Player Management – Summer Planning for Juniors

Player Management – Summer Planning for Juniors

The summer is fast approaching. After 10 months of indoor training and competing the major summer competitions are on the horizon. This is a very difficult period of the year: transition from indoor to outdoor, indoor club to outdoor club with different coaches at times, important selection events, the stress of year end exams are all components which can affect the player’s confidence and development. Very few people like changes and the resulting stress. An answer to this natural pressure is to be well organised for the three months of the summer.

First and foremost you must establish your summer objectives and this relates mostly to what you want to accomplish during that period. Are your objectives short term or long term? Do you have the resources to implement your plan? Is your plan feasible? And if you succeed in implementing your plan, where will that leave you in the fall?

I’m personally involved with seven national level players under 16: Repic [15], Cannon [16], Nikolaeva [14], Mboko [14], Marjanovic [16] Likhanskaia [16] and Patrascu [13]. Only two of them, Cannon and Marjanovic have basically the same competitive plan for the summer. One of them also has her training plan in place while the other does not. So seven national level girls all have different routes to reach their objectives for the summer.

Give yourself a chance at success this summer by planning the next two and a half months. Make sure you first establish your objectives: is long term development or short term performances the priority for you? Both can be right depending on your situation. This should be discussed with your coach. Then you can plan your summer which then must be discussed with your parents, who might have other plans for you. Then you must make sure you have the resources required including money for travel and training as well as the environment to train [training seldom happens on the road].

This whole planning process should be undertaken with the person who is responsible for your tennis development, the manager. This person can be your coach, your parents or a friend but this person is the most important one in your development. Of the seven girls mentioned above I truly manage three of them. The others are managed by their parents. Understanding the delineation of responsibilities is key to a player’s success. Take a shot at being organised this summer. Write down your objectives, enter your competitive schedule below and plan your training. Good luck, if you have questions please address them to

Important Dates to Remember:

June 5 – 14 Sel
June 12 – 18-12 Sel
June 28 – 14-18 Pro
July 5 – 14-18 Pro
July 12 – ITF Van
July 19 – ITF Win / $25000 Waterloo
July 30 – 12 Ntl
Aug 2 – $75000 BC
Aug 7 – 14 Ntl
Aug 8 – 18 Ntl
Aug 14 – Rogers
Aug 15 – 16 Ntl
Aug 30 – ITF Mtl
Sept 7 – Fall

Personal Notes

1. Why I love coaching: Saturday June 5

  • Saturday morning practice, over the years my favourite, from 8-10:30 16 kids from age 9-16 different abilities, competing while learning the slice and doubles and of course the beep test. Mike Hall, our head coach is away at the national camp in Toronto so I get to run practice.
  • Private lesson with a new boy with a big forehand, the joy of him getting it.
  • Two hours watching Daniel win the French Open. You don’t spend five years with someone without having a certain feeling of ownership in their game. He could be the best doubles player ever and should be recognized finally as Canada’s athlete of the Year.
  • Katy Shulaeva on the comeback trail texts me that she won the doubles event in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • Two players are successful in the selections and two lose: more texting and phone calls.
  • Steve Repic texts me that Evie wins her second match in Mason, Ohio beating a freshman from Ohio State.

What a great job I have.

2. Michael Downey: Toronto Humane Society

Last Monday, I read that the new president of the Toronto Humane society was none other than Michael Downey president of Tennis Canada. Fortunately the position is a volunteer one and does not affect Michael’s leadership at Tennis Canada. Michael has been the major force in insuring the increase of financial growth in the player development area. It was a relief to know that he will still lead Tennis Canada.

3. Who are the best coaches?

Give me a coach that cares for his players on and off the court, those are usually the ones with the good kids. They are the ones you see at tournaments with their players. I’m getting tired of seeing Andrea Rabzak, she is everywhere: that’s how commited she is. One coach that I miss is Casey Curtis, now I have no one to argue with.Come back on the junior tour Casey, we miss your fire.

4. Bravo, Alex!

Alex Beran is a top student at Appleby College,who qualified for the U 18 Nationals Indoors. Not only can she play, look at what she wrote on the serve, great work this is what tennis development is about, excellence in youth.

5. Well Done!

Congratulations to Norbert Nemcsek of Nelson H.S. who defeated ACE Tennis clubmate Soufiane Azargui from Bateman H.S. in the finals of the O.F.S.A.A. championships at Rexall Centre. ACE Tennis teammates Joan Cannon and Joulia Likhanskaia of Nelson H.S. won the girls doubles at the same competition.

6. Best of all…

Soufiane Azargui a five year veteran of ace tennis accepted a scholarship to Brown University in the Ivy League. He will join Brandon Burke as a freshman. Brandon is the son of Jamaica’s national coach Doug Burke, a former Canadian Junior Champion and player at ace tennis.

Mental Strength Training with Patricia Hy

Everyone knows the importance of mental strength, but not everyone knows how to go about it. If these ring a bell with you, let me help strengthen your player’s mental fitness. Zoom workshops every Friday November 20 – December 18. 2020.

Next Gen Tennis League promises exciting matches

The Next Gen Tennis League again saw some great tennis last weekend at The Credit Valley Tennis Club and Burlington Tennis Club. This promises that Saturday the 24th will feature some exciting matches and very competitive tennis. All three matches will be played on Saturday October 24th, with Team Byte Network Security facing Team Hydrogen at noon (Burlington Tennis Club).

ITF Men’s 85 World Team Championships Renamed the Lorne Main Cup

Toronto, October 13, 2020 – The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Tuesday that, as of 2021, the Men’s 85 World Team Championships will be renamed the Lorne Main Cup after the late Canadian. Lorne Main was selected for the honour following a unanimous vote by the ITF Seniors Committee, and approval from the ITF Board of Directors, after his name was put forward by Tennis Canada as part of the nomination process.

Yves Boulais: No Excuses… Get Working

Yves was proud to work with players including Greg Rudsedski, Patricia Hy, Oliver Marach, Eugenie Bouchard and Rebecca Marino, who achieved excellent results on the world stage. He was an Olympic Coach in Barcelona 1992 & Atlanta 1996, and Captain of the Canadian FedCup Team 1998 – 2000.

Update on UK Tennis Situation with Master Louis Cayer

I would like to share a mindset I instil in all the players I coach, one I believe has greatly influenced all of the player’s performances; “whatever happens, I can handle it.” This mindset is achieved through a systematic, tactical development process, so that whoever the opponent, whatever the surface, regardless of the environment, or scoring, the players can, and will rise to the challenge as it is presented.

Tennis Guru, Louis Borfiga Shares What Makes “A Good Coach?”

Many are asking this question, each with their own opinion, their own truth. In reality, it is difficult to answer with certainty, as the evaluation method can vary from one person to another. However, when you think about it, when you look at the references in the field of coaching in various sports, there are certain common and fundamental elements that I will describe to you here…