I called Nick Bollettieris Multimedia coordinator David today at 11.40 and was connected to Nick himself in a 20 minutes long phone interview. I had some problems recording what comes through the speakers so my voice volume is very loud, nicks volume is alot lower. You can hear what he is saying but I thought I would write down his answers so that you could follow what he is saying with more ease. I am sorry for this and will correct this by being more prepared next time. I tried to ask him all of your questions but because of the fact that he is a very busy man I had to shorten the interview a little and some of the questions you guys had unfortunately could not be asked. Anyway, here is the interview! Please listen to the great things this man had to say! Some of the things that he answers I could not totally recall and hear so whenever there is something he says in this interview that I did not understand or was able to hear, I will post "???". Alright, lets start. (visit http://www.valiantgame.com if you want to hear the interview through your speakers)
"Where do you get your energy from and what motivates you each and every day to keep teaching tennis?"
Answer from Nick: Well, my energy comes from within. For me to be able to work with young boys and girls, professionals aswell as adults and to make a small impact on their tennis, aswell as life is the greatest gift that anybody could have. Its not like "???" or buying an automobile. I'm working with the human being and I am working outside and inside and to bring a smile to young boys and girls is the greatest gift in the world. My energy, has always been this way; I love life, I love getting up early and it really is not a job for me I just "???" about ten after four, and I go 14-16 hours a day and I have never really considered it as work, it is just alot of fun.
"Are there any tennisdrills in particular that you like and thath have proven successfull on pros such as; Agassi, Kournikova and the Williams sisters?"
Answer from Nick: Yeah, let me tell you. The individual drills, the coach much know the inner secrecy of the player. and what makes them tick. Number 1: Becker, at the end of the day, he would serve 60 serves. 10-10-10, 10-10-10, before he left.
Agassi, agassi, Jim Courier: 50 forehands, okay? 50 forehands. Monica Seles: Hit three four five minutes without missing a ball, standing on the baseline. Tommy Haas: Moving him side to side and playing big shots when he's still on the run rather than getting the ball back. So, my advice is to find the drill that can help that player. For instance, I just had a young black girl, a very good athlete, her father a professional basketball player. She is 12 years old, she hit for five minutes and could not keep one ball in play. But has all the athletisism that you could, you know think of. So I made a box on the other side, and the box was about ten feet wide with four little targets. I said I will start you with ten, if you go in the box, you go to eleven. Out of the box, you go down. You must reach 20 before you reach zero. She only went down one time! And by doing this, she had to controllthe ball, to a certain area. I made her focus, I made her have a good athletic "???" and foundation on contact and in order to get that ball into the box, you had to put a little spin and take a little power off. That was the drill for her. If the person does not have feel on the ball, then I'd hit dropshots and slices, then you play the game called the "mini-game", Inside the service line, all of the "???" and all the dropshots you ought to apply that to the volley by putting a little underspin on the ball aswell. So those are the drills, but everybody is different! If a person can not direct the ball, you get two players and have them play singles inside the singles and doubles line. They start on the service line, and begin to get the idea to play move back a little bit and back a little bit so you can have, volley games, but if you have two players standing in one alley, two players on the other alley and then the third players standing in the middle you are going to have the drill, deep down the center, play singles inside the singles, and doubles behind. Those are perfect drills for accuracy and control, demanding that you have a solid foundation, because only a solid foundation can keep the balls in between the singles and doubles line.
"Who do you believe is the greatest talent that has ever played at your academy?"
Answer from Nick: Okay, tell Marcus: the person who had the most talent was a lefty, he was No. 1 for one week, Larry Stefanki coached him and then I had him. The most talented ever was: Marcelo Rios.
"Are you going to write a sequel to your first book?"
Answer from Nick: It is being written now, my biography is being written by David Legee. It will be out, christmas 2009 or spring 2010. It will be an unedited biography also we will have atleast of my 4-5 exwives in it. It will be personal interviews from 150 people will be at that book. it will start from the time I was born and all the time up to now.
"What is your tip to adult recreational tennis players on what to do to improve their game?"
Answer from Nick: Two things, get into a little better shape physically and be smarter. Only do what you can do and never get out of that comfort zone, do what you can do and get into a little better shape physically.
"In becoming a truly great player the individual in question needs Raw Talent, Genuine Hunger for Success, and very pushy parents. If one of these key factors is missing then he or she is likely to fail."
