By Victor Hugo Camargo, Director, Traveling Coach and Mentor at Academia Sanchez-Casal Florida
The week in Mobile, Alabama went by fast and was solely concentrated on the tournament. It hit me at the trophy presentation when the announcer asked Jerry which places he liked most during his stay in Mobile, and Jerry answered, “the club was very nice”. We spent eight days in Mobile with very little time to go around and explore the town, but Jerry was cooperative and willing to sacrifice his free time because he knew he was there to win. This is the type of sacrifice a tennis player must make in order to achieve solid steps in his formation, even at thirteen years old. For anyone involved in helping young players, finding balance is an everyday dynamic. A kid is a kid, but in a competitive sport and environment like this, they need to develop professional skills from the beginning without losing their playful essence and “spark” that makes them fun individuals to be around.
The National Championship is now behind us, but that is how it will be like from now on. We can’t think or talk too much about it. We have taken all the positive aspects Jerry did during that tournament so that we can work on the ones we agreed needed improvement, and moved on to the next challenge. We were focused on training well and improving things that needed more work.
Three weeks before we started preparing for the tournament, we remembered last year’s outcome, and how we lost in the quarterfinals. This time, before we started our first practice we didn’t talk about a goal for this tournament, and by the end of that session, without saying a word, we both knew what we were aiming for: the championship. We knew it would be a big and important challenge and preparation needed to be great in order to be ready for it.
Being at the National Hard-Court Championship in Mobile with Jerry seems like it happened long ago even though it has only been 2 weeks. I am proud of Jerry and the way he handled himself throughout this tournament, especially during the last three matches. Talk about a more mature player who has learned from his past experiences! It is very important that he keeps this mentality and continues to learn from each situation and take it one point at a time. Each match is different, each match represents a different challenge, and Jerry must keep his focus in the process so that he continues to develop integrally as a tennis player.
Victor Hugo Carmargo
Director, Traveling Coach and Mentor at Academia Sanchez-Casal Florida