Interview with Coach of WTA Top 20 Maria Sakkari
Welcome to a milestone episode fifty of the Functional Tennis podcast. I'm Fabio Molly your host and this week we are speaking to one of the youngest coaches. The youngest coach on the professional tour Tom Hale. Tom Is the current coach of the Greek Maria, Sakari who is currently twenty in the world. Tom Tells all about his early days of tennis with his family relocated to IMG in Florida from the UK about training at IMG, and then onto his college scholarship pepperdine on eventually moving into the coach. Coach and world and how he got into coaching world. It's a fascinating fun story, and it's great to get inside the head of pro. Tour coaches before we get started especial thanks to our PODCAST, sponsors head who make our favorite rackets here at functional tennis okay. Here we go. Let's hear Tom. Story Hi Tom. Welcome to the functional tennis podcast. Thank you for having me. Great Avenue Board couch to speak to learn a bit of orbit. You have your such a young coach working with some. Some great players so tell before we get started. How has locked and being for you? Do you work with Maria carry has stopped being the communication on what she's working on. And all that side tanks. Yes, so I've honestly lost track of the days of what exactly I actually went into lockdown. As soon as I flew back from Indian wealth. That was a little bit before the official down in the UK. so I've been in lockdown for a while from Maria I think Greece. Greece Osa went into lockdown at around the same time as the UK it was only around two weeks ago where she actually started practicing again so I'd say kind of the way I was. It was more just kind of motivation for the last eight weeks and I know everyone's kind of going through the same Maria like. Let's just kind of take it one day at a time. We don't know when the toll is GONNA be returning Trans Focus on fitness home workouts. Do some sort of. The strategic videos things like that, but it's also. It's very difficult. I think at the same time mostly. Just having rest is good. I think players can get burnt out in the season so I honestly feel like the rest is perfectly fine. Marie actually started training again a couple of weeks ago. So now I'm not able to more of a tennis coach. You know planning the practices. In the UK I get out degrees to to help the. We have a hitting. You just kind of running through the program that I'm setting hone I. Think the a soon as she's been able to get back on court. Motivation is obviously increasing. It's still difficult because I. Don't think anybody has any idea of when tournaments are going to return. It's a tough tough times. Everyone the I think the fact that she's on call is is definitely helping as the, neither it's I've just been doing some homework outs some fitness trying to work on like a few little side projects that to be honest. I'm enjoying the timing because. Because my family because I'm on the road last last year on the road for forty two weeks in the year, so just to be able to spend more than two weeks in a row. My family I'm really trying to like make the most of that. Twelve forty two weeks is a lot and plus we're going to just talk a bit about your younger days. How you got into tennis moves to states. You've been away from your family for a long time. Now he has an factually I was I went to Orange Jakarta me when I was ten Ashleigh my family moved out with me, so I was within to. My family sacrificed lots in a even, though has kind of been all around the world. They have been with me. Notice the time. It's only really kind of skin since university when I went to tech when I kind of been a little bit more on my own. So the kind of it's kind of been kind the last I'd say seven years when I kind of maybe had a week with my parents here two weeks task three weeks like three weeks is like Tracy's, and that's like. The off season period. That's the most I get. That I'd say when I was like a junior and playing. I was lucky that my parents sacrificed law and Wherever I was training they. Relocated stop plays the that of makes it a lot easier when you relocate halfway across the world. What was it like moved? ten-year-old of IMG was like you just like I just WanNa be a pro tennis player and I need to be here. Was that decision you made? You told your parents I need to get over there or was that something that they came to you with the kind of good question. Because I remember when I was younger, I was always debating between a full tennis, I was very good. And I I remember having a fight with my my code because I like to play up front score. The goals kind of be like you know the one everybody loves. To strike exactly, and and then he we had some some problem in defense and I had play one game as a defender. Although it's a crew school position in football. US to to a ten year old. I'm just kind of just the back. Just waging I had I was playing on a very good team so I actually didn't have to do too much and I wanted to be kind of Indiaction, so that kind of slowly lost my. With the football, the sport I was playing at the time was also tennis and. I remember I would have problems of my school. They wouldn't allow me enough time to to go out to school to practice my tennis play football and I got kind of a stage I was dying to take. My parents actually really enjoy tennis I. I would love to try and become a professional, and I think my parents they. I, mean they. They battled with the schools to try and see if they could get me an extra hour alto, instead of doing he at school I could go, and do you know get some tennis lessons and it just? It proved to be too difficult. At the club that I was training at. K., Salahuddin at the time I'd actually been on a few camps to I N G Academy in Florida with the Celada and kind of junior program about ten fifteen years ago, there was some you know great. Junior junior players in the Birmingham area and I I just kind of under that kind of saints. My parents would be amazing if I could go train. IMG tennis would be so much better. and you know my parents took massive sacrifice, and and you know they let me. They gave me an opportunity to go and do it, and honestly it was the best decision. I made some tennis around that age at ten years old.