This month, the focus is on junior tennis players considering college
tennis. I discuss the most recent workshop I conducted at the ATP Tour International
Headquarters, followed by tips on selecting a college tennis program.
BUT FIRST ... WHAT IS HAPPENING AT WIMBLEDON???
Are those upsets at Wimbledon a result of Sport Psychology having an
impact on the tennis world
and leveling the playing field? I wonder how many of those spoilers
tune into the Tennis Server on a regular basis?!
BACK TO PONTE VEDRA
Ricardo Acuna, Wimbledon quarterfinalist and Assistant Director of
the ATP Tour International
Headquarters (see photo at right), invited me back to the home of
men's professional tennis to conduct
another mental skills training workshop. Despite his busy schedule
with the adult and junior tennis
camps, he was a fine host, and treated my girlfriend and me to a
Hungry for knowledge! That was my pleasant impression of most of the
15 to 18 year old junior tennis
players who attended my workshop. They were enthusiastic, focused,
and inquisitive, and seemed
genuinely interested in grasping the mental advantage.
Watch out for this next generation! They want it all, and that
includes a strong mental game. Supreme
mental proficiencies (e.g., proper management of thoughts, feelings,
and actions), are just another step in
the evolution of the tennis player (and participants in all other
performance situations too!). Use your mental tools or lose ... it's
really that simple!
SELECTING A COLLEGE
One major concern for the juniors within this age group is selecting
the right college. Here are a few
tips from the workshop (Thanks go to Ian Duvanage, Men's Varsity
Tennis Coach at the University of
Florida, for his thoughts on this topic):
If you do your homework, you'll select a college in line with your
goals, needs, and lifestyle. Now let's get back to watching a few
more upsets at Wimbledon! Until next month...
- Try to get to know the college tennis coach as a person, as well
as a coach. You will be spending 5
to 6 days a week with this individual for 4 years. Personal
conflicts can lead to major disruptions (e.g.,
transferring, having to remain in an uncomfortable setting).
- Ask the coach the following questions and listen carefully for
the answers to see whether they match what you are looking for:
A. Since you've seen me play, how would you change my game? Can
you live with his or her reply?
B. What is your coaching philosophy?
C. How important is academics? What is more important to you,
tennis or academics? Do you agree with the coach's answer.
- Make a prioritized list of all the things that are important to
you (academcis, weather, location,
coaching etc...). Use this list to rank order your preferences.