, my tennis from my son’s tennis.
5. To be the parent only . . . to love unconditionally, to discipline when warranted, to forgive when necessary, to separate the actions from the child performing them.
6. To remember that More >
The new year always brings with it new hopes, new expectations, new resolutions, and new chances. The thought of wiping the slate clean, starting fresh, can be inspiring or it can be daunting. If the previous year was filled with success and happiness, then there is the fear that the new year won’t live up to the past one. If the previous year was filled with hardship and disappointment, there is the fear that those things will follow you into your future.
Every tennis match our kids play, though, is like wiping the slate clean. Just because you beat somebody last time you played doesn’t mean you’re necessarily going to beat them this time. And vice versa. It’s a great lesson for us to hammer home, especially at this time of More >
Over the next several months, I will be publishing Q&As with tennis coaches from around the globe. I hope you will find these articles useful as you navigate the world of junior tennis. For me, it’s helpful to hear how other coaches do things and what their philosophies are regarding competing, training, parental involvement, college, the pro tour, etc. Each coach is so different and has a different set of experiences to share with our children and with us.
Today, I’m so pleased to introduce Tracy Houk. A San Francisco native, Tracy grew up playing tennis on the courts in Golden Gate Park. Her playing experience started in the junior 12s division playing tournaments all over Northern California through the 18s extending her More >