Sunday, September 30, 2007

Friendly Match with Poly-U

Thanks God for the sunny day.

I would only give a very short brief report, as I'm so tired today, sorry..

We had a great fun today with the poly-U tennis team players.
Today, I went to the mass at St. Ignatius Chapel at 7:30am with Oscar, then we had the McDonald's breakfast, going back to the court. It was about 9am, we saw the head coach Ernest and left-hander Joseph, Aaron. I warmed up with Oscar and later talked with Ernest for the stuff of the team...

Later on, some more boys came: Chris, Barry, Tommy, Frankie, Matthew, Ivan, Jordan, Tony.
At about 10am, my teammates of Poly U came. They got only six players at first, including me. We decided to have the three doubles first, and waited for one more player for the single.

At the 1st round, we had:
1. Barry + Chris
2. Oscar + Tommy
3. Matthew + Frankie
Single: Jordan

Sam and I played with Barry and Chris, as they wanna to challenge us! Sam and I played with heart, we played for nearly hundred percent! Barry did well and very consistent, but Chris was still afraid to be a net game players, his net game is weak. He was also quite nervous. Of course, we beated them, 6-2. I watched some other matches, Oscar and Tommy's pair. It was only the first time they paired up and participated for a real match. They did well, especially two of them are quite consistent. Tommy had a good serve, not only powerful but also consistent. The F1 boy Oscar was great, good serve and stable ground storkes. After the match, one of my teammated praised him, telling me that the boy in blue shirt is excellent!

However, I just know the two boys need to have more experience and matches to play and learn!

So, the result of the first round:
Barry+ Chris 2:6
Frankie+ Mat 6:4
Oscar+ Tommy 1:6
Jordan 1:6

Poly-U win all the four match, the score is 3:1 to PolyU

2nd round:
The pairing was just like the 1st round, but with some arrangement. Matthew paired with Tony and Frankie had a single. I only got to played the single with Frankie. When I played with him, I found he is a very fast runner. However, without the training, his strokes were unstable, especially some easy winner point likt the mid-court attack. I hope he would come to the group more and practice more. Oscar 's team was still okay, I sometimes watched their performance. For Mat's team, they are excellent. They beated the Poly-U, the very strong pairing of Poly U. Tony was quite strong, as he is only F2. Matthew was also a good leader. Ernest and I were so pleased that Tony paired with Mat easily, no argue. Unexpected result appeared in Chris' s court, they also beated the opponent. Chris started to be consistent, but volley is still awful. Barry did a good job.

The score is quite close after this round:
Barry+ Chris 6:2
Tony+ Mat 6:1
Oscar+ Tommy 1:6
Frankie 0:6

Score: 5:3 to Poly U

Last round.
The last round is very determined. Before the game, boys had an about ten-minute break. They rushed to the convenient store to get some water. I'm afraid that they cooled down in the break. I just want to tell you that, after the long break(over five minutes perhaps), you should warm-up before the game started. Otherwise, you would play badly at the first few games. The pairing is like the previous round, but with Aaron and Ivan a double, Oscar a single. Matthew also paired with Jordan. With the too long break, boys did badly at the first few game, I bet. Chris and Barry started to be "hea" in the game, lastly lost. Maybe, their opponents were super strong, as Sam told them, if they lose the match, they couldn't come back to the team next time! It's a hard deal! On the other hand, Matthew did the best with Jordan, beating the Poly U for six eggs! Oscar had a single and lost only 2:6. As you should know, Oscar is only a twelve year-old boy, a F1, his opponent is 19 and a university student. Not a very fair match, but i like Oscar's topspin style.

Score: 8:4 to Poly U
1. Barry+ Chris 1:6
2. Ivan+ Aaron 0:6
3. Jordan+ Mat 6:0
4. Oscar 2:6

At the end, Matthew beated all his opponent, a very good captain!
Some short feed back here, I believe all of the boys played the game seriously and really treated the match as the very "real" inter school. The tennis team ofPoly U is quite good, actually, but I bet the boys would beat them in next, or next next time. Our players are all improving, just see Tommy and Barry. The new blood Oscar is also great, if he works hard in this year, he would improve a lot!

