Tennis wins

A lot of people ask me why I started to play tennis. My parents do not play tennis, there is no "older brother that inspired me & we also have no famous tennis player in our family. OK we could say I was inspired from my German uncle, Klaus Wegner.

My Uncle Klaus Wegner is at the back of the boat

My Uncle Klaus Wegner is at the back of the boat

He was a truly great athlete, sportsman and rower that represented his country and won the Bronze medal at the European rowing championships in Rome in 1961. 

I love the competition

I'm sure I've inherited one thing from him - my love to give it all in any competition. I LOVE to compete and to fight until I either have won or I lost. I was never a player that just tanked in a game. 

2015 -Tennis is a Gladiator Sport - 2 players and there can only be one winner!!!

2015 -Tennis is a Gladiator Sport - 2 players and there can only be one winner!!!

So why tennis and not rowing, football ( soccer for our US followers ) or even rugby? I somehow always felt that by doing an individual sport I can master my destiny in a better way than being part of a team. 

I tried out tennis at the age of 5 and loved it from the first moment.

There was of course early success - hitting a forehand so hard upwards that the fuzzy yellow ball flew over a very high looking fence to ultimately annoy the neighbours of the tennis club, the causing of countless temper tantrums of my opponents when they lost a rally and of course moving up in the LTA Mini tennis system.

I was a AEGON FUTURESTAR 2014 & 2015  - great memories

I was a AEGON FUTURESTAR 2014 & 2015  - great memories

In 2014- at the age of 11- I was invited to a national talent ID test & succeeded which meant that for two years consecutively I was part of a program called AEGON FUTURE STARS. This program supported some 16 or so players of each age group with extra training and tournament opportunities. I also participated at two national camps from the Lawn tennis association (LTA). 

I was No. 9 in Great Britain before moving to 14&U

That said, there was also ranking glory in the 10&U age category. I came 3rd at two national level tournaments and made the last 16 at the national winter tour finals. Moving on to the 12&U age group I finished as No. 9 in Great Britain before I moved into the current 14&U age group. 

Friends are important  - tennis can be a very lonely sport.

Friends are important  - tennis can be a very lonely sport.

I also count myself lucky not to have experienced any injury, even a minor one since I started playing tennis. I'm a big fan of Strength & Conditioning exercises which helps preventing things going wrong. 

Why losing a important game can be a good thing!

Sometimes there are tough times to go through and these make you much stronger. A good example for that was back in 2014  - I was playing a championship tiebreak in the semi-finals at a national event and I was 8-4 up ! I remember smiling up at my dad and feeling as if I had already won. My opponent began to play freely and i got very nervous. I just played the ball back instead of playing my game and slowly he got back in the game and eventually won the tiebreak 10-8 . I was devastated , I was so close to a national final, however now I look back on the memory and this always makes me work double as hard and focussed. I believe there is a lot to be learnt from losses like this to make you mentally stronger.

Last year I went through a very tough training period, I was trained by more then 4 coaches in the space of a year! It was really difficult as you never get to know your coach - you never really create that bond of trust that enables one to give the best in every training. 

One of my favourite coaches- Colin Beecher - who is also part of the GB Davis Cup team.

One of my favourite coaches- Colin Beecher - who is also part of the GB Davis Cup team.

Also every coach has a different style. Some are great communicators and others are not. When you change a coach every 2 or 3  months then it becomes very hard to keep the motivation to constantly work on that all important coach relationship. 

At that time I wanted to quit tennis as I wasn't enjoying it at all.

What kept me going was my love for the game and my aim to become the best player I can be. My brother Lucian helped me too as it was great to see him running on a "high"

Amazing time in the players box of Top 50 ATP Doubles player Andre Begeman

Amazing time in the players box of Top 50 ATP Doubles player Andre Begeman

Slowly but steadily the fun came back when I worked with my last coach at Junior Tennis coaching ( JTC ). His name is Martin Kuumar. He had a great way to motivate me in a challenging way. He would not accept when I didn't give my best but at the same time had the ability to give me space when I needed some. It's always a balancing act.  

I'm now changing everything - my coach, the place where I train and my program

If this sounds drastic then it's because it is drastic. Why would I do this? It's a mix of going to a new school, moving to a new home and last but not least wanting a more individualised training program. I will blog more about this soon.

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Yours Felix