How to get to the US Open ... Part 1

Monday, September 3

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Tennis Rocks .... at our house.
Our lives have kind of revolved around the sport for a long time.

In case you didn't know ... the biggest tennis event in the US is currently going on ...
The U.S. Open Tennis Championships!
New York City is rocking!

This year there has been a lot going on for American Tennis ...
beginning with the retirement announcement from one of the greats ...
Andy Roddick ...
as well as the premiere of many new ... young American tennis talents.

So how does one get to the US Open?
Let me tell ya ... practice ... practice ... practice ... and some luck.



1)     Ya gotta start young ... real young.
Here's my middle child ... Bryn ... winning his first out-of-town tournament at  Age 8.
Believe me ... there are a  LOT of tournaments ... and thousands of miles.



2)    Lots ... lots ... and lots of Practice.
I'm talking  every single day!  




3)  Hundreds of Private Lessons
(Cha-ching!)
When you're not taking kids to tennis lessons ... you have to make sure they
have someone to hit with every day ... and they gotta be good.
Nobody will probably admit it ... but they want their kids always hitting
with someone better ... they want the challenge.
This takes constant thought and management skills ... unlike team sports where you
can just drop em off at football practice.





4)     A great high school career.
You've got to be lucky here to have a high school coach that is understanding.
There are so many lessons and tournaments that you have to miss a 
lot of team practices and a few matches.

But hopefully you are able to manage both ... and you and your school team 
are both successful.

 Bryn signing his letter of intent.

 Dad ... Bryn ... Shea ... great family pride.


5)   Tennis scholarship to a good college.
This is a tough one ... at least if you're an American.
It's a long story ... and a big pet-peeve of mine ... but the majority of college
tennis scholarships in the United States ... go to foreign players.

If you've worked hard enough ... had success on the Junior Circuit ... and have a bit of luck ...
you'll get that scholarship.  If you want to stay and play in California ... like my kids ...
it's even more difficult.  Signing that letter of intent was a big moment for my kids.






6)     (Of course) ... Athletic skills and Mental Toughness

Tennis is a tremendously difficult sport to master.  My kids ... all 3 of them ...
worked extremely hard ... and had great success as juniors ... and in college.

Did they make it to the US Open?
Nope.  

7)     Sacrifice

To make it as a Professional Tennis Player ... even if you have the talent ... mental toughness ...
work ethic ... and put in the hours of lessons and practice ...
it also takes a willingness to forego most of the other aspects of a normal life:

Family Gatherings
High School
A Social Life
College
Living at Home with Family & Friends

No ... my kids never played at the US Open ....
but ... they had a great tennis career and still enjoyed a happy ...  normal life.

We did  make  it to the US Open though ... check it out ...
How to get to the US Open .... Part 2
on Wednesday.




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