Privates vs. Squads

The following article was written by Graeme Brimblecombe and is reprinted with permission from LifeTime Tennis of Australia’s website (you can find the original article here). I found it incredibly detailed and enlightening in regards to how junior players should be spending their on-court time and how we parents should be spending our training dollars. I hope you feel the same way. Enjoy!

Dear Parents and Players,

Over the past year there has been a significant spike in parents and players wanting more and more private lessons and after talking to parents and players about their reason I want to dispel a lot of the myths that surround an increased dependence that seems attached to having a “Private Coach”.

The first part of all this is that a private coach is necessary in terms of setting the scene for what players should be doing over the rest of the week or short term. There should be a discussion and work done on the areas of a player’s game that they should be working on over the next few days/ weeks. This “Private Lesson” should be as much a goal setting session as it is an on court session and in fact if the coach didn’t hit a ball or stood on the court the value should be no less.

In that lies the problem. Some players and parents are not willing to take responsibility in their own development and work on areas of their games in the other times they are on court. This means that the only time a player is likely to improve is when a coach is on court with them. If a player is unable to work and improve independently it is unlikely they will ascend to a very high level of the game and at times when things get a little harder to improve ( which happens to every player) they are likely to take the easy option and give up. They have not invested in their own development. Here’s a phrase I used to use a lot when I was working with TA and its various subsidiaries.

AS A PLAYER YOU MUST BE AN ACTIVE PARTICIPATANT IN YOUR OWN DEVELOPMENT.

Meaning that Players who want to be successful and play at a high standard have to be significantly more invested in their development than what a coach or parent is.

Here’s some simple tests. Ask yourself the following.

When was the last time my child asked me to:

  1. Get to training early so he / she could warm up and prepare before going on court.
  2. Asked if they could go to the courts and hit some serves.
  3. Rang another player and asked for a hit.
  4. Organised some practice sets.
  5. Did extra physical work at home. Stretching / running / movement / strength
  6. Watched tennis matches on TV
  7. Stayed behind after losing in a tournament to “Watch” more matches.
  8. Wrote down or did an evaluation of their tennis goals

Now ask yourself where the motivation is?

If it is not with the player there is only 2 other possible motivations. Either the parent or the coach. It should be neither.

THIS NEEDS TO BE PLAYER DRIVEN.

Here’s a few other attitudes to be aware of.

Does your child ever come off from training:

  1. Down in the dumps, whinging, sooking, looking for attention because they have lost or not played well.
  2. Do you or your child put more importance on performance or on results?
  3. Do you or your child place the blame for a loss on opponent, coach, parent or other outside factors for that outcome?
  4. Are you or your child more focused on who they are playing or training against than performance?
  5. Does your child train / play unconditionally no matter what else may be going on outside of tennis or do you / they make excuses for their performance?
  6. Does your child ask you not to watch their matches?
  7. How often do you or your child cancel a tennis session for an extra – curricular school activity?
  8. As a parent do I send my child off to a coach or squad because the person or players in the squad motivate him or her?
  9. Does my child motivate the other players he or she is training with?

Ask your child 1 simple question. WHO DO YOU REALLY PLAY FOR? Be careful parents the answer may be a bit of a surprise. If the answer is themselves, does their actions meet their answer.

I’ve been coaching for 30 years and have working with a world number 1 and various other top 10, grand slam, Davis and Fed cup players and managed / coached a Junior Davis Cup Championship Team. As time goes by more and more tennis parents and players are turning to the coaches to perform some kind of magic on their tennis careers.

From my experience you are all looking in the wrong place. Players need to take a look in the mirror. As that is where the magic is. It lies within and what you as a player is prepared to do.

If you think private lessons are the most important part of your players program you are facilitating the very attitude that that gives your child less chance and not more of being successful in this game.

The squad lessons need to be the single most important sessions each player participates in throughout a week. They offer an opportunity to work on so much of what tennis is really all about. However, often parents and players prefer to miss squads in preference of privates. This attitude feeds the beast that will prevent the most important learning opportunities being, accountability and ownership of their own development.

If players would like to be success at this game from the age of 12 they will need to be on court for the majority 5 – 6 days a week.

A balanced on court program will include all of the below.