Feeling so great today. I'm sorry I represented Poly U and played and beated the boys...

We had a lunch together and back to the court at two.
We had some drills about the intercept, they found it effective. Thanks Raymond and Joseph for helping in the drill! We started trying to focus on the net game and especially the very crucial "intercept".

This is the end of the report, I'm sorry there may be some grammatical mistakes.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Junior Series Review

This is my first time to watch boys' doubles outside wayhan.

As I had to coach all day at the tennis centre, after 5pm, I joined with Barry and Chris. While at about 3pm, I saw Barry and Chris' s singles match from my court.

Something about their single match:
Chris was unlucky, his opponent was really strong and powerful. Chris tried his best, but I think his footwork is lazy... Barry did well and lastly lost 7-9. When I am watching Barry, I feel Barry can have a very closed score with his opponent, or may beat him. Barry claimed that he was a bit sick and didn't play well.

For the singles, I'm so pleased they did well.

At about 7pm, I saw Louvre and Brian.
Louvre and Brian had the doubles, Brian is really good and did well, even their opponents are extremely strong. Louvre, once again, you should control your temper! Winning or losing the match is not very important, what you should do is to enjoy the match with these two high level players. It's a chance to hit with the two great players. Louvre served some double faults... But, all in all, it's okay and I'm quite unexpected Brian tried his best. Boys found that left-hander service is hard to return, especially with the side spins.. Raymond and Joseph, could you play more and serve some more spin serve for the kids?

Here comes to Chris and Barry.
Barry enjoyed the match and did excellent. He had a good forehand and the powerful, consistent serve. I found that Barry wasn't nervous, he can play the match "freely". He played and enjoyed it. Afterwards, Barry felt happy as he can hit with two high level players. For Chris, he's quite nervous and lazy footwork again! He seldom came to the net and have the intercept...

So, great to see the kids' match.
I know all of you improved a lot, however, it's a sad fact that we do have a far gap between the high level players. I'm so glad you all enjoy the match and learnt. Tennis is a long project! We should always learn and try something new. Hope to see the improvement on tomorrow's Poly U match.

Last thing, I found something interesting.
I saw some coaches watching the players today, this is what we didn't see in the past, especially in the junior tournament. I saw some coaches I knew, they used to be HKTA's coaches. Then, I wonder the relationship between the coach and players is very important. In the past, coaches wouldn't go and watch his players in the local tournament. Coach is important after the match, just like what we did today: after the match, I gave the boys some feedback, asking how they feel and how did improved, etc. Feedback is quite crucial for them, as they can learn more.

In future, I hope I can go with the boys and watch their match.
Thanks God, I'm so happy to be a " peer coach" in wahyan. I can easily chat with the boys and give them some advice.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday Report (27-Sept-2007)

A very short brief report today.

Nicholas, Louvre, Brian, Tommy, Ivan, Kenny and two other F4 boys. (Raymond asked them to join last Saturday =])

We had some easy warm-up and forehand, backhand shots.
Today, I decided to have some more specially class for every boy, so we didn't have many group games and group training together. Boys divided into few groups and every of them had a very focus drill.

First, Louvre and Brian focus on their net game.
I had some overhead training for them, as you would know Louvre's service and overhead is not that good. Brian also didn't get well of his overhead. Their net game needed to be improved and practiced. Brian's volley is quite good, but sometimes his backhand volley is late hit.

So, Louvre and Brian had a double with Kenny and Ivan, score: 2-2.
I also coached the two new F4 boys some basic strokes, the forehand and backhand.

