On Grassroots Tennis PART 2

A coach who is willing to spread the game of tennis must also be willing to put down a little money.

BE the mobile tennis center.   Where you go, Tennis can happen!

Also, when you find a skilled player don’t let a lack of racquet stop them.   Let them use your racquet or have a couple of extra racquets (that are nice) and give them away.  That is a show of good faith (or goodwill) and that helps to build a bond.   Also, people who are not experienced, they think “a racquet is a racquet”   They are not concerned with Babolat vs Prince vs Head vs Wilson or even the concept of the “Player’s Racquet”

Allowing a player to use a nice racquet is something they will appreciate because they will be able to tell the racquet is designed for hitting balls.   Don’t let potential players wallow in the graveyard of bad equipment.

AND you must be an AMBASSADOR TO THE GAME!

Another way to help spread the game is to make sure you have some competition and play your matches on public courts.   If you have a good opponent and you will have a tough match you should play out in the open so people can watch; many people have not seen a competitive tennis match up close and in person.  If you can run and hit topspin then maybe they think you are a Professional (and you are!  A teaching Pro!   And you have the secrets to the game!   You are the one who can bring tennis into their life and into their community)


 

If you are training an apprentice and/or a Protege.  They need to have something to train for!   Give them a goal or maybe it is just to defeat you!    It will help them greatly if there are local tournaments and/or USTA junior tournaments for them to play in.   That way you can help them with forehands and backhands and serves and say something like “okay so in 3 weeks from now we are going to have you play in a tournament”  “stay focused because these kids will be able to hit balls and run and it is NOT going to be easy”

Getting your student/protege thinking about the tournament will help keep their mind “locked in” and thinking about tennis and winning matches and keeping the balls in play

(End of Entry)

(Spread the Game of Tennis) (in the picture is Rick Macci with Venus and Serena)

On Grassroots Tennis (Experienced Opinion)

Written by DJ ROBO BISCUIT

Grassroots tennis is how you build up tennis in an area where it does not exist.  It is not needed in a community where there is a tennis club with an active populace.  It is also not necessarily needed in an affluent area with a private club.     Grassroots tennis is needed an area (or community) where the people are middle class or upper-lower class — This would imply that the parents are NOT college tennis players and there is not an ample supply of “Tennis Knowledge.”

One way to go about growing the game of tennis is for somebody who is a skilled player — let us say either a tennis coach or a 4.5 player or an ex-college player — to take up a protege or a young student.  In this community ideally the young student would be a boy or a girl of the age of 10 or 11 0r 12; this is a good age for the kid to learn the game based on their height and general coordination (and they can learn as the coach teaches).

This coach will need to have a big heart.  If tennis is entirely new to the community then one would suspect that the parents and/or adults will not see the value in the tennis because nobody is able to play and why should the parent pay a random stranger $20 or $30 or $40 per hour to show their kid how to hit some balls over a net???

The goal of the coach is to develop the young player from zero to hero.   Take the kid and teach him/her strokes and movement so that, over time,  the kid resembles the tennis players people would see on television.   As this one player develops there will be some small miracles that will occur.  1) the parents will start to see a tennis player instead of just their kid struggling to hit some balls       2)  Other people will see the player and coach while passing by; but more people will take notice of the small kid who looks like those professionals they see once or twice a year on television   3) Other children might start to take notice

A tennis coach has to do A LOT of talking in order to explain the game and “pitch” the idea of playing tennis to parents and curious people.   Nothing and i mean NOTHING works more magic than the skill of the student.   Once the young student (boy or girl) shows the ability to play tennis and run around and hit the ball and win points; YOU as the Coach has gained credibility and all of a sudden, you shall be a respected expert.  There is also a high chance that other kids (hopefully athletic) will want to learn the game.

(End of Entry)

7 Days in Hell (Thoughts)(Samberg)

Very Funny.

7 Days in Hell lasts 42 minutes.   The humor is really good and if you are a tennis fan then you shall appreciate the comedy of this cool Mockumentary!

7 Days in Hell is an Andy Samberg production and it also has the dude from Game of Thrones!    Serena Williams is also in the movie.     Fred Armisen (Portlandia) and Will Forte also feature in the comedy masterpiece.

It does have some penis in it.   And there is some Genitalia (spoiler alert).

As a blogger who enjoys Tennis, Robo Biscuit thought 7 Days in Hell was excellent.

I recommend it.  Indubitably!

-DJ ROBO BISCUIT

Rick Macci: Super Coach

Rick Macci is a Tennis Coach.  He is REALLY good at what he does.  He has NO Wikipedia page (which is crazy) despite the fact that he is a world class tennis coach and I would say that he EQUALS Nick Bollettieri in his accomplishments (of course, he does not have the same push for self-promotion that Bollettieri has).

His players:  Jennifer Capriati, Andy Roddick, Venus and Serena, Tommy Ho, Sharapova, and Viele.

He was the coach who developed Jennifer Capriati.  Macci spent many many hours developing her ground game so she could play HARD off the ground and hit deep penetrating forehands and backhands.  He knew she was destined for greatness when Tommy Ho nailed her in the forehead with an 80 mph fastball; she was knocked on the ground and with tears in her eyes, hopped back up almost immediately “Alright I know the rules of the game.  Wait until I get a short ball.”      She was tenacious.    People recognized her as a “phenom” when she was 12.  Macci had her beating everybody!   She played in the 12’s, she won.  Then in the 14’s, won again.    16’s, won again.   She was even beating girls in the 18’s as a 12 year old.  Her ability to play so close to the baseline allowed her to neutralize the power of her larger opponents.

Rick Macci trained Tommy Ho.  To many tennis people, nobody has heard of Tommy Ho.  He was a phenom developed by Macci and he dominated from a young age.   Tommy Ho had this god-like hand eye coordination and he was lefty.  He was similar to Capriati.  From a young age he was able to dominate.   Tommy Ho won Kalamazoo.  He turned pro with Multi-Millon dollar contracts.    His game did not translate that well to the pro game and he did not become a top ranked world famous pro … … but as a junior he had this massive success.  Tommy Ho and Capriati were the players that put Rick Macci “on the map.”

He also developed a young Andy Roddick. Go to YouTube, type in “Young Andy Roddick with Rick Macci” you can see it.  Macci has a pattern of training kids from 10 to 14 and then something happens, like they move on or they turn pro or something.

He spent some time developing Sharapova.  Believe it or not, the Dad really wanted her to play LEFT HANDED.  They trained but Macci didn’t think it would be natural and strong enough.  So … boom boom boom RIGHT HANDED.  She wanted to be with Macci all the way but then IMG showed up and threw the big money at her.

He was KEY with the Williams Sisters.  He traveled to Compton to see them and he even went to the “Country Club” that was there (it was a joke, it was the ghetto).   He was impressed by their athletic skill and they were able to come and train in Florida with him.  Macci invested many many many hours into developing their strokes and giving them world class coaching.  Venus made her pro tour debut when she was 14 and she won!  Her racquet was unpainted and her clothes were from JCPenny … … “SPONSOR ME!”     She won and she turned pro on the spot.  There is more to the story … … … …

Most people talk like those girls just walked out of the ghetto in Compton and were World Class players but OBVIOUSLY they were professionally trained in Florida by Rick Macci.  It’s a shame he didn’t get more credit AND Venus and Serena still don’t really give him credit for all of the training.  (Sad)

If you found all of this information to be interesting then … … you are welcome!    Also, check out his book it is called “Macci Magic.”   VERY INTERESTING if you are a tennis fan and it really sheds some light on the training of Venus and Serena.

February 17th … … DJ ROBO BISCUIT