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.

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