Tommy and Nicholas had the focus session.
I rallied with Nicholas and Tommy tried to intercept the ball. Tommy's volley is not that good, though he had a very good ready position. Same problem--late hit... Nicholas did well in his forehand powerful shot, but not very consistent and too much spin.

Boys did well in the training.
I didn't have a theme to focus today, as I knew boys would probably have their match coming Saturday or Sunday. So, today is the class of the focusing and correcting. Group lesson is good, but sometimes it can't really help the boys individually, as it is hard to have correction among the group class. Some small group or individual lesson can help the boys, especially their basic strokes and footwork. I hope we can have more small class lesson in the future or in long run.

Here comes to the Grouping list of this year of the HKSSF:
GROUP 2---
1. Kei To
2. French Int'l
3. St. Louis
4. Sing Yin
5. Wah Yan KLN

Jeffrey, don't be shy! Come for the training on Thursday and have fun!
Come and enjoy the class!
If you practice more just like Brian and Tommy, you will see the improvement in the very short time!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

26-Sep-2007 Make Up Class Review

Just summed up something about boys' tournament on the Saturday night. I arrived wahyan at about 5:30pm. We left wahyan at about six, taking the MTR and then travelled by bus route 6. At the end, we arrived the gap.

After a while, boys had their match as there was many empty courts. They played at court no. 16, so I could only watch them from very far away. Louvre also joinned. However, I could see them. Nicholas and Calvin was not warm-up ready at their first game. They seemed nervous at the first few games. At last, Chris and Barry beated them, 8-4, but Barry claimed that the score should not be that close if he didn't break his string.

It's a great experience for all of them. They all agreed that the Gap is very windy and hard to get used of it. The court is not same as wahyan, the flood light is also new for them as they seldom played at night time. They learnt a lot.

What I think they should be improved is the footwork when they are returning or ready. Also, they should work hard on the volleys, as they didn't have some good volleys in the match.

Here comes to today's make up class.
There were only few boys at about nine-thirty: Raymond, Tommy, Brian, Ivan and Arron. So, we practised some service and waited for others. We also had the 3 vs. 3 game.
At about 10am, Kane, Louvre and Oscar joined us, having the " net game test" Some did well, but most of them didn't know how to hit a drop volley. What's next, round the world. It is more difficult one, as they have to say a name of wayhan's teacher. Boys did well and they had fun.
Then, king of the court, the approach shot and mid-court attack.

Raymond and Kane left. We waited for a while, it stopped. We dried the court and have some volley-volley game. A doubles and a single. I played with Oscar and Tommy for a team single. I found that Oscar is quite consistent but Tommy is too "powerful". Louvre and Brian had a double with Ivan and Arron. The double was a very close match, Louvre, you should control your temper. I read your msn: "tennis is a game for gentlemen", so are you a gentleman? Throwing your racket couldnot solve anything in the court, but people would feel you are not a good tennis player. Calm down!

At last, Brian and Louvre left.
Private coaching with Tommy and Oscar for about 45 minutes, focusing Tommy's forehand and Oscar's single-handed backhand. They were all willing to learn, Tommy also raised some question today, unexpected! Oscar wanted to improved his tennis skills, he's willing to improve his strokes.

To conclude, we had good day. I'm so pleased to see so many boys and two of the old boys came. Boys did well and some are well prepared for the tournament. We'll have a friendly match on coming Sunday, 30-Sept-2007 with Poly-U school team, the match would start at 10am, but I told the boys to warm-up at 9:30am.

*ha, I would join the sunday mass at wahyan at 7:30am, any Catholics of the school team like to join the mass and have a McDonald's breakfast before the match. I found that Oscar is a catholic!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thursday Practice Report (20-Sep-2007)

Today, we had Louvre, Brian, Calvin, Nicholas, Adrian, Tommy, Kenny and Ivan.

We focused on the forehand steps, especially the stands!
Introducing the "open stand" to the boys, some of them felt really hard to accustomized it. Also, some tried hard and learnt quickly, just like Tommy.

