Great Quotes From Great Players: Learning Opportunities for Players at All Levels
By Brandyn Fisher, Ph.D. he following article is a compilation of my favorite quotes taken from conversations with champions at every level, from the juniors to the pros. These conversations have helped shape my own coaching philosophy and I often use these tidbits in my coaching and consulting roles.
“Training is the time to focus on your side of the net. But when it’s time to compete, you should be more focused on the other side.” —Mats Wilander Mats Wilander always talked about using practice and training as a way to focus on technique and footwork, but when it was time to compete, players should be primarily focused on figuring out their opponent and problem-solving. During competition, most junior players are overly focused on themselves, especially in a negative manner (including focusing on mistakes, negative thinking), which blinds them from seeing what is going on across the net. Takeaway: Turn your attention towards finding ways to exploit your opponent’s weaknesses. Think about adjustments that may make a difference when behind, or remain engaged with your strategy when ahead. 72
“Be coachable, put in the time, hit twice a day, stay for serves after practice, stretch in your room; it all pays off. And lastly, stick to the process, always have the big picture in mind and don’t get discouraged. The tennis gods don’t reward people that take short cuts. Do the work day-in, day-out and be respectful of your peers and coaches. I can’t stress this enough, work your butt off, you always have more in the tank than you think.” —Quentin Monaghan Quentin Monaghan was an All-American in singles and doubles at Notre Dame and a great leader in his college career, both on and off the court. The quote above represented his advice to young players and I believe it rings true on multiple fronts. Even though Quentin had a lot of success at the collegiate level, he was always looking for ways to improve, especially when making the transition from college tennis to the Futures level. Takeaway: If a player wants to reach an elite level, they will need to put in the work each day, show respect and appreciation to others, and be willing to go beyond certain limits and expectations.
Long Island Tennis Magazine • November/December 2016 • LITennisMag.com