Player Journeys and Pathways
December 13, 2020
Andrew presented around the development journeys of tennis players through their formative years, his contribution to the development of Jamie and Andy Murray, and how Katie Swan emerged from the LTA National Talent Identification to reach the final of the Australian Open Juniors aged 15.
Andrew explained that each player’s journey is totally unique to the individual and needs to be considered in that way, though hopefully these top 10 insights and takeaways will help to inform players, coaches and parents around how the important steps and transitions which present themselves in the sport.
- Establish your aims and ambitions for the player and put into a place a long-term plan which is structured and has benchmarks and measures place other than just rankings and results.
- Be very honest around how difficult the journey to the top actually is and how you are going to prepare yourself to navigate through each phase. Seek out expert help and support to help you.
- The number one top mental quality for a young tennis player is RESILIENCE – that ability to bounce back from defeat, disappointment, and failure. It was very much part of any journey in reaching the top.
- Success to the top require a long-term desire and commitment, 10,000 hours, or 10/15years to achieve mastery in tennis.
- The hours you put in are a small part of building into future success. Far more relevant is the support structure you have in place to do this. This support is very much people driven who are committed, loyal and trustworthy around the player and include:(a) Parent (b) Coaching Team (c) School and Teachers
- Andy and Jamie, from a young age were students and scholars of the game and remain so today.
- They developed very early on a real passion for the sport
- Both Andy and Jamie were ferociously competitive driven by the desire of winning. Both of the boys at 12U were Orange Bowl finalists and Winner. Andy went on to be one of the very few players to win at 14U.
- Tennis skill which is commonly described as talent was only a very small part of their climb to the top. The desire, determination and commitment were extremely important and what defined their champion winning qualities.
- Andrew described the journey of Katie Swan which was illustrated through discussions and insights from Nicky Swan, Katie’s mum. Whilst Katie achieved top junior success at a very young age, she remained grounded, keeping schooling and other sports central to her journey.