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#CoachVtennis ... When the world's best tennis players take the court in New York for the US Open, 9-year-old Gabby Price will be watching closely -- because this tennis pheno...

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Comment by CoachV - William Vazquez on December 10, 2012 at 11:05am

ok tim which Pros has john created? waiting.  there are many different ways to create a tennis pro. john was lucky enough to be born in his error. I wonder if he would survive in todays game.

Comment by Tim Prapong on December 10, 2012 at 10:12am

John McEnroe on the goals of his academy:

McEnroe's Academy will be different than most sports-specific schools. He is looking to draw from well-rounded young people in the Tri-state area, who will go to school regularly and then come and train in both tennis and conditioning at the Academy with McEnroe and his staff. It won't be tennis 24/7; it will be balanced, the same way McEnroe said he learned the game.

"I'm living proof of someone who can live 'a normal life,' go to school and play other sports, and succeed in tennis."

"The aim is to have an academy at Randall's Island along lines of the Academy I grew up with: my brothers were there, Vitas Gerulaitis, Peter Fleming. I don't know of a player from this area who has made it in the last 25 years."

On why it has been difficult to recruit elite tennis players in the NYC area:

"I think people follow what was successful in the past. They are influenced rather easily; they think you need to live someplace like Bollettieri, leave your parents at age six or eight. We're looking to provide a different option, similar to what I had at Port Washington."

On the role of education at tennis academies:

"I would encourage kids to remain in school. I expect some individuals will talk about home schooling, and we will do our best to make sure they succeed if they don't make it to the level they or their parents believe they would in tennis."

"I'm living proof of someone who went to school in Manhattan, and even went to a year of college, which would be sacrilegious at this time. But look at a guy like Isner, an example of someone who matured later, he spent all four years of college eligibility, he's playing his best, coming into his own at a later age. Of course, not everyone will be 6'9 but he's exactly the type that I would like to target, enjoys success and in a better position to handle it emotionally."

On the JMTA as competition to USTA and its programs:

"It would appear on paper that we are competing, but I would say that according to the charter of the USTA, it is to help tennis in as many ways possible and to provide grants for people in all different types of situations, so as far as I'm concerned, they should be helping us."

On whether the opening of the JMTA is a criticism of how the USTA has developed tennis players:

"I hope to provide a type of inspiration for young kids. Maybe I'm biased, but when I came into the sport in the '70s and '80s, it seemed like a great time for the sport. More kids are playing now, at least; we need to get them to continue to play. The USTA makes an obscene amount of money for one tournament. They have a $150 million portfolio; I'm not sure what they are supposed to be doing with that money. "

Comment by Tim Prapong on December 10, 2012 at 9:49am

McEnroe would disagree with this approach. At nine years old, I wanted to be a baseball player. What a kid wants changes through time. Is she going to be thought of as a failure, with especially the media eye on her already? Maybe she could change her mind and want something else in her life. She doesn't know what there is in life outside of tennis. That's a little sad right there. Point is, she doesn't have to go through becoming pro in this way. Let her become more well rounded as Mac would want, have a life outside of tennis. Then she can decide after four years to make or break for a tennis career. 

Comment by CoachV - William Vazquez on December 10, 2012 at 7:31am

I don't think that the parents are over doing it. it looks bad on film here, but i don't think its that bad.

the girl wants to play pro tennis, she is small, and her battle is way bigger.  He has to master every aspect of tennis within the next 5 years or she will not make it, & also she has to get the experience from playing bigger and stronger players than her to make in on the world tour.

Yes her parents have to crack the whip. she is a child and still needs to learn how to dig deep, and work, and do the things necessary for success and not quit even when things are tough.

if i was a child and i was losing & i believe that i have the ability, talent, i will be almost coming to tears too. But she didn't come to tears did she?  She has the Support from her family, she got back onto the court and fought on.

now think about it this way guys.... imagine the fight that this child has to go through.... Now imagine if the parents were softer and would allow her to quit or except loss.  She would never make it in pro tennis plain and simple. 

Its very hard to dig deep, and learn to win when you are far behind.  Its something that I have only done about twice in my entire career playing tennis.  Even Macci said it, that this baby girl wants to Fight and wants to compete.  You have to teach them its ok to sprint over broken glass bare footed to get the ball, and to also run back over to get ready for the next ball. its only bad if she didnt want to do it at all, but she does and she got the support from the parents.

Even though this video makes the parents look like tennis parents.

Comment by Mark Dalli on December 10, 2012 at 7:07am

I agree as I mentioned there are many talented children in the world, she has access to training, that will help, my hope is she can play the game for life. She is too young to call her a prodigy, This label is a double edged sword, too much to live up too. I wish her luck hopefully rick can help the family chill

Comment by sean on December 9, 2012 at 11:40pm

I agree Tim, You must train a kid at their pace until they reach a certain age and never train them at a coaches or parents pace. Thats where I see this little and girl headed.

I'm a professional trainer and i don't see much there and there's so many good little players in the world that would just clean her clock in a match

Comment by Tim Prapong on December 9, 2012 at 11:25pm

Hate to mention it, but why do they have her dressed in hot pink shorts at that age? A little on the child beauty contestant side. 

The dad is a little pushy and so is the mom. Look at her hard bottom lip when she talks. The kid is on the verge of tears midway in the match at 4-5? 

Gabby has a very strong will and  good attention to technique. But when she is running frantically out of her strong will, her technique does break down. Rick Macci, I'm surprised he would train her in that way. Just seems to be looking for evidences of willpower at that young age of 9. Let's not call her a prodigy too soon and let her grow into her own rate.

Comment by sean on December 9, 2012 at 11:23pm

Gabby is very fortunate to have a mother who's humble and realistic... She'll need her as she gets older because there's girls Gabby's age and younger taller and more athletic in California and France that are more advanced and would wake the dad up to reality if Gabby was to face one of those kids.

Comment by Mark Dalli on December 9, 2012 at 6:39pm

Dad needs to chill, as a parent and a teaching professional know how hard that is. I started with my children very young and they are wonderful players, now adults and successful people. This dad must stay away from teaching her or this will be a short lived experience. She must love the game and Dad must sit back in his chair and compliment her winning or losing and show her love and not be involved by pushing her. I have seen many talented children lose interest because of their parents. She is talented for 9 years old but, no offense meant the world has a lot of talented children. This little girl has access to professional training. I have been teaching for 30+ years and seen some very talented children, as long as she really wants to play and trains she could have a future in the game. I hope Rick can help the father in his position to be the daddy not the drill Sargent

Comment by Jazz Burks on December 8, 2012 at 4:17pm
The mom and daughter seem to have a good grip on things. It is the dad that I am worried about. He just seems to fit the mold of the crazy tennis parent.

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