It Takes What It Takes

The story goes that when the last crew of GREAT men American players was active (Sampras, Chang, Agassi, and Courier), a person would walk into the player lounge area of the US Open, and he would see each of these characters sitting on their own table spending time with their individual teams. At the same time, a couple of tables would have to be joined because a number of Argentinian players were sitting down, playing cards, and enjoying their time together. The same would take place with groups of French or Spanish players who would clearly make it look and feel that they were all a part of the same team even though they were all rivals at the end of the day. The issue was that the younger generations of American players managed to believe that the individuality and almost selfish way of going about their business was one of their reasons why the top American guys were that good and successful. This “me against the world” attitude started to hurt the results of the American players (both men and women), and the recognition of this flaw and the hard work that has taken place behind the scenes to help both men and women understand that they can compete like crazy on the courts, but that once the matches are over, they need each other to continue getting better, and that as long as a player stays relatively healthy, and they are  dedicated enough to continue improving, the results, rankings, and finances are going to somehow take care of themselves.

That teamwork approach is a key component of the way in which we do things in our program. We believe that being around hard-working individuals who have similar goals than ours; who are willing to understand that they can help themselves by feeling the energy and competitiveness that their peers bring to every practice; and who mainly have a passion and love for the sport is not only helpful, but it is a clear MUST have for players to endure the hard and long weeks of training that are influenced by the constant ups and downs of the tournament results and outside factors. This teamwork approach is not only about the kids, but it is also about the coaches. Our team of coaches and staff feels the responsibility to live and operate under those same pillars because we know that being a part of a team is what gives us a chance to sustain the effort and commitment levels week in and week out. 

One of the things that I am most proud of in regard to my coaching is that I feel that I go about the team concept when I think about players, the coaches and staff in our program, the families, and also the different people in the industry. Feeling a sense that I am being cooperative with coaches from other programs, from universities, high schools, and from the different tennis entities around New England and the US is a personal priority of mine and a priority for the program. It is never a perfect road, but it doesn’t have to be. It just needs to keep us going forward.

Keep up the good work, and I will see you on the courts!!!