loris bertolacci

Sport, Health and Fitness

Development Pathways in Junior Tennis? Multilateral Development and Superstars!

These anecdotes are from “GOOGLE” so one has to be careful. But it is interesting how often multilateral development comes into play in tennis when one delves into the past of great players. One issue of course that clouds tennis is that it is difficult for talented players from low socio-economic backgrounds to do well in tennis so I think pathways are a little clouded.

Nevertheless I have a suspicion that young tennis players in Australia should keep playing as many sports as possible till puberty then make a career choice. Then they will have balanced development. That is not to say that they should not have all the skills before ten for example, but I am convinced that puberty is the key to go wham bam thank you maam..

People will say Agassi or someone else started in the womb but this is reverse logic. There are thousands of tennis players and parents who invested early and got zero return apart from a junior trophy. And really the Agassi theory is clouded because he probably was simply talented also.

Again these are just little bits and pieces from Google below, but it would be interesting to draw comment on development pathways for tennis given the mature status of rankings. Talents should receive specialized coaching early but it is far better getting fitness at 11 or 12 running around chasing a ball than running laps. Also one cannot buy the decision making development that occurs by these players continuing to play invasion sports till approximtely puberty.

The problem in Australia might actually be that recently we might have forgotten the “Australian” way of development? Just a thought eh?

SOME GOOGLE BITS and PIECES which I  have not verified:

***Full name is Lleyton Glynn Hewitt…Played Australian Rules Football until age 13, then decided to pursue tennis career…I

***At age eight, Nadal won an under-12 year regional tennis championship at a time where he was also a promising football player.[11] This made Toni Nadal intensify training, and at that time he encouraged Nadal to play left-handed—for a natural advantage on the tennis court, as he noticed Nadal played forehand shots with two hands.[11]

When Nadal was 12, he won the Spanish and European tennis titles in his age group and was playing tennis and football all the time.[11] Nadal’s father made him choose between football and tennis so that his school work would not deteriorate entirely. Nadal said: “I chose tennis. Football had to stop straight away.”[

***Roddick lived in Austin, Texas, from age 4 until he was 11, then moved to Boca Raton, Florida in the interest of his brother John’s tennis career,[4] where he lived, first attending Boca Prep International School which Mardy Fish and later Jesse Levine also attended, until graduating from Highlands Christian Academy in 2000.[5] Roddick played varsity basketball in high school alongside Davis Cup teammate Mardy Fish, who trained and lived with Roddick in 1999. During that time period, he sometimes trained with Venus and Serena Williams; he later moved back to Austin

***He played football until the age of twelve when he decided to focus solely on tennis.[32] At fourteen, he became the national champion of all groups in Switzerland and was chosen to train at the Swiss National Tennis Center in Ecublens. He joined the ITF junior tennis circuit in July 1996.[33] In 1998, his final year as a junior, Federer won the junior Wimbledon title and was recognized as the ITF World Junior Tennis champi

***A natural athlete, as a boy Newcombe played several sports until devoting himself to tennis. He was the Australian junior champion in 1961, 1962 and 1963 and became a member of Australia’s Davis Cup winning team in 1964.on of the year.[34]


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November 1, 2009 Posted by | Tennis, Uncategorized | Leave a comment