I started writing this blog on the day my son played his last green tournament and have never finished it. So today 6 weeks into full ball, I thought now would be the time to complete my notes.
There is no doubt that green tennis was the biggest challenge that my son has faced so far in tennis. Though, I write this before he has played in a single under 12s tournament. One thing that I think we are both aware of this is that this will be a step up and won’t be easy. I don’t think either of us had really considered about that green. I think we both thought, lessons and practice will change from orange to green and the competitions will feel the same, which they definitely did not. The period from October to the New Year was a real struggle. Going to competitions and having to relearn how to win matches. That feeling that there were no easy games. Also realising that ratings below G1* meant nothing. You could play a Green 4 player who was awesome and he did. You could also have an easy win against G1 player.
I am though really proud of the way my son did tackle the challenges that he faced along the way, whether it ranged from matches that last an hour and a half to the speed which the ball was being hit. One of the things that I tried to help him with most was the mental side of the game and trying to stay positive and focussed even when things weren’t going his way. In his penultimate green match I had the pleasure of seeing that all being put into practice against a boy he’d never beaten before in green. Six weeks later, I am still smiling about it as I type. From court side, I could hear him say all the mantra’s, all the positive self talk and see all the body language. On match point he was 40-0 up and unlike Andy Murray he lost that game… I was really worried that his opponent would come back to beat him, but my son held his nerve and won the match at the second time of asking.
On that day, I smiled…