  1. 1 Private lesson per week (preferable bi weekly) and doesn’t have to be hitting.
  2. 3 Squad sessions per week.
  3. 1 – 2 hitting session per week. – with a player of a similar standard
  4. 1 – 2 set play match play session per week – with a player of a similar standard

These sessions that are self – directed and offer self – ownership are the sessions that players need the most. Develop independence and ownership in your players.

Parents stay out of it, do not get involved in those sessions. They are not your training sessions.

The first part of this is to understand where the feeling or need for private lessons are driven from. After speaking to a number of parents and coaches these seem to be the main points.

From a parents perspective the following were common messages:

  1. There seems to be the desire to receive personal tuition and more focused lesson with the players
  2. The players received more technical attention.

From a coaches point of view:

  1. Coaches generally love private lessons because it fills up more on court time.
  2. To get over a technical hurdle that a player is struggling with
  3. Set the scene with players for the rest of the week

Think about this, if private lessons are so important why is it that the Tennis Australia National Academy programs consist almost entirely of squad lessons and they generally farm the private lessons back to the private enterprise coaches. If private lessons were so important why would they not want to do them themselves.

Over the past 30 years in the industry I can’t think back of a single successful player that I have worked with or seen working that has had a big focus on private lessons.

  • 5 years at Tennis QLD and barely conducted a one on one lesson, all squads.
  • 3 Years as AIS men’s coach and barely conducted a private lesson.
  • 2 Years as NSWIS and TNSW Head coach and didn’t do a private lesson.

These programs have all produced world class tennis players and yet private lessons were an absolute rarity.

Our best players for as long back as I can think did very little one on one lessons with a coach. However the players who have been successful have been those who have been able to put the time in on court throughout their developing years.

Parents I urge you to change your mind set in this space and look to balance out your child’s on court program.

Now the challenge is to get the children to be accountable by focussing on the things they are being asking to work on by the coach while they are not with a coach. When they start to do this then you may start to see where the magic really is.

From my point of view there are a range of benefits that squad session can give that private lessons do not.

  1. The simple volume of work players can get in squad.
  2. Players can and should be working on their technic at all times which should be reinforced by the coaches in squads.
  3. Players get the opportunity to work on more tactical outcomes which drive the technic they use.
  4. Players generally have to be more aware (and are aligned to the match play) of the decision making process and the way in which they cope with different situations.
  5. There are much more live ball activities teaching a greater variety of options and choices available.
  6. There is in most cases more movement and physical activities involved in squad sessions.
  7. There is much more Serve and ROS activities involved in squads again creating a more realistic outcome.

When you ask your coach to do more sessions and he says you are better off doing more squads and more hitting, set play or serves and ROS he is really someone who cares about you. The coach that says let’s do a private lesson or another private lesson is probably someone who cares more about himself.

We get a heck of a lot of people coming along talking about wanting their kids to become better tennis players. I can understand them pulling out if they are sick or injured however the majority of our squad cancellations are now other extra – curricular activities that have nothing to do with tennis.

The frustration for us is that the attitude is that we want you to make our kids better but they don’t want to make a commitment to that. They want to pick and choose and do a portion of the work required and still get a great outcome. I’m here to say parents that is not going to happen.

Have a think about it from this perspective. Why do kids go to school 5 days a week 38 – 40 weeks of the year and 12 years to develop the skills required for university or to go into the workforce?  Why do you think it is ok to look at tennis any different?

The MAGIC is in the dedication and discipline. They are the 2 most important personal qualities required to be successful. By the time your child is playing at a top 20 level in his or her age group in the state everyone playing at this level has talent. Talent WILL NOT be enough. What is going to give your child a COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE from this point forward. I don’t think it exists in more private lessons. What do you think?

Life Experience

Tennis, like life itself, is full of various experiences.  Our goal should be to learn from these experiences in order to make ourselves better human beings.  After all, it’s not whether you win or lose; it’s how you play the game . . . right?

A couple of weeks ago, my son asked if he could play in the US Open Sectional Qualifier tourney that was being held at a local club.  The entry fee was higher than we were used to paying ($100 for singles, $65 for mixed doubles, single elimination in both draws), but my husband and I agreed to let him play.  We figured he might have the chance to play against some very high-level players which would be a great opportunity to see how his game holds up.  We were right.