Answer from Nick: Well, they have come across quite a bit of good stuff, number one, if you go to russia, china, india, serbia croata and the chezh. They make a total commitment, right on the day they want to be a professional. College is not an option. In america college is a very big option, okay? Number two, I dont believe that a champion can be mind and I dont believe that if you take 100 kids and work with them for 10 years that they will all be equal, I dont believe that at all. I believe that god gives people certain things but as Andre Agassi says, It is wether not you have a team to help you develop them but also, the comitment must come from the student. When Andre was 28 after he divorced Broke Shields he said: "I am now going to take advantage of what the good lord gave me" - And he become one of the best players ever. Don't forget, Andre Agassi also said something else; He said you could have world beaters at 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 years of age. But there comes a point that they just run out what they are capable of doing. Other people may say; "You never run out" - But they have not entered the No. 1 to the world either. So, I go along with Agassi. But you have to have a strong team, in reference to the parents; The Parents, you have to have parents that dedicate also the advice, but they got to be pushy to a certain point that they give their trust and support to the coach, that they believe in. If the parents and coaches can work together as a team, with the student. Then you have a chance to get that player to a point that they are capable of reaching.
"Who are your favourite players on tour right now?"
Answer from Nick: Well I just like everybody, I love watching Federer because he is one of the few players that has been able to do just what is needed at that time. Djokovic, I like him because he has got alot of personality. I love Andy Murray because he is a street fighter. I think Roddick is a hell of a player and a hell of a guy. I love Del Potro because i think he is terrific for the game. I like my Tommy Haas who has played excellent tennis this year. But you got alot of good players comming today. It is hard to say, I love Nadal, Nadal is a model for everybody. They kept the same coach, he's lived a very low leveled profile life. In reference to the girls: I always enjoyed Venus and Serena, Ive spent time with them. I think it is fantastic that Clijsters is back, she is full of personality. I wish Safina would enjoy the game because she has all the tools. Ivanovic has got all the tools but you got to have somebody that can talk to her, I believe also in Safina, she has to have a coach that is a little bit more positive with her and give her more compliments. I think its great that justine henin is comming back, I hope that maria sharapova is able to come back. Djokovic is fun for the tour, you need personalities too.
"Do you think that Rafa can come all the way back t World No. 1 after having suffered his injuries?"
Answer from Nick: Well, number one, I dont know the extent of his injuries. And when I dont know the extent of his injuries it is very difficult to say anything about anybody. But right now, you've got to remember, if you look at the Del Potro match, when he hit is cross-court forehand to Del Potro, Del potro was in 6 foot 7 size, came inside the court with his excellent two-handed backhand, took the ball above his shoulder, and that hurt nadal, that hurt him because he was on the defence. Whatever the future is for Nadal, he has given so much to the game and what he has given is hard work, hard work and refusing to leave the court until he won. And he has a got a great support team with his uncle and his parents. I wish everybody could be like him.
"Do you think that Sampras would beat Federer at both of their peaks?"
Answer from Nick: There was an interview when Sampras came back from Wimbledon and he said in that interview, it was in the magazine. He said: "When I am at my best, I can beat Federer, or anybody else in the world". What do I think? I take the fifth amendment, the italian put up the right hand and takes his fifth amendment. But I tell you one thing, that if they were both at their best, the way you play it is for each player to put up $20 000 000 of their own dollars and then another $20 000 000 from the outside and you play for 60 million. No bullshit of playing an exhibition, by putting up their own money, that then would be a test.
"What do you like to do on your spare time, Are there times where you go overseas on vaccation or is your schedule too tight for that?"
Answer from Nick: I like to bodysurf, I like to ski, and I just like to do anything that is involved in sports. I go to Capri, every single year and tomorrow morning I leave for Japan, then I am back. Then I leave for India, then I am back. Then I am going to speak for the troops during the christmas holidays, I am going to Afghanistan and Iraq. And then! A big surprise my wife and I are adopting our new son from Ethopia.
"Do you believe that it is impossible to become a pro if you did not start at a very young age?"
Answer from Nick: I would say if you would start tennis of 18-19, the pro life. Your chances are never impossible because there is nothing that is impossible. But it certainly would be much more difficult, because just get on the circuit you have to get points and go through all that and the expenses would be much difficult.
"What kind of a relationship do you have with Agassi nowadays? I remember seeing a documentary on how you guys parted ways with you quitting as his coach through a letter. Are you friends again?"
Answer from Nick: It is absolutely faboulus. For my 30th anniversairy, he wrote a magnificent 10 minute dp about his life with me and I could not have asked for any more than that.
"Say hello to all the fans, and I certainly hope that you will consider comming to our academy!"