Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Vidant's First Tournament -- His Parents' First One Too.
Vidant, one of my students, played in his first junior tournament (BU11) this past weekend at City View. I wasn't able to attend, but I did receive emails and text messages expressing concern over his first round loss (later I learned to the Number 1 seed). Knowing the pain and disappointment of parents when seeing their child loose, is hard, but I think most kids take it in stride. My son was very mediocre in the juniors, but he was always or for the most part I thought one of the better players. He just wasn't fit enough to hang with the usual dashers and bashers who dominate the junior tournaments through most of the ranks. But to really keep it in perspective, what you do in the juniors won't seem all that important unless you stop playing squash. But if you go on to college squash or professional competition, the "juniors" won't matter. Squash players develop differently, but with the emphasis on winning, just learning the game correctly is often overlooked. That correct way will pay dividends down the road because it is the foundation for all future squash endevours. A junior's play, especially at a young age isn't an indication of their character or future successes. Because Vidant faulted on the serve, dosn't mean he'll be a failure for his junior career, nor isn't indicative of what he'll do later on in his real life and squash life. Vidant's mother really means well, his father a bit more laid back on it I think took it in stride. As for Vidant, he's very court smart, and I had him hit with Haadi on the court while I talked to his mother about the tournament. I listened carefully to what she was saying, she picked out all valid points, his shots to the middle of the court, faulting on the serve (it seems he was trying to hit a lob serve for a winner), and generally just being overmatched. While I was listening I was watching Vidant and Haadi have some nice rallies. What I saw was a junior player who was structuring the point extremely well but just not executing his shots. So I turned to his mother and said watch how he plays, look at the structure in his game, rail, rail, deep cross, volley drop tin! But it was impressive because it was squash, not some semblance of squash mixed with 5 other rackets sports. Haadi came off the court and remarked Vidant's shots are a lot better, to which his mom added he's comfortable with Haadie. Yes, tournament play is different, but if you have a structure that is solid you can always impose that structure against an opponent, even one who just happens to hit down on the ball with a two handed backhanded number 1 seed that he is. If Vidant works hard (not to be confused with pushed hard) and continues the way he's doing, somewhere in the 14 thru 17 year old range he'll be a force. I just hope I'm there to coach this really talented junior who is just now beginning to have a dialogue with me -- he is a young lad of so few words, for now.