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Coach Writing...

Rising An Underdog (thoughts before Sashka’s first pro match)

It is good to be an Underdog

When Sashka was 8, she moved from Kyiv, her birth place, to Odessa, a beautiful city near the Black Sea. That year Elena Bryukhovets, a former WTA Top-50 player and a coach of Maria Kirilenko, started her own tennis academy project in Ukraine.

After Sashka came in academy space first time to practice in the group, somebody immediately showed her a pretty 9-years-old girl who had individual practices only. “Look there, this girl is going to be a world top-10 player!”. It was Dayana Yastremska. In 6 years she will play in the final round of junior Wimbledon.

Several years later Sashka entered the tennis hall of Good To Great tennis academy in Stockholm, Sweden. She saw a lot of boys and girls hitting, serving & playing on many courts – but somebody pointed to dark-skin guy, who practiced under supervising of several coaches. “Meet the new future star of world tennis”. It was Mikael Ymer, the junior Wimbledon-2015 runner-up.
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4 Youtube channels we use every day for Sashka’s tennis practices

Total Tennis Domination (TTD) - one of the best tennis channels on Youtube

The challenging circumstances of our life sometimes require non-typical moves & solutions. One of those solutions is an active usage of “how to play tennis” Youtube channels in our player’s preparation process.

We selected several of them (just four at the moment to be precise). We subscribed the channels & regularly scan them both for new updates & pre-recorded lessons for the matters we currently interested in. We try to apply best recommendations to Sashka’s game.

You might be sceptical on whether a virtual coach can efficiently teach tennis. Well, I I can say two things about it. First, a virtual coach is NOT a replacement for the real one… but can be a useful “add-on”, especially if you are VERY limited on your budget. We hardly can allow a single live coach, so we have to maximize a usage of “cheap-to-free” tools.  Second, I can honestly say that in Sashka’s win of National Champion U16 title there is a meaningful role of those Youtube-inspired practices, methods & ideas. So it works… at least on the national level!

I would like to share with you those channels – just in case you need some “remote help” to fix this or that in your own game. Also, if you know some of those guys who make the channels – please say thanks to them from Sashka & the team.
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Working inside the court


This is just a small part of the morning practice a week ago. Sashka & Juraj are working on Phase 3 shots (finishing the point).

Now Sashka is sick (as well as Nazar, our younger son). There is no heating in our house, and it is -2C outside in the night, so both kids got cold. Nothing serious though.

Later today I’ll write a separate post on the situation. Hope to hear your ideas & advices.