"Open stand" is a very popular stand nowadays. Many professional players like to try this stand, as it helps you recovering in a quick way.

Boys like to rise questions. Brian asked me that he felt hard and couldn't get used of the stand, hard to hit a ball. This is quite normal, actually when you learn something very new, you can't really apply it easily at first, for example some mathematics, some science theories. So, what you have to do is practice more and try to get used of it. Louvre asked one very good question, I think. " What are the difference between the squared stand and open stand? Which one would be better? Also, All HKTA course would teach the beginner to learn the squared stand first." I would say both stands have their advantages and disadvantages, so you could try best stand. My advice is to try all the stands and feel that which stand would be more suitable for you. Even if you won't use the "open stand" to hit a ball, you should learn more about tennis skills and knowledge.

So, today we had some similar drills for the baseline forehand and backhand. Then, we had some approach shot, mid-court attack, bounced overhead drills. However, Kenny and Ivan told me that they didn't want to join the training, and they played themselves. Brian and Louvre said I were too clement to deal with this two boys, they told me that I should punish them, maybe some running, etc. In my point of view, I know that wahyan is the school of freedom, I bet all of you would agree that you would have many chance to skip your lesson in wahyan. So, we have the "freedom" to choose wheather we skip the class or not. It depends on what you think. In my school time, some very smarted boys felt the teacher was bored and they learnt nothing about the subject by him, they would skip the class and learn by themselves at home or the library. It would be fine if you dont' wanna to join the training. Whatever you choose or you think of the training, I would respect your choice. I don't want to act as some parents in Hong Kong, they force their children to attand some interest class which the children hated. At the end, if you think you can learn tennis by yourselves, go for it. If you just want have some funny games or match but not the training, go for it.

One more problem rised.
Would these boys be included to our list of tennis team? Would we include all the students who have joinned the training? How about if some boys only join us once a month or even few times a year? It's quite difficult to define the team Tennis team? I bet, that we cannot only include those who would represent wahyan for the competition as the team. So, who should be included in the list of tennis team? I know all of the students in wahyan would have their own protfolio in wahyan system, which would include what acitivites they have joined and the clubs they particpated. Chris, Raymond, all the old boys, should we have a chat on this issue?

We then practiced our serves. Boys improved a lot, especially Nicholas had a more spin serve. But, Tommy have to work hard to control the ball in the boxes. At the end, we had some singles match.

I'm so pleased some boys have been improving in these few weeks, such as Tommy, Calvin and Brian. They did their best in my drills. I see Tommy had tried his best to control the ball and try to be more consistent instead of power. Calvin also learnt how to recover and move in the court. Brian is still a good chatter box in the court, but he can easily work with others, especially the lower form student, our new bloods. It's also my first time to meet Adrian. Adrian looked short but he played okay. He gets along with other easily like Oscar. So, if my calculation is corrected, we now have three new form 1 boys!

Lastly, I would like to talk about the balls.
Whan I arrived the court, I found we had only 1/3 of basket of balls. I don't know why and how did the ball gone? Do our cabin safe? One more thing, one lock of the door is out of order, we lastly break the door to save Chris Wong. We could find the solution for the missing balls.

26/9 would be the make up class for the old boys and school teams.
I would offer you some games, hope you can all learn and feel happy in the games. This is for fun. Maybe, I should named it a "Fun day" or "workshop" for us!
Hope to see you!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thursday Practice Report (13-Sep-2007)

Seven boys came.
Tommy, Nicholas, Brian, Oscar, Alex, Kenny and one more boy (Sorry, I forgot his name...)
It's quite interesting that not many advanced player attended my lesson, those strong players like Chris and Barry would like to attand Tuesday's lesson.
However, more beginers like Alex would like to join my class.

