Living the Sport

From the Austin Tennis Academy’s Blog (ATA):

During a recent ATA parent meeting, Anne Pankhurst shared her expertise on how, as a parent, you can support your tennis athlete and maximize potential.  I observed eager young parents taking in all that they could, and it reminded me of the beginnings of my ATA journey… and little did I know.

I met Mrs. Mayo in the bleachers of a UT match where her son, Austin, and my son, Josh, were on court together as ball boys.  She told me her son was a SuperChamp player at ATA.  I did not grow up in USTA Texas, and I had no idea what she meant by that.  The next month, Josh played an ATA SuperChamp player at the Texas Open.  It was a tough match and Josh beat him.  At the time, I had no idea that was an upset.  That player and his mother left the Texas Open immediately after the match so that he could make it into a National tournament in another state.  I thought to myself, ”Seriously… you’re going to drive 9 hours to a tournament?”

Little did I know then what the next few years of life would become as we merged into the world of tennis. And little did I know then, that the next year, Mrs. Mayo and I would be driving our sons, and the rest of an ATA team, to a national tournament in another state, 9 hours away.
Josh was 12 when we came to ATA.  Coach Notis invited him to train at a summer camp before the Grand Slam (again, I had no idea what that was) and then to travel with the team to College Station for the tournament.  After the first day of training, Josh came home with stars in his eyes… “Mom, this is the place I want to be… everyone there wants to be great!”  After spending the past 6 months at the neighborhood country club where kids were forced on court by overbearing parents, and who acted out and bullied other players, or spoke disrespectfully to the coaches, I was excited by the possibility of Josh being surrounded by excellence and respectful behavior.
Read more about Josh’s journey – HERE



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