Pierre ‘The Bear’ Lamarche: Thoughts on Competition

A wise old coach once said: “If competition was not the ultimate goal of tennis there would be no nets, no lines, no scoring”.

Playing well in practice and not in competition only indicates that you have not mastered the sport of tennis. Skills to master the sport of tennis can be acquired, developed and practiced, but you have not mastered any component until you do it repeatedly in competitive situations.

If you don’t like tournaments, you probably don’t like the stress that comes with competition.

If you don’t like stress and do not learn to handle it, then there is a good chance you’ll also have a difficult time dealing with the realities of every day life. Tennis is a vehicle for the development of excellence in people and that includes enjoying the competition for the opportunity to test ourselves.

Real self-confidence is acquired in competition…

So, if you want to develop your son or daughter into a tennis player and if you want to make your player into a champion, have them play tournaments to learn to play under the stress of competition.

The more stressful the competition, the better the opportunity to practice the required skills for handling pressure.

My observations:

  • Canadian players do not play enough competitions
  • Winning is a habit which is acquired only through competing
  • Winning tournaments is what competitive tennis is about
  • How many tournaments did you win this year, last year, in your life?
  • Good players win matches, champions win tournaments
  • Want to be a champion? Then win tournaments
  • To win tournaments you must play them

What needs to happen:

  • Make sure you play as many tournaments as you can
  • Learn to compete, tournaments are the best laboratory
  • Learn to win tournaments, become a champion

Winning tournaments is important regardless of who is playing the tournament. You will remember winning the tournament, not who was in the competition.

Misonceptions about Tournament Play

  • “I am not playing because no one else is playing”

PL “Winning is a habit, acquire it whenever you can”

  • “Playing this tournament will hurt my ranking if I lose”

PL “The long-term benefits of competing far outweigh the possible short term setbacks. Being a player is what matters, not having a ranking [which is subjective]”

  • “I’m always playing the same guys”

PL “Winning is a habit, acquire it whenever you can, against whoever you can”

  • “I have to play better tournaments”

PL “You are only right if you are winning the tournaments in your backyard”

  • “I’ll play better if I am in Florida”

PL “You won’t play any better, just get a better tan and have more fun as a tourist”

One of the major factors why we do not create great Canadian players is that we do not have an adequate competitive structure in this country.

We don’t have enough tournaments and as a result we do not have enough champions.

From champions will emerge the champion of champions. Every Canadian player who plays on the international scene has been a champion, we just need more.

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.

A New Reality By Nicolas Pereira

This past week in the World Team Tennis ‘Bubble” I have seen the efforts to keep everyone safe while carrying on a team competition with around 60/70 players and coaches onsite. Counting organizers, officials, media, and support personnel are around 150 people trying hard to make this happen. I am very impressed by how the strict protocol has been handled and how everyone is invested in making this event a success, but The Open is a completely different scale of details.

Mike Hall: Calling On All Tennis Leaders, Coaches, Players and Parents….

I am writing this letter to you today to ask you to help ME ensure that we ALL have something great to return to when the time comes. If we don’t work to encourage the kids, find ways to help them, inspire them, show them we love and care about them, educate them, and help them understand that it’s all worth it – then we will lose them.

Lamarche answers questions about ONcourt

ONcourt had been a great vehicle on different occasions to voice opinions and ask questions which eventually lead to some positive changes in the overall direction of Canadian tennis. This occurred in the late 1980’s when a series of editorials led to an overall positive evaluation and change of the Canadian Tennis System. The new ezine version of ONcourt in the 2000’s continued its investigating and questioning approach of Canadian Tennis Development as well as the promoting of Canadian tennis. The results were quite interesting with many readers supporting the questions raised in the editorials as they felt they could not do so themselves. Even more interesting was the approach taken by those who felt threatened by the opinions that were outlined. Ignoring the content of the editorials and making the behind the scene rebuttals personal created a very acrimonious relationship between all parties involved.