Green and Gold: Tournament Season

JTCC’s Francis Tiafoe captured the Orange Bowl last year in historic fashion

Editor’s Note:  Green and Gold is Junior Tennis Champions Center’s school newspaper. The monthly publication is managed by Mackenzie Clark, a student-athlete in JTCC’s full-time school. Over the next three days, an article from the newspaper will be posted on the blog.

Tournament Season
Written by: Holden Smith (14 years old)

Every high level tennis player is anxious and excited this time of year. They know that November and December is the biggest tournament season besides the summer. Eddie Herr, Orange Bowl, Winter Nationals and sectionals are the tournaments everyone is getting ready for and there are a lot of things people are doing to get prepared and ready for this crazy time of year.

Tennis training is the first ingredient in the recipe for competitive success. Before these
prestigious events start, a lot of high level, intense training is being done, especially on the grounds of The Tennis Center at College Park. Just this week “Warrior Wednesday” is being brought back as a way to prepare. Every Wednesday until the tournaments start, the full time players will
be competing and drilling for four hours straight to increase stamina and really get them ready for long matches in the Florida heat. Coaches are also doing all they can to take the players out of their comfort zones. That is extremely important because in matches, nothing goes perfectly, there is always something wrong. Wind, sun, rain, extreme cold and warm temperatures are just a small list of things that will not cooperate when people are playing.

The next piece is school work. This is the time of year when kids really begin to fall behind because they are traveling around the country for about a month. We all know it is not fun to do work when you are hanging out with friends in Florida and Arizona. That is why it is extremely important to get ahead before you travel, so you do not need to worry as much about school work. Nobody likes getting back from Christmas break and being told they cannot play until they are all caught up, and being ahead prevents that from happening.

The third and final part of the puzzle is fitness and mental training. Fitness is extremely important if you want to last a long time in matches. When playing a lot of matches in Florida where it is
very hot and humid, stamina is very important. That is why the fitness instructors at The Tennis Center are working really hard to increase all of the athletes stamina and strength so they are not tired when going into a third set. Mental training is also extremely important. The players need to be in the right frame of mind when going down to these tournaments. They need to be ready to compete and put it all on the line because their parents are not paying thousands of dollars for them to travel to these places to tank.

Overall, I really believe the staff at The Tennis Center and the players have prepared well for these tournaments. A lot of the players have been waiting a year to play these events again and have been working really hard to improve and be in the best position to do well. I have no doubt in my mind that the players will do their best, and the players will do great in Florida and Arizona. Good luck to every athlete that is competing in the Eddie Herr, Orange Bowl, Winter Nationals and other Mid-Atlantic Sectionals!

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