Updated: Nov 30, 2020
When we look at today's generation, it seems that everything is too easy for them, almost to the point where players lack motivation to become their best. Many young talented tennis players in the USA have excellent training facilities, excellent equipment, great coaches, trainers, nutritionists, financial support, wild card opportunities and still then they don't seem to have the hunger to become the best player in the world. The level of tennis hasn't decreased in the past years but the mental will and self-discipline have.
Nowadays, a lot of young players are given such a great conditions to train in that they expect no less when they go somewhere else. They become spoiled almost to the point where they feel incapable playing in different conditions or different environments. The reality is that until you get to the top you will have to play tournaments in many crappy courts, with wind, with altitude, without a comfortable player's launch and even the hotels may have no wifi, no laundry and no air conditioning in some countries. As part of the tennis training, players should prepare and understand that they need to learn how to play in any conditions without complaints. That they need to overcome adversities constantly in order to become successful competitors. Because ultimately, that's what competing is about, solving problems, not giving up, overcoming your fears and giving everything you've got no matter the circumstances.
Let's be honest, the life of a tennis player isn't a piggy back ride. Even when players reach the top, their lives are a constant battle to overcome emotions and setbacks such as fear, disappointment, lack of motivation, loneliness, depression, injuries and those are just the most common ones. On top of that they have an opponent to face up against in every single match they play. So it comes down to, be the best that day or go home. And let's not begin with all the pressure they face from, financial struggles if they are not wining, defending points, managers, family members and themselves. This constant pressure almost all year round takes courage, determination, will and mental discipline. This is why many players quit even when they are at the top. Because it is not just about wanting it, everybody wants it! It is about being able to overcome whatever comes your way and endure through it all.
If not you can take it from Rafael Nadal #1 Player in the world with 17 Grand Slam Titles , "Endure, put up with whatever comes your way, learn to overcome weakness and pain, push yourself to breaking point but never cave in. If you don't learn that lesson you will never succeed as an elite athlete".
Growing up, Rafa trained in different locations with his uncle and no matter if the courts where cracked, old or the net was too low he trained his hardest with only one goal in mind. To become the best. If he had to drill for a whole week, he didn't complain, if he had a weaker training partner he didn't complain, if there was too much wind he didn't complain, but when he had an opportunity to compete with someone better than him he didn't have to say a word he just showed how good he was. Rafa had to learn from an early age that nothing was going to be handed to him. So he had to make sure that he put out there every single last drop of effort he had in order to have an opportunity to play at the highest level.
So it is great to have excellent conditions to train in but the emphasis should be given more to how hard you are working and on how much your coach is contributing to your improvements. Not the facilities, the bathrooms, the gym, the players launch, the balls or your hitting partner.