Boys had a very short warm-up.
Then, we did the same drill like last week, but with some variation.
One forehand, One in-side-out, one forehand, one in-side-out...
The beginers like Kenny and Alex couldn't hit the in-side-out shot, and they counldn't control the ball to hit a down-the-line shot. Some did well, especially Brian and Tommy, they hit very good down-the-line shot. Actually, I liked Brian's in-side-out style, beatiful shot!

One more drill about chasing the forehand shot and dashed to get a drop shot.
Boys did well, but they were too slow. After some more shots, some did excellent, they got all the drop shots.

So, here came today's theme: mid-court attack!
We first tried some easy approach shots, which they had been very well known of the drill. Some did the drill okay, but some even can't control the ball or just say they hit many "out", Tommy and Oscar hit many balls "out". Tommy, powerful shot is not always win, consistent shot is more important.

Another mid-court attack is the bounced overhead.
The bounced overhead is not easy for them. Many players smashed the ball out and even hit to the net. I was shocked and unexpected. It is a sad fact that only one in the group know the path of the back swing of the overhead, he is OSCAR!!!

Overhead is different from the service. The path of the back swing is not the same. Only Oscar knows the difference, other six boys hit the overhead with the service posture...

Game! Today we had the "prisoner".
The team divided into two, played a team single.
But, the one win the point can "jail" the opponent or "free" his teammates for the jail.
The game should be fun, but they didn't enjoy much at first because many players hit the ball to the net at the first shot... So, consequetly, the whole team lost. Two teams traded their partners, and they performed much better.

The key to win the game is consisnence.
What you should do is not making any errors, sounded easy? but actually it's hard for the boys.
Another tip for the game is to be cruel, not free the teammates from the jail but send all your opponent to the jail!
Funny game.

Service, of course.
We had some cones for the targets and no one hit the cones.
I would like to comment on Tommy's service. He has a very powerful serve, but all were fault.
Powerful serve means nothing, especially you can't serve a "in". We are not Andy Roddick, and there are not many players like him has the rocket service. In your age or I would say in our level, serving in the court is far more important than the power.
I hope you would learn it by yourself in the match...

At the end, we had two doubles.
Lastly, we did the fitness.
Fitness is very important, especially for the boys to train their footwork!

I'm so pleased to seeing so many beginners today.
I appreciated Oscar and Brian, they did well in the doubles.
Also, Alex was great, willing to learn and try!

Boys, keep on and work hard!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thursday Practice Report (6-Sep-2007)

First day of the training after school term started.
It was great, with nine energetic boys.
The new form 1 boy came, called Oscar.
Also, a boy called Alex came, who joined the pracitce a few months ago but stopped playing tennis.

Tommy, Brian, Calvin, Nicholas, Louvre, Chris, Jordan, Alex and Oscar.

I tried so drills today, which I learnt from the HKTA talenT Group.
Those drills were for the very advanced player, but actually our school team players were good at the drills.

At first, some warm-up exercise in the service boxes, like some ball throwing without rackets and some funny service boxes match. Boyd did well in the starting drill.

Today, we still focus on the footwork!
Some tough drills, forehand and backhand down-the-line, but they had to hit six balls and dash!
Some played excellent such as Chris and Brian, they tried their best to chase all the balls. Those basic strokes were must, but some didn't have consistent baseline shots. Boys need more practice, especially some drills like today--chasing to hit the ball.

Another drill is about the chasing shot.
Forehand chasing shot, boys have to chase to hit a short ball.
Boys did bad at first. They couldn't get used of hitting a short ball, a widen angle shot. They hit all the balls to the net. I put two chairs for targets, after hitting few rounds, Calvin, Chris and Oscar even hit the targets! They learnt how to chase the ball and hit a widen angle, I hope..

So, some more drills about the volley-and-baseline...
I would like to talk about the chasing-back-the-ball drill.
Boys started at the net, when they touched the net, I gave them a very high lob. They had to dash back. After the ball bounced, they hit a shot. They can hit a powerful forehand, a lob or even a slice... But the main point is that they had to hit the ball after it bounced! No overhead is allowed! At the other side, two volleys for returning the balls.

