Not! Not! It’s a prank. Of course a donkey could never win the Australian Open in tennis or the Kentucky Derby! I’m just trying to get your attention! (smile).

It is about the eternal question “Are champions born or made?” And the answer is “Champions are born, not made”! A champion will be champion because of their genetic makeup and not because someone created them.

Sure, some of you are saying, hey, hey, you don’t know what you’re talking about! Ok, I respect your opinion, but give me a chance and read on.

To make it easier to understand. Just consider the brain and ask yourself if everyone who is born male or female can be a nuclear scientist or Einstein. Most of you will agree that the answer is no. The same applies to tennis and everything else. Another example is this rhetorical question, has anyone ever seen a donkey win the Kentucky Derby?

This leads to your question, what about you bragging that you coached Jim Courier and gave instructions on the court to players like: Pete Sampras, Cedric Pioline, Tim Mayotte, David Wheaton, Brad Gilbert, Mark Knowles, Doug Flach, Bonnie Gaduzek, David Nankin? , Julie Halard, Mary Pierce and many others? Yes, you are right, it is just an ego trip! In all humility, trainers need implementation knowledge and know-how, but without champions with a special set of genetic qualities, trainers are nothing!

Are you trying to say that all those entourage of experts, psychologists, massage therapists, trainers, guru trainers, strength and speed trainers, dad trainers, mom trainers, physical therapists, they could all stay home and the players would still play the same? ? Yes! Ask Roger Federer, Ken Rosewall or Rod Laver and a horde of other great players! Why do you think Paul Anacone read the newspaper while Pete Sampras was playing? (This is not a joke, watch the tapes of the television games). Do you think Pete cared? Of course not, the work was done off the court, during the game it was up to Pete to act and win.

Does it also mean that all those “renowned tennis academies” in Florida and around the world cannot be champions? You got it, they can’t! They have a good function and that is to get very rich kids who can afford tennis and school tuition of tens of thousands of dollars a year, the opportunity to prepare for a college team and, if they are good enough, to get a university. coach to recruit some of them.

The true champions who go to those academies and then become professional players, they are already champions when they get there. If those academies could really become champions, there would be hundreds of thousands of tennis champions, considering that some of those academies are visited by more than 400 young people per week during the summer months and hundreds, if not thousands, scattered around. a year, not for that. Mention that in a low estimate there are around 60 million tennis players worldwide and out of such a large group of tennis players there are around 30 top-class men and women on the professional ATP / WTA circuits, while the rest are mere participants. .

Here are the 2007 Men’s and Women’s Tournament winners. (Note that the number of winners would drop to a handful on any tour if the top five ranked players played low-level tournaments):

Male ATP

– Djokovic, Novak 5 – Ljubicic, Ivan 2 – Malisse, Xavier 2 – Ferrer, David 3 – Blake, James 2 – Federer, Roger 7 + Masters – Luis Horna 1 – Baghdatis, Marcos 1 – Andy Murray 2 – Simon, Gilles 2 – Canas, Guillermo 1 – Haas, Tommy 1 – Youzhny, Mikhail 1 – Monaco, Juan 3 – Chela, Juan Ignacio 1 – Hewitt, Lleyton 1 – Nadal, Rafael 5 – Almagro, Nicolas 1 – Karlovic, Ivo 2 – Mathieu, Paul -Henri 2 – Kohlschreiber, Philipp 1 – Roddick, Andy 2 – Berdych, Tomas 1 – Santoro, Fabrice 2 – Darcis, Steve 1 – Stepanek, Radek 1 – Tursunov, Dmitry 2 – Moya, Carlos 1 – Robredo, Tommy 2 – Gonz├ílez , Fernando 1 – Gasquet, Richard 1 – Davydenko, Nikolay 1 – Nalbandian, David 2 – Grosjean, Sebastien 1

Women WTA

Dinara Safina 1 – Jelena Jankovic 4 – Kim Clijsters 1 – Anna Chakvetadze 4 – Serena Williams 2 – Martina Hingis 1 – Nadia Petrova 1 – Sybille Bammer 1 – Amelie Mauresmo 1 – Yaroslava Shvedova 1 – Justine Henin 10 – Venus Williams 3 – Roberta Vinci 1 – Emilie Loit 1 – Daniela Hantuchova 1 – Tatiana Golovin 2 – Gisela Dulko 2 – Greta Arn 1 – Ana Ivanovic 3 – Akiko Morigami 1 – Milagros Sequera 1 – Anabel Medina Garrigues 1 – Elena Dementieva 2 – Meghann Shaughnessy 1 – Agnes Szavay 2 – Francesca Schiavone 1 – Maria Sharapova 1 – Agnieszka Radwanska 1 – Svetlana Kuznetsova 1 – Lindsay Davenport 2 – Maria Kirilenko 1 – Virginie Razzano 2 – Pauline Parmentier 1 – Flavia Pennetta 1 – Daniela Hantuchova 1 –

Why then are champions born? I will answer this question in depth in my next article.

In the meantime, remember that speed and strength are very important in tennis and how fast you are is genetically predetermined at birth by the fast-twitch muscle fibers given to you by your ancestors and the balanced strength of your body. in general. So to reap the benefits of “your” natural innate top speed, you need to develop the following good habits:

– Go to a track and field and carefully observe all the routines of the 100-meter track and field runners, they do everything right. Copy your exercises including stretching and cool down exercises.

– If you are lucky enough to attend a university or an area where sprinters abound and you are good enough, ask the coach if you can participate in their speed training program. It is an enriching experience, I can attest to it!

– Then develop an excellent starting technique (similar to 50-meter sprinters)

– Explosiveness (age-appropriate exercises include the use of weights, elastics, strength-resistance, etc.)

– Learn to release the tennis racket from the supporting hand and pump like any sprinter over long distances (up to 10 meters across the court, to drop shots, angled shots)

– Parallel acceleration when leading your baseline always begins with a big and powerful FIRST step towards the incoming wide ball, right foot forehand, left foot backhand – lefties, right foot backhand , forehand with the left foot, while pushing hard with the opposite foot in the same direction (the ball).

– Use these techniques first on the practice court, then in punctual play and finally in match play.

You should be comfortable with what your 100 meter top speed is, be it 11 ”, 10.30 ”, 10 seconds (or the 50, 20, 10 meter or start reaction time) whatever it is, one time that you have achieved it. in power and technique it will be “your” top speed for the rest of your life with very little fluctuation from one day to the next. The important thing is that you fought and worked hard to achieve that goal and you must be immensely proud of yourself and your tennis will benefit greatly from it. Never compare yourself with others or feel bad about not being as good as so and so, compare yourself and the clock and you will always be happy with your achievements.

Lastly, keep in mind that maintaining a high level of excellence requires rigorous discipline and a consistent work ethic throughout life.

All the best to improve your tennis.

Feel free to visit www.tenniscruz.com to view the video related to this article.

Sergio Cruz

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