In the first round of the tournament, my son drew David Hopkins (see photo above), the recently-graduated #1 doubles player and #1/#2 singles player for Wake Forest University.  One look at David and I immediately thought “football player” – he’s a 6’2″, All-ACC player who is built like a linebacker!  During the warm-up (in the 100+ degree heat, I might add), David simply stroked the ball on both sides, moving very little, looking like he was just out for a simple pick-up match at the local park.  But, once the match started, the All-ACC player came out in full force and didn’t leave until the match was won.  He hit double-digit aces.  He had an inside-out backhand that was so flat and so hard that you didn’t even see it coming.  And, he just didn’t miss.

During the match, one of David’s teammates, Adam Lee, was sitting next to me, and we struck up a conversation.  He told me how David had been continually recruited by the Wake Forest football coach throughout his college career but chose tennis over football time and again.  He told me how David is a gentle, unassuming character whose fierceness takes you by surprise on the court.  He told me how everyone feared coming up against him in a tournament.  Later, I spoke with both David and Adam about my son and his tennis goals.  Both young men were very complimentary and encouraging about my son’s chances to play D1 tennis.  David’s words:  “Tell him to keep working hard.  He’s way ahead of where I was at his age.  It just takes lots of hard work.”

In the mixed doubles, my son again had the opportunity to play against very experienced players.  In fact, the man on the opposing team played on the 2005 Davis Cup team for Puerto Rico, and the woman was a 4-time ITA All-American at Georgia College & State University.  Our kids held their own.

After the tournament, I gushed to my son about how well he played and what incredible opportunities he had to play such experienced and accomplished opponents.  In typical teenager fashion, he replied, “I wasn’t out there for a good experience, Mom.  I was out there to win!”  Sigh.

At some point, he will realize where I’m coming from with all this “good experience” talk.  It will sink in, and he will see that he’s on the right track to achieve his tennis goals.  He will understand that it’s not always about winning the match but sometimes about having a barometer to measure your progress.

Maybe he’s getting it sooner rather than later.  Last night, he signed up to play the ITA Summer Circuit tournament at UGA.  The tournament overlaps the Georgia State Junior Open by one day.  When I pointed that out to my son, he said, “Mom, I’m going to be in a draw with college players.  I don’t think I’m going to make it to the Finals.  It’s okay.”

I love it when the lightbulb turns on!

Why Every Junior Should Attend Tennis Camp

My son just spent the past 5 days in Athens, Georgia, at UGA’s tennis camp as he has done each of the last 7 years.  It is typically the highlight of his summer.  The boys stay in the dorms, order late-night takeout, and spend literally all day on the tennis courts hitting with each other and the UGA team members and coaches.  What a life, right?

Some will argue that tennis camp is a waste of time for high-level players, that their time would be better spent in drills or playing practice sets or at actual tournaments.  I respectfully disagree.

Here’s what my son has gotten out of seven years of tennis camp (so far):

  • A realization that he really really really wants to play college tennis
  • An understanding of what it takes to progress as a junior player
  • The opportunity to talk to real-life college players and hear firsthand what’s involved in playing for your school
  • Understanding the importance of tradition:  we have our annual photos with the coach and assistant coach, our annual lunch at the same restaurant (The Varsity), our file of camp evaluations – you get the picture!
  • Developing a relationship with a coach and his team which gives my son some go-to people as we navigate the college recruiting process

I’m sure there are many, many more benefits that my son could list, not counting improving his tennis playing skills over that 5-day period.  But, that’s not the point.  The point is that there’s so much more to this junior tennis stuff than just hitting fuzzy yellow balls across the net in order to win trophies and ranking points.  And spending a few days away from home with other players who also love the sport is a great way to learn how tennis figures into the Big Picture.

So, if you’re looking for a camp for your child to attend this summer, it’s not too late.  I just googled “tennis camp” and came up with over 50 pages of results.  There are plenty of camps available, and I’m sure there are several that would be a great fit for your player.

If your child has attended a camp, I would love to hear about his/her experiences there.  Please share them in the Comments box below.

Time Off for Bad Behavior

School isn’t the only place – the Junior Tennis World will give you time off for bad behavior, too!  And, yes, I do speak from personal experience.

