Judy Murray has told Tennis365.com that she didn’t know whether her sons would have what it takes to shine on the biggest stages in the sport when they started to play tennis in their Scottish homeland.
Andy and Jamie Murray needed to overcome huge odds as they attempted to become the first Scottish players to shine at the highest level in the modern game, yet the duo have exceeded all expectations by claiming nine Grand Slam titles in singles and doubles competition in recent years.
Now Judy has given us exclusive insight into what it takes to become a champion, as she suggests her sons’ eagerness for hard work has been crucial to their success.
“You don’t know when they are young if they can take it to another level and even though my two sons had talent, you never know whether they can make it as professionals when they are young,” Murray told us during her junior training camp at Quinta do Lago in Portugal’s Algarve.
“Having a talent is one thing, but you need someone to spot that talent, nurture it and see if they can take it to another level. After that, it’s all about hard work.
“It is bringing the right attitude to the court, enjoying the pain and that is what my son Andy has done down the years. The heat, the tough conditions are a challenge, especially if you come from a country like Scotland, where the climate is generally much colder.
“Not everyone can deal with it, but Andy relishes the challenge and that is one of the reasons why he has enjoyed so much success.”
Judy went on to suggest some talented young players lack the mental strength to realise their potential, with the step up from the junior ranks to the senior tour a step too far for most.
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“You need someone at 15 or 16 who is ready to get something that is largely a hobby and do that every day, with real commitment. Not everyone wants to do that,” she stated.
“You are on the road for 35 weeks of the year if you make it on the tennis tour. That means being away from your friends and family and it is tough, you have to sacrifice a lot. You have got to love the game, love the torture of the competition if you are going to make it.”
Murray went on to suggest keeping tennis lessons fun should be the focus for all junior players, as she admitted putting a smile on the faces of junior players should be one of the primary targets for a coach.
“The underlying aim of everything we do is to have fun, to enjoy playing tennis,” she adds. “I’m a huge believer that we can help develop the skills when kids are at a young age because if you develop then and build confidence through success on the court, kids will maintain their enthusiasm and come back for more.
“The key for any junior tennis coach is to keep the kids engaged in the coaching lesson because we want them to stay in our sport. That means the challenges we set them need to be doable and challenging in equal measure and hopefully we find that balance in the lessons I put on.”
Judy Murray spoke to Tennis365.com at The Campus, Quinta do Lago in Portugal’s Algarve, where she will be hosting junior tennis sessions in 2019. For more information call on +351 289 381 220 to book or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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