Twenty Twenty, Tennis, James O'keefe discussed on Kris Soutar�s Tennis Journal


I felt it was actually as the system as it was back then was less selective as much as I know in hindsight I look back and I maybe the results in them but I don't remember that time now also it seems more transparently that we the three expression as it may be it social media the Internet and stuff at that but it just seems to be much more obvious that there's a hierarchy and where I think it was seen to be a genuine challenge to get up even seeing up and diner hitter because it's fictitional if you know what I mean. It's just in my imagination thing but it did feel before there was motivation to climb the ladder and trying beaten these people but there seems to be a lot more bitterness about or maybe there's the downside of tennis sometimes there's a sense of entitlement so when people don't get what they believe that entitled to the actually don't fight through maybe the way that we used to. I'm kind of waiting. Roost tinted spectacles year slightly. But do you have any thoughts on that in terms of the resilience of clears now? Is it the system or is it more than life is? Do you think that I feel like the rating system in this country and I feel like the structure of how we do regional national training that the the joy of competition I remember as a kid it was not the number beside my name is go challenge myself against some of the other guys win and not feel like the ranking rating system that has almost become competition yeah not play his parents vying to get through certain ranking so they on national trying regional training. I guess amount of funding. I'm not saying we lose out. In a a core of what competition is not for me the ratings and rankings and all of that should happen in the background and I think feel necessarily. That is the case in resilience. Yeah I think that in selecting diesel acting it can be you know. Plays into like the sale before they've even begun so yeah you know whether that boils down to being more or less Indian but it just goes back to your original crush sniff. Night will impact as Abbess of the have have not like nothing. Nothing effect definitely. Yeah you're right. It's the competition has become the number so therefore the doing get the same the. Let's see internal benefits of actually the competition itself not learning as much from the competition because they're so focused on the impact to has owner racing number. So the going back a little bit so you are a mid to late teens can. Can you remember a moment where you saw right? I'm going to give the pro ranks shot. It was quite a funny one for me really either. I wanted to go pro at sixteen once word. Not I think it was the done thing time Dan Bankin and I guess those the top bunch were doing it and to do anything else. Who's seen as a failed route light but I'm very thankful to my parents or not necessarily do that so I stayed home. You know a strong group of is my ear. And in my hometown in Norfolk Small County. We were In the top ten in the country that age and continued playing so I stay dead in my idols and applied for advice. university straight out levels. And I know I kind of wasn't show what I was going to do and I. I went to play three futures. I think in September and I did horrendously badly. I'm still you know this isn't to me I can't do this. Not good enough Cetera et CETERA. And I I went to play Brito and a play. That and I'll I'll kind of get on my way to Manchester University that that. Brit tour I found my wife and my count. Totally James O'Keefe in final Who Coach you ended up? Touched me for about that year and a half Chris. Bailey was what she meant He also near places squatting Sutton of contract with really I'm said he wants to coach now coming to watch that on a week later or less than a week later in Asia playing a bunch of futures commit ten ten points I'm Kinda was on my way in their university. Went into the background So it's kind of I was very unsure and I guess I'll had doubt throughout that period where I was going. You know I started do quite well. The team innovate sixty eight hundred. Eighty and really kind of stumbled my way into it and you largely again wife Progress Tour. Come to full. Say the program. I'm running at the University of Sussex is that I felt I. I didn't really know what I was doing. I was kind of traveling having a great time but really was ill-advised didn't know which direction done now just just making do we saw. It hasn't really have clue. Yeah it's It's quite dog. Eat Dog it's a bit of a nomad slann. I think that I run of the tour in terms of preparation. I think that's the way I see a lot of young men and women. It's like they're just walking through it. The no actually navigating themselves through it. So hopefully we can maybe Join up the gaps there when we talk about the progress tune and so on just one more thing before we go onto that they. How would you describe the competition landscape back? Then when you were when you were mid to late teens and you're on your way into the future. What was the landscape of the UK competition structure? Like think I remember that British tour was something to behold it was. It was good money. Week-to-week now came up again. Scott Thomas Banks Nick Whale much much my senior. You know there was still playing. 'cause they will get an awesome with plans money any monies liked always beginning to kind of making your way on the tour so they were kind of benchmark those events you know and even seven hundred. I would be just about from the top right. So there were strong There was a bunch of those you know the time run by peak peak right trixie and it was a bona fide monies for and I know when I wasn't traveling I was playing those was so I remember rightly. Be Twenty twenty five of those events a year. You could not huge money. You're making profit. You're starting to be able to be a living expenses for flight here So in that respect I think it was much much healthier futures. That was probably blessed. I remember by twelve years ago. I know it fluctuated a lot Ninety eight ninety nine. I remember that being really full swings if you want And that went up. Twenty odd teaches a year of at cheese I remember that being plenty of options that that kind of pasta awards two three years ago and I just think being a lot of cuts you know the British tool suffered almost the point of extinction. Join US on a great job in keeping going bust. Sheila there's less defied money event Gore aspiring client where the progress tour gang came. And you know we. We don't need more junior events. I think we've got an absolutely landslide. If senior. Thanks out the what was the great money toy become an extension of junior to Yep Yep so much more strength in depth and also not the the desperation to travel to gain or to gain points. Make money there was much more on your doorstep. Yeah I did. I traveled a lot and ultimately that's what led to me stopping expensive doing too much and I suppose also the awareness knows I on route twenty two. I was still floating around. That dawned on me that I wasn't going to be that top hundred players. Jim thome yeah now. I traveled Usually lots in my kids and I'm players that time there was opportunity. And that's why I feel like we've missed a little bit since then I guess. Yeah Yeah Such A. It's a strange one because we had you probably lived through that era where it was almost deemed. If you hadn't made it by certain age that you were a failure and you even touched on earlier on. It's like if you went to. Us College failure. Whereas that's now seen as a a genuine route to prepare your your body and your mind in your game to potentially give pretend to go and that we we now in in Media Ito where the average age is getting older northern mainly because of a bunch of thirty plus yards and the same in the women's Game. And there's no system in place to actually prepare you or give you the time to to build your game and Bilger physicality too because people kept me money. Yeah I mean I was I was like you said one of my regrets. Not GOING TO AMERICA I come back. Pri Pre the days of email and internet and I come back and my mother would have less. Answer the call from California Berkeley actually in places like that and I kind of nom on my wife and I felt more points and is one of my regrets physically and mentally and everything I had. I was just not in any way shape or form ready to play at the age of eighteen. You know I've played a couple of times. Lights are on in my life twenty-five to get into people And did so by shall hours more physically ready at the aged twenty five twenty. Six twenty seven. Five USA is that she's still playing on the. I just twenty two th that you've seen this too old all yeah again. The era just neath me from unlikely Charles is a great example.

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