I haven’t really addressed the whole area of conduct and suspension points on ParentingAces yet, so I figure now is as good a time as any given that my kid just avoided a very close call with a 3-month tournament suspension.  I suspect there are junior tennis players who will get through their entire tournament career without ever receiving a code violation or suspension point, but my kid isn’t one of them.

Let me advise you once again that if you and your child have NOT yet read the USTA publication FRIEND AT COURT, do so immediately!  It is crucial that you and your child are both familiar with the Code of Conduct (Part 2 of the Friend At Court beginning on Page 45 of the pdf file) and understand which behaviors are permitted and which are not as well as the possible consequences.  While most tournament officials are well-trained and well-intentioned, every now and then you’ll run across one who is not, and it is imperative that your child understands his “rights” in terms of warnings, code violations, suspension points, and appeals (see page 180 of the Friend At Court).  Also, many of the guidelines for assessing penalties are left up to the discretion of the official (see Table 17 on page 124); therefore, it is best for players to avoid completely ANY behaviors that might be punishable by loss of a point.  Please note that it is within the discretion of the officials to immediately disqualify a player, without warning, who exhibits a single act of flagrant unsportsmanlike behavior.

As with most things USTA-related, each state or section may have its own rules regarding suspension.  In Georgia, “the Point Penalty System is linked to a Suspension Point System [see page 17 of the 2012 Junior Rules & Regulations], whereby players are suspended from all USTA play for a period of 3 months if they accumulate ten (10) Suspension Points in a twelve (12) month period.”  The Point Penalty System applies to violations during the warm-up as well as the match as follows:
• During all matches (main draw, compass draw, consolation, qualifying and doubles);
• During tournament activities;
• At tournament facilities;
• At facilities, such as hotels, dormitories, and homes where players stay.

Here’s what our Georgia Juniors need to know:

  •  Every effort will be made by USTA Georgia to notify any player who has accumulated six (6) or more suspension points that s/he is more than half-way to a suspension. Timing sometimes makes this impossible. Absence of such notification in no way alters the validity of suspension points assessed.
  •  The player will be notified using the contact information on file with USTA Membership when he/she reaches ten (10) or more Junior Suspension Points. The player will have one week to submit a written appeal to the USTA Georgia office – attention Grievance Committee. If the suspension is deemed appropriate after the appeal process, the suspension from any USTA Georgia sanctioned event will immediately be effective for a minimum period of three (3) months.
  • After serving the suspension these ten (10) Junior Suspension Points will be cleared from the player’s record. All other suspension points, if any, shall remain on the player’s record and count toward a second suspension.
  • All Tournament Directors and the USTA Southern office will be notified of each suspension.
  • Suspensions apply to all USTA Sanctioned programs and tournaments, including Adult League, Junior TeamTennis, Adult tournaments and Junior tournaments in other sections.
  • Repercussions from suspension will include elimination of selection for any special programs sponsored by USTA Georgia such as Junior Southern Cup, USTA Tennis Player Development Programs, USTA Competition Training Center programs, USTA Southern Training Camps, USTA Georgia Training Camps, etc.
  • Players whose suspensions extend up to the sanctioned start date of the Georgia State Junior Closed Qualifying Championship or through the Georgia State Junior Closed Qualifying Championship are not eligible to request a Waiver for the USTA Southern Closed Junior Championship.
  • If a violation leading to a suspension (3 months or longer) occurs thirty (30) days prior to or during the Level 1 Georgia State Junior Closed Qualifying Championship, the player will not be endorsed to the USTA Southern Closed Junior Championship.
  • A suspension with onset during the Georgia State Junior Closed Qualifying Championship cannot be appealed to the USTA Georgia Grievance Committee.

My son went into this year’s Georgia Qualifying Championship with 9 suspension points on his record, most of which came during a particularly stressful period last summer.  In addition to the pressure of trying to qualify for the Southern Closed, my son was also dealing with the pressure of having to be on his absolute best behavior so as to avoid having his summer tournament plans go out the window.  Believe me, this is NOT a situation my kid ever wants to be in again, nor is it a situation that his coach (or his parents!) want him to replicate.

