Counting Down in Mallorca
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 The Best in the World. That type of training looks and feels a lot different than how he’s been training here.
My son has been in regular contact with his coach here during this whole process. That’s a good thing. Julius has encouraged him to stay tough, to stay focused, to soak up as much as he can, to enjoy the local culture, and to come back ready to keep moving forward in his training. I’m excited to see how things progress, both on and off the court, over the next several months.
One thing I realized that makes things so different at Global is the mere fact that my son is there on his own – his momma isn’t there to feel badly for him after a hard day on the courts or to talk to the coach to find out more detail when things aren’t going well. It’s up to him to dig deep inside himself and find the fortitude to keep working, to avoid complaining, to go back out there the next day even though his hands are blistered and his muscles are screaming. You know, it’s interesting . . . my son has always said he doesn’t respond well to coaches who are overly critical, who don’t offer praise, who get angry and yell when he doesn’t perform up to their standards. Turns out, maybe he was wrong. To his credit, he’s learned how to take the criticism and use it to get stronger. And the coaches at Global have noticed and have let us know they are pleased with him for it. I don’t think it’s part of their philosophy to share that pleasure with my son, though – it’s just different there – so my husband and I have respected that philosophy and kept their words of praise to ourselves. Still, as a parent, it’s nice to hear that the coaches do see a change in his attitude. In my mind, that means there’s been a step forward in the maturation process, which is exactly what my husband and I hoped would happen. Like I said in my first post about his adventure, this was never just about the tennis.