Thursday, April 30, 2020

Live Competitive Tennis Begins Friday on Tennis Channel; Collins on Her Long Road to Diagnosis; Austin Talks Tennis Parenting; NAIA All-Americans Announced

Tennis Channel will broadcast the first live tennis competition in nearly two months beginning tomorrow at 3 a.m. from Germany. Eight men, all Germans, are competing in the The Tennis Point Exhibition series, which is scheduled to take place over four days in the next three weeks. The format used in the round-robin is basically the same as the Milan ATP Next Gen tournament, with sets to four and no-ad scoring. Two of the eight participants are former collegians, with former USC All-American Yannick Hanfmann the highest ranked player at ATP 143. Former Tulane All-American Constantin Schmitz is also in the field as is current Mississippi State junior Florian Broska. There will be no fans, of course. For more, including the weekend matchups, see this article.

Two-time NCAA champion Danielle Collins is featured on Noah Rubin's Behind the Racquet today, talking about the lengthy battle she had had coming to terms with her rheumatoid arthritis. Some of that battle was getting a diagnosis, but often that difficulty was the result of her own inability to consider that she might have a condition that she had always associated with older people. She also says that she only recently has found medications that work well for her, and she has every intention of continuing to play professional tennis while managing her condition.

Tracy Austin was featured on the Tennis Hall of Fame Facebook Live show today with host Blair Henley. Austin talked about how she dealt with being a prodigy, how she is coping with the pandemic (access to a private court and all three boys at home are positives), and how she began her current role as a commentator. Asked about her role as a tennis parent, Austin has one rule she instituted that she wished her parents would have followed.

"The golden rule is when they play a tournament, you're not allowed to say anything in the first hour or two (after the match is over). It could be different for each kid. We so want to fix things as a mom--if you'd only hit more to the backhand, if you'd only gotten more first serves in--that's not what anybody wants to hear the first hour or two after a loss. You gave a great effort, let's go to get ice cream, I had to learn that. That was the only thing that my mom would sometimes break that rule and it drove me crazy. I'm proud of the fact all three of my kids took tennis seriously at a different level, and I had to adjust because I wanted them to love it long-term. I see so many parents that it's kind of their desire for their kid to play, so it's cookie cutter for each kid. We all know as moms that all of our kids are so different in their desires and their wishes and likes are completely different."

Three years ago, I spoke with Austin about her role as a tennis parent when middle son Brandon was a freshman at USC, for this Tennis Recruiting Network article.

The ITA announced its NAIA All-American award winners today, with Georgia Gwinnett placing four men and four women on the singles list. As in Division I, 20 players, determined by a double run of the rankings, were named All-Americans in singles and 10 doubles teams were honored.

The men's singles and doubles lists are here. The women's singles and doubles lists are here.


Boca Tennis Mom said...

In our area most tennis parents should talk to Tracy Austin. The kids are barely off the court before the dad or mom start in on them about the match. Its amazing how seriously many parents take tennis down here.

Tolerant in California said...

It is not just down in Florida, and it is not just tennis. Parents take the fun out of sports way more than cheating and bad officials, not to mention most parents have a baseline knowledge of the sport so they are not really able to give good analysis.

There was a study done on division 1 athletes, what was the worst experience of their sports growing up? Drive home with parents. Unfortunately many of us just cannot help ourselves and probe the kid on why he did not do this or that during his match or game, and of course it is the last thing a person who just lost (or won wants to here). If you don't think you do this, just record yourself in the car after the next 5 loses and listen to it later. I figured out I was doing this with my sons and made a point to just talk about something else or go get ice cream. It is much worse in tennis because you can rarely car pool and there so often is travel, so you have that time in the car after match.

My parents didn't care about tennis and most of the time dropped me at tournament and picked me up later, so I would just sit in car afterwards and try to figure out myself what I could have done better or how I needed to improve.