By reading and learning the Code, we parents can help our kids avoid situations like my son’s.  By instilling our own personal Code in our kids and enforcing it from the beginning of their tennis-playing years, we can help them learn to manage their emotions more effectively even when in the heat of battle.  My husband and I didn’t do such a great job at that, but we’ve learned our lesson . . . and so has our son.

Beyond Winning & Losing

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 get that guaranteed entry into the sectional tourney.  It was going to be a challenge, for sure.  His track record with “gifts” in the draw wasn’t all that great – in the past, he had often lost to players with much lower rankings than his own, so he was going to have to draw on all the training he had been doing with his coach to stay focused and get the job done.

After winning his first match in less-than-ideal weather conditions, he got to play his second round on center court at the main tournament site with several of his friends and other coaches standing around and periodically watching him.  He won the first set 6-0 in about 12 minutes, absolutely crushing his opponent at every opportunity.  But, old habits die hard, and he wound up falling behind 0-4 in the 2nd set before fighting back a bit then losing it 4-6.  Thank goodness for the 10-minute break after splitting sets!  I have no idea what my son’s coach told him on the phone, but he came into that 3rd set swinging away, jumping to a 5-0 lead before finally closing out the set and the match 6-0, 4-6, 6-2.  He had made it to the Round of 16 and had his spot in the Closed!

The next morning, he was slated to play the 2 seed, a boy who he had never played before, a boy who is a 5-star rated player, a boy who wins big tournaments on a regular basis.  This was my son’s chance to test his game against the Big Boys, to see how he held up and where he needed work.  What an opportunity!  He went on court ready to do battle.  He pushed the 2 seed hard in the first set, making him work for every point and every game.  My son lost that set 4-6, but he proved to himself that he could compete at this level, that he has what it takes to keep moving forward with his development.  The next set didn’t go quite as well, but, still, my son walked off the court with his head held high, knowing he had left everything he had out there.

Day 3 brought the Back Draw and another opportunity to play a 5-star player in the day’s second match.  By this point, my son was exhausted – mentally and physically – and the match ended quickly though not in my son’s favor.  The tournament was now over for him, and it was time to reflect:

  • He reached his goal of qualifying for the Southern Closed.
  • One of his favorite college coaches saw him play and crush his opponent then congratulated him afterward on the great win.
  • His former coach saw him play the 2 seed and commented on how far he’s come in the last year.
  • After playing the 2 seed, he immediately got a text from another player asking him to play doubles in the Southern Closed – his Tennis Clout jumped about 100 places as a result of his effort in that match.
  • His current coach watched his first back draw match and got the opportunity to coach him during a rain delay following a sloppy first set.  My son went back on court and did exactly what his coach told him,  winning the match at his first opportunity.  His coach was beaming!
  • His tennis peers told him repeatedly over the course of the tournament how well he was playing – that does a teenage ego good!
  • He used his mental toughness training and stayed calm throughout each match – you have no idea how huge that is!!!!
  • He saw what he needs to work on between now and the Closed and is ready to put in the hard yards.  The next level is finally within his reach.

Oh, The Sacrifices We Make!

My oldest daughter, Emma, didn’t come by the acting bug by accident.  Oh, no!  She inherited that vital gene directly from her momma.  And, believe me, it’s a STRONG one.  In my LBT (Life Before Tennis), I owned a fitness business and spent many, many hours promoting it as an “expert” on the radio, the Web, tv, and in front of live audiences.  I never passed up an opportunity to be on camera (or on mic), even when it meant schlepping my infant son across the country on an 8-city promo tour with an athletic shoe company.

So, last week, when I was given a lead for a new reality television show about Tennis Moms (a la Dance Moms), I jumped on it.  I called the producer and spoke with her at length about my experiences in the Junior Tennis World as well as with the media, thinking I would be the perfect candidate for her.  The thought of being on tv again excited me.  I was already trying to figure out how I would squeeze in more workout sessions before the show taped so I would be at my fittest and strongest on camera and how in the world I was going to afford new clothes.

And then my son came home.

And I told him about the tv show.

And he begged me not to pursue it.

