Michelle Konkoly is all energy and determination. Last summer, the 24-year-old athlete saw her dreams fulfilled when she won 4 medals at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio and broke two Paralympic records in the S9 100m freestyle and the S9 50m freestyle.
Originally from Pennsylvania, at Georgetown Konkoly joined the university’s swimming team. Her life was changed dramatically, however, when in her freshman year she fell five stories out of her dorm window and was seriously injured. She fractured several ribs and a vertebra, damaged her spinal cord, and as a result, was left paralyzed from the waist down.
Many times we see tennis players motivating themselves on court, with phrases like “Come on!” or “Got it!”. Or we see how they give instructions to themselves, like “Fast!”, or “Position”. Is this useful for players? Do they do this in an instinctive way, or do they learn how to do it? Normally, these kinds of techniques are part of their training and the mental work they do, which every day becomes more and more important in the professional tennis world.
Today is one of those days when you walk around with a big smile on your face. I am proud of what I do; I am part of the journey helping others create opportunities in tennis, education and life. Therefore when you wake up and realize that one of your student-athletes has fulfilled his potential and becomes NUMBER ONE IN THE WORLD, it just fills you up with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Everything that you work for makes sense.
Sport is fair. Life should be fair as well. We may make mistakes, but if we persist, a new opportunity will come along. It will always end up appearing. But you should be prepared, working, looking forwards with confidence but not in a rush.
With 17 Grand Slams in his pocket, Roger Federer has lost multiple finals since 2008: to Nadal four times, once at the French Open, once at Wimbledon and once at the US Open; and to Djokovic, three times.
This amounts to more than ten Grand Slam finals lost – we can only imagine where he would be in the ATP ranking. However, today I’m not going to talk about the matches in particular, or about tactics, physical condition or mindset. Today I want to commend Roger Federer as a role model, as a player who respects his rivals when he is defeated.
At Sánchez-Casal Academy we have been using tennis and education as a vehicle for the personal development of our young players for almost 20 years. We are extremely proud of all who have trained and studied with us. One of those is Mike Vermeer, who has graduated Cum Laude from Columbia University.
Tennis is an individual sport. However all the preparation, the travel, etc. is normally done in a team, the team who stands by you in both the best and worst of times – or at least that’s how Emilio Sánchez Vicario has experienced it.
In the aftermath of the Summer Grand Slams and Olympic Games, today I would l like to offer an analysis of some after event facts. As usual, I will try to focus on the technical, tactical, physical and mental ‘pillars’ of tennis, with a special emphasis in the US Open and the Olympics.
Controlling timing and breathing are two powerful tools which help us to plan our next steps and overcome difficulties. If you are capable of perfecting these skills, your ability to overcome challenging situations increases. You just have to work at it.
Optimum control of attention is a powerful tool to improve our results in sports competitions. But what, exactly, is attention? Can we work on it? Monica Monserrat, psychologist, explains it to us.