From Dr. Martin Vinokur, Co-Director, Tennis: Europe...
Three weeks into the New Year 2014 seems like a good time for junior tennis players to write their goals to achieve during the next 12 months. These can be divided into near term and long-term goals. For a high school varsity or junior varsity level player, a goal might be to improve your place on your school team, for example, moving from doubles to singles or from junior varsity to varsity. For those already high on the school team, you might wish to play some USTA tournaments in an effort to get a first ranking. And for those already ranked, to try to improve that ranking if you wish to be considered by college tennis coaches. For example, playing Division III or small college tennis, you should be at least in the top hundred in your age group in your USTA section or a two star on tennisrecruiting website (one star is borderline). For strong Division I tennis programs, you should be top hundred nationally or top 10 in your section and a 3 star or better on tennisrecruiting.net ; weaker Division I programs vary in what rankings they are looking for.
To reach your goals begins of course with your training programs at your local clubs or clinics. These days, once or twice a week lessons should be supplemented with fitness training (many college programs require an hour a day of fitness for two hours a day on-court), healthy eating and working on mental aspects of your game. And hitting practices with players at your own level or better where you can work on the skills taught in your lessons. An occasional practice with a player weaker than you also is helpful since they are often tougher to play than the strongest players.
And when you play tournaments, remember that if you do lose early, a common occurrence among inexperienced players, do not be discouraged. Go back to the drawing board to work on the mistakes you had in your matches. If it was inconsistency, not keeping the ball in play, you know you need to emphasize steadiness drills before your next tournament. Having taken juniors to tournaments and to Tennis: Europe for many years, I tell my players it usually takes 8 to 10 tournaments to get into that "tournament mentality" so you may do some losing before you do some winning. If you are watching the Australian Open these days, you may notice even some of the touring pros struggle with nerves in their matches and they have been on the tour for some time.
This is also a good time for those of you who are juniors in high school to start working on a tennis resume to send out to college tennis coaches in March or April, as you start the college application process. Later blogs will review how to write a tennis resume for college coaches.
We welcome any comments you might have for this blog and look forward to hearing from you.
Finally, this is also the time of year when most junior players/parents sign up for Tennis: Europe which will give you several months of USTA torunament matche sin several weeks, with insightful analysis by our coaching staff.
Tennis: Europe Co-Director Gary Weiner will be visiting various cities to meet interested players/parents for information sessions about Tennis: Europe.
Gary's Schedule so far :
Detroit-Ann Arbor, Michigan, arriving Wednesday January 22 and leaving Sunday January 26
Indianapolis, Indiana - arriving Sunday January 26 and leaving Tuesday January 28.
To arrange to meet with Gary at your homeor at the local tennis clubs he visits, telephone him on his cell at: 1-646-957-4766. There is no obligation of course.
Dr. Martin Vinokur is the Founding Director of Tennis: Europe which he created in 1973 at the suggestion of members of his high school tennis team in New York. He is a USPTA Elite Tennis Professional, high school tennis coach for 22 years and a certified college gudiance counselor. This blog will appear approximately every two weeks.