Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Murray Magic

Don't worry, I'm not going to blog about every lesson I do in Australia but I thought that coaching job number two in Melbourne was worth a mention.

I was helping out at an RBS sponsored tennis clinic at Fawkner Park with Judy and Andy Murray.

RBS had invited the children of their key corporate clients along for tennis fun and games. There were around 50 in total with the ages ranging from 3 to 17. Excitement was running high among the kids and coaches alike.

I was struck, as always, by the professionalism of Judy. We were in the presence of the newly appointed GB Fed Cup team captain and this event was being organised with the same precision and commitment as if it was an international make or break tie. Because she cares.

She wants to do the best for the children and players standing in front of her. She wants them not only to enjoy their session but also to learn something about tennis. She wants the coaches to feel comfortable about working with her and ensures they are fully briefed so the ninety minutes that follow are seamless and straightforward.

Because she cares, she makes sure that she speaks to every child in attendance. Each of them will get an individual word of encouragement, a coaching tip or a smile or nod of acknowledgment. Her only worry of the day? That she didn't give enough time to each child as it was so busy.

Not only that but she also looks after Andy who moved from court to court with her, joining the lines of children, laughing and joking with them and making sure that they were all having fun. I was lucky enough to be on Andy's team for a competition at the end with the 6 to 9 yrs squad. Andy was as competitive as ever diving to get balls around the net that others had missed but also making sure that every child on his side of the court got to hit the ball during the game. Because he cares too.

It brought to mind a line from the famous Kipling poem,

'If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch'.

The inspiring thing about Judy and Andy is that they treat everyone equally and that each minute that they spend with you is 'sixty seconds worth of distance run'.

And this, my friends, is the magic of the Murray (s).
To see pictures of this event, click here

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