Playing Matches

I think that playing matches and Tournaments is very important. Maria however did not play a lot of junior tournaments. Some parents will send their kids all over the place to play tournaments. Be very careful, because kids don’t improve their technique when playing tournaments, besides stopping their getting stronger and quicker, their Physical fitness in other words. Yes they improve mentally but the technique will go down fast. After all when you play matches you don’t worry how you hit the ball. I was the first coach to travel on the tour with a player. I was the only one, traveling with Tracy Austin when she was 13. She would come home after a good two weeks and she was mentally fine. She was always mentally fine , but her technique got worse. So I started traveling with her to keep her fine tuned, and it worked. Quarter finals of U S Open at 14 and winning U S Open at 16. When you send kids, say 13, 14, 15, to Europe for a month you are asking for trouble, especially if you do this often. See that’s why the Europeans have the advantage. Short distance to all countries and all countries have I T F tournaments. Lots of them. The U S is lacking behind. When they play tournaments you child has to beat the kids they are supposed to beat and beat kids they have no business beating. The have to win 3 setters, NOT always lose 3 setters. Not mentally tough enough. Lets face it, when your girl is 15 or 16, she better do well in the junior grand slams, or you will have a difficult future in the pros. – Robert


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