It is less than two weeks before Sashka’s unprecedented action, “Big Tennis Trip 2017”.
Just to remind – she is going to travel for almost 2 months without a break (!), playing street tennis on central squares of biggest European cities. We are doing an intensive preparation now, with some successes and some fails already. This is a small update on how everything’s going on by now.
As I wrote before, our trip is probably not the best solution in a player’s preparation logic – but the only possible. Yes, it would be better to spend these 60 days on our training base, working on her game changes & improvements which just started to bring results.
But even if Sashka improves much, we need to fully cover at least three big travels before suggested Junior Grand Slams entry: winter-2018 Latin America tour (to enter top-150 zone needed to be in Junior Grand Slam quali), spring-2018 Germany Grade 1-Grade 2 tour (before Junior Grand Slam season), and Junior Grand Slams quali itself. Otherwise, Sashka will not have a chance to reach her goal even if she has enough quality in the game.
So we now are fully dedicated to this travel.
It is very tough (60 days on the go, sleeping in the car, cooking ourselves on publc parkings using 220V outlets and electic kettle, going out to the central squares full of strangers).
But this is all we can do – and we should do it good.
Our first target is non-financial. We would like to attract a public attention to a problem of limited access of children & teenagers from “low-profile” families – like refugees, migrants and low-income households – to different sports & activities.
This action is just a beginning – Sashka told me that, when playing as a pro, she will keep making her efforts in this field.
Another target is to support Sashka’s second crowdfunding campaign which will officially started on September 12. This time we would like to raise much less than in the 1st attempt – the campaign goal is $18,000.
This sum will cover Sashka’s travelling budget for 2017-2018. Now, unlike 2016, we can keep her training budget close to zero due to free coaching & her native Zagreb club help with free courts access. We both feel that this financial target is real & reachable.
What we have already did
First, we have made a pitch video for Sashka’s crowdfunding campaign. Do not be too critically-minded on it, as it is produced by our own hands, no special equipment or an assisting person who knows how to make such a kind of video.
So this is it… but please wait until September 12 to make your contribution :). For now, it is for evaluation purposes only. The campaign is not officially started yet.
We also made some small souvenirs for our friends & contributors during Big Tennis Trip – tennis-themed keychains.
The car (also known as our home for nearest 2 months :)) is ready. We leased a kids tennis net (for playing street tennis). We will also take with us several hundreds of used tennis balls we have – they are not OK for a junior pro training, but good enough to play with kids and give them out as gifts.
What we failed to do
The most painful thing is we failed to gain support from local tennis clubs. We sent out hundreds of e-mails and got just 3 answers. No complaints though – we will survive without them.
During the trip, Sashka will practice in small, village clubs with cheapest court access price, and then go to bigger cities for street tennis actions.
There are some other things still not 100% prepared – but, except tennis clubs issue, all the rest is more-less manageable.
Is there any life after “Big Tennis Trip 2017”?
We are working hard to make this campaign & trip successful… and also praying hard. This campaign is very important for Sashka’s chase for her tennis dream – as if it fails, there will be no opportunity to show her high tennis quality, even when she earns some.
Thinking positively, when we successfully complete this campaign – with the help of our global #TeamSashka help – we will immediately return into training & tournament process.
Sashka is going to play two Grade 4 tournaments in November, in Slovenia and Croatia.
Then one more month of hard practice in Zagreb…
Next step then is going to be a Latin America tour, Sashka’s first checkpoint in 2018 race to Junior Grand Slam.