Is tennis talent hard to find? I don’t think so. I believe it is everywhere and just needs development! Tennis champions are not born, they are made. Nevertheless , certain talent is needed.
To describe talent, it is necessary to analyze what tennis talent is all about. It is well known, that a tennis game is the most difficult sport of all sports. For a young player it is important to have a body, able to develop into athletic ability with an accent on speed and agility. To this we should add the need of dynamic and balance, so that the physical execution of a perfect stroke is possible. Based on today’s professional playing level, rhythm and hand-eye coordination is a need to play balls at any speed and spin, Let’s not forget that the body of the player must be fit, as games can last very long. Let’s add the mental game which is necessary as the right decision must be made in the split of a second. We could add desire, discipline and hard work, all ingredients or necessities to become a good tennis player.
Can all these criteria be found in a very young boy or girl which has found fun in playing tennis? I don’t think so. All these parts of tennis talent must be developed.
The most first and basic requirements are a body with athletic possibilities, able and willing to move with some form of agility. If a child reacts to the teacher’s request and retains the practice movements, with the time the individual parts of the stroke technique and their improvements will show the student’s so called talent. As a young tennis player progresses it becomes more and more difficult for the teacher to continue the development shown by the student’s performance if the teacher does not distinguish the natural abilities from the progress made through hard work. If the demand on the child’s talent is not kept up by the teacher, the chance will be missed to reach a level of game through the combination of talent and hard work.
The question how many talented children never had a chance to reach their goal should really be asked. My experience is that the reason was in many cases the very limited tennis teaching. I must be fair, I also met teachers who sent their students to other places, hoping they would get a more adequate training.
The importance of desire, discipline and willingness to work has an enormous importance on the ability of the student. Not many teachers are willing to force these issues. For parents to recognize the reason for their child’s stagnation is sometimes more than they can handle. Recognizing if it is the lack of talent or mediocre teaching is necessary to be able to make the right decision concerning the child’s training and future. Do not forget, a child is very young and unable to recognize the quality of the training. Children decide emotionally . It is important for them to like the teacher and have fun which is the right way to approach the tennis training, but it does not mean that the technical aspect of the teaching program should not remain the most important part of the teaching.
So, talent is not the only criteria for success in tennis, as the tennis game has so many features which influence the progress of the student. Talent is needed. At least some of the different requirements should be there. The other ones have to be developed.
We must be more and more concerned of the constant progress of the tennis game if you consider the advancement made in the last 10 years. We know that in the years to come the tennis game will be more athletic, more powerful with faster balls to be handled. Parents again carry great responsibility if the child loves tennis, enjoys hard work and shows some talent. This is why I always remind the parents of the importance to
demand from the teacher the teaching quality necessary to ensure the positive development for the talented players of the future.