And this is one more tiny little sacrifice I will make for one of my kids.  Because that’s what we parents do – we sometimes put aside our own wants (and even needs) for our kids.  In this case, it was an easy decision.  My son has worked too long and too hard for me to risk jeopardizing his efforts because of my own narcissistic tendencies.  He’s right – by being part of a show that will magnify the already-huge personalities of some extreme tennis parents, I would be putting him in an awkward (at best!) position with his tennis peers, their parents, and the governing body.

I honored my son’s wishes and stepped away from the tv project.  I figure that just frees me up when the Tennis Channel comes calling!

Dealing with Disappointment

I know.  You saw the title and expected to read about how to deal with your child’s disappointment after a loss . . . or something along those lines.  But, this piece is about dealing with your own disappointment when something doesn’t go quite right in your child’s tennis-centric world.

A fellow tennis parent wrote me last week, telling me about her child’s recent tournament schedule.  He has some important tournaments coming up and so decided to play a low-level local tourney just to build some confidence.  The child figured he could get a couple of easy wins and feel ready for next weekend, which will be a much tougher tournament.

Well, as I am sure you can guess, it didn’t go as planned and the child played the worst tennis of his life.  This was odd because the coach had just gotten done telling the parents and the player that he’s playing the best he’s (the coach) ever seen him play. Now he goes out and loses to a kid who is (according to the mom) awful, who he beat 0 & 1 a year ago, who has no serve, no strokes, and probably very few tennis lessons.  The mom wrote, “He was supposed to play a second match and I did something I’ve never done before.  We took him out of the tournament because given his mental state, all he would have done was go out and lose to another player he shouldn’t lose to.”

Mom went on to say, “I don’t usually get upset by these things but this whole thing has been really bothersome.  First of all, how could he actually lose to this boy? Second, how does a ranking recover from such an awful loss — does it? And third, why is this bothering me so much?”

The #3 part is what really got to me!  We tennis parents invest so much energy, emotion, time, and, yes, money in our kids that I think it’s perfectly normal to take their results personally.  The important thing is the face we present to THEM, the words we use when discussing their results with them.  But, again, I think it’s perfectly normal to FEEL disappointment when our child doesn’t live up to our (or their own) expectations.

My advice to the parent who wrote me was that it’s okay to feel the disappointment and even to vocalize it every now and then if you feel your kid isn’t putting in the necessary effort.  But, at some point, we have to let go and let our kids own their tennis.  In this particular case, the mom reported that her son did a very healthy, mature thing – he shrugged off the loss as “having a bad day” and then proceeded to let it go, going back to work on the courts the next morning.  The takeaway from these types of experiences should be something along the lines of:  I have taught my kid well, he has been a willing student, I have to trust him with his tennis.

I’m going through something similar with my son right now, but it has to do with his academic performance rather than his performance on a tennis court.  Having two older children for whom school came pretty willingly and naturally, I really don’t know how to parent a kid who only wants to play tennis and who hasn’t yet realized the importance of balancing that with a good education.  Every time he brings home a grade that I consider less than stellar, I feel let down, like I’ve somehow failed him as a parent.  Should I have read to him more as a baby?  Was homeschooling him for part of  middle school a huge mistake?  Should I move him to a small private school for the remainder of his high school career so he gets more personal attention?  How did he miss getting the I-Love-To-Learn gene?  What did I do wrong???

And, then, I take a deep breath (okay, maybe 100 deep breaths!) and realize that my son is now at the age where he HAS to take responsibility for his dreams and goals.  I can’t – and shouldn’t – do it for him.  If he wants to have a shot at playing tennis at his dream schools, then HE has to buckle down, study better, and get the grades necessary to be a desirable recruit.  Grades do matter.  SAT/ACT scores do matter.  He heard that from the horses’ mouths this past weekend in Athens.  Now, it’s up to him.

That doesn’t mean I won’t feel disappointed if he doesn’t figure this school thing out.  That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t feel disappointed if he doesn’t figure it out.  And, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to my disappointment or that I should down-play it as unimportant – my disappointment matters, too!

But, as disappointed as I might feel when he bombs a test or loses an easy match, I know it’s nothing compared to how he’s feeling inside.  The on-going challenge for me is putting my own disappointment aside and being his firm support when he most needs me.  So far, I haven’t been all that successful in that department – I’ve let my own feelings show way too much.  But, I’m working on it and will continue to work on it, both for my own sake and for my son’s, so I don’t disappoint either of us.