At first, boys didn't get the ball, or even touch the ball with the rackets. After some shots, some did well. Chris tried his poweful forehand shot; Tommy tried his best lob. The volleyers like Brian and Jordan were also great, they returned some killer shots. Boys improved their lob and overhead, but their volleys have a very large room of improvement.

Some service, the four-to-four game.
For the game, their score was really close and it was exciting. I doubted that boys learnt much after the game.

So, another new game today!
I would like to introduce this funny game to all for you, which I learnt at the TG.
Five vs. Four.
Five baseline players against four net players. Coach fed the ball to the baseline players, they can do everything except a lob for the first ball. So, if a boy lose the point, he would be sent out of the court. At the end, the team which sent out all the teammates would lost one point. We played for seven points.

Louvre, Tommy, Brian, Alex, Calvin were the same team, played against Chris's team. At the begining, Louvre's team were all sent out, they lost three points. However, the score were close after few points later. The game showed us all that the hitting a very powerful shot to the net player is not an useful tactic. In some case, like Brian and Tommy, they can return the ball with a drop volley. The drill is fun, but actually they should be smart and tactic. Some lobs and wide angle shots can gain more points!

I would try my hard to learn more drills and games for the boys.
The game can be fun and boys can learn from it, I bet!
After coaching the wyk school team and the TG, I found that today's youngster like game and fun. Maybe, the dull drills in the past is not suitable for the boys. I would try my hard to think more drills for the boys.

Boys, do the drills boring? If so, please let me know=]

Thanks God for the good weather and the new F1 boy Oscar joining the school team.
Oscar told us that he learnt tennis at about six, at primary one (just like me =]). He's now taking the course of HKTA at the Junction Rd. ( I knew the course and also the coaches) Oscar had a very good form, the formal form. He had a very formal western grip like Matthew( Oh, where is Matthew? Busying for the A-level?) It would be great that our team have the new blood like him. At the end of the training today, Brian played a single with Oscar. Oscar lost.

Oscar's form and footwork are excellent, but he didn't earn much experience of playing match. Furthermore, he doesn't have a good consistent strokes and service. This is what other boys act like. So, what he can do is hitting more ball and learn how to be consistent. I believe, after a few months, he would be a very good player. I would like to praise that Oscar worked with others easily, he chated much with others and really enjoyed the lesson today. Other boys like Brian and Chris chated and played with him, he would be our new star! He promised to me that he would come next Thursday!

After chating with Oscar, I think about my past.
My past was like him, taking the course of HKTA. Also, the course at the Junction Rd. In fact, I knew Oscar' s coaches. They were also my enligten coaches. This year, I worked with one of the coaches, started my coaching life in Junction Road. I can see my past in Oscar, just like I entered the school team at my first day. I didn't join the team when I were in F1, because I were so shy at F1. I joined the team on October the next year. After few days joinning the team, I represented wahyan playing the HKSSF. In the team, I learnt more about tennis and improved my skills. I learnt how to co-operate with others, working with my teammates. One more important, I love wahyan more after taking part in the tennis team. We don't know how would be our future or how we would play like, but I trust that after taking part in the school team, you would learn more and be more mature. In case, you would feel more proud of being a wahyanite.

I hope all of you, the school team, Oscar, Chris and other teammates would tresure your friendship and the time in wahyan, especially in the team. Just like the old boys, Raymond and Joseph, after so many years, they are still very good friends. Wahyan and the tennis court are the best place for meeting friends, the tennis court is one of the best places for maintaining our friendship =]

Hope you all would enjoy in the court!
* Thanks Louvre telling me that the HKTA tournament's order of play updated.
Boys, please check it NOW!!!
Louvre and Brian are the 4th seed in Boys under 18 doubles!!!!!