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The Functional Tennis Podcast
Alexander Waske: Tour Coach and Academy Owner
"High Alexander Functions. Tennis podcast thank you great to have you on board are I. Came across of the Alexander Voskan Tennis University as I saw on bags around some tournaments. I saw some coaches walking around two bags. I'd never heard of it before and I was always curious so I went off and did some research and this was last year so I've been falling ever since I've posted some your videos. I have you on our academy our top academy lists so it's great to finally speak to you. Thanks for that like just going to your resume. So you've worked with some cray players to pass speed caregiver meltzer Haas Bryan Curtis and even. Now you're working with some great players on especially let's say on the juniors who working with Yoenis four Tek who won grand slams last year such a great junior strokes are amazing anytime we posted on functional tennis. It's really amazing on. You're also working with a couple of the players on the Belgium Davis Cup team lower still lower Bella Mons on. Yeah few more. You're doing you're busy not me. We are a team here. So it's it's not me. We're working together with a couple of professionals here. So tennis coaches fitness coaches therapists. It's always a team effort here. Tell me cut me. Where's IT based in Germany? We Are Approximately fifteen to twenty minutes from Frankfurt Airport which is in my opinion great location as the International Airport. Gets you anywhere in the world and mostly direct flights? So you're in the center of Europe with Germany and Frankford is the center of or the middle of Germany so it's easy for us too excess anything here in Europe and even long fights I mean everything or usually everything has direct so we save a lot of time. By by this and also frankfort spend my hometown. So I've been I grew up here. I know the area Illinois everything here. So that's why we here. It's great to be in such a central. He'll be juniors playing tennis Europe term and Sir. Itf Tournaments Futures Challenges could hope to be. There's so much going on in Europe and also for the flights as you mentioned but tell me about Your Academy your facility. How many courts you have. What's your setup like? They're always thought of two thousand and ten. I started very very tiny. We had one player and one coach We built this from scratch. We are here working at the Federation. We have four. Indoor rebound ace courts we outdoor rebound escorts and then outdoors. We have also a five day. Courts we have a gym. We have ten rooms to sleep For people that come in for a weekly base now. We have other options for our long-term customers that can save an hour to you house. That is a bit outside of the sites and Ben. We have other apartments as well so everything is basically here on site visit therapy and everything that we need. The restaurant So yeah it's it's not the largest site we can't compare this to the large European academies like more talk no and Ross. We look for very high quality on our courts I think which even that so far I think the small academy the Smaller Academy sorry not too big more look more commercially cutting small and seem to have a better more family atmosphere on something you mentioned. Is You like to build character in the players? You work which can you tell me what you mean by building character with your players. You know if you're getting young people in here. Having a lot of influence has left rights errands media friends other players and so on at the end of the day. I believe that's building a good character and I'm gonNA come back to. That will make them successful people. Nobody can guarantee professional career of them making millions of euros in stuff like this but if they are hot working if they are focused if the discipline if they work hard on reaching their goals if they take a setback if they take a loss get back up on their on their feet and try it again and again and again and again. This kind of character will succeed in life so I think that our number one priority or our number one job is to create personalities that will succeed in life and then they will always be happy that they've been here No matter hulk with a end up in Tennessee great. And how do you do you give me an example? So we set clear rules It's also a lot about talking to the kids making them understand why we do certain things and for ten years. I've been busting my Thoughts to get an atmosphere here where everybody works hard and all the kids that we have now and I'm really happy about this really into getting better so you can always spend your whole day playing computer games. You can spend your whole day going out at night drinking Blah Blah Blah or you generate an atmosphere where everybody works hard and if there's one kid that does work hard the other kids don't want to practice with him because it's it's also for their benefits for their practice so I think that we Getting there that the intensity here is very high that there's a clear plan of how they play and that they really spend time with their game. They're strokes and a half to write a journal of what they've learned throughout the day. They have to visualize nights what they've done and the next steps that are there. We make individual plans for them. We make individual schedules and at the end of the day. You also need to have time for for the if you have fifty players to take care of at the same time. It's a zoo. So our coaches have four to six players that they take care of and I don't think that they can do more so that they have enough time to to talk to the plan to also know what kind of personality they are and what. They're struggling with what they're all right. Now tell me if somebody if I want to apply to come to your Kademi what you look for players that send you emails to say they. WanNa come train with you. What we don't do is we don't sign any contracts through the Internet. We don't do that. We have to meet the player. Find out if it's a fits. We want to see if we really like working with that player and at the other on the other hand the player has to tell. I mean usually. It's the parents that also behind this The player has to say this is where I WANNA be. This is the best place in the world. I don't want to go anywhere else and we can find a way but I I want to very very clear and strong commitment for this and this place is not perfect for everybody. I mean this other academies out there that are doing a fantastic job and Certain personalities will like this here and other personalities will prefer something else through your right if you try and fit everybody in. I think you're structures all over the place. I agree if you WanNa make you happy. You're going to generate a mess. They're going to have strict rules. I mean we are German so if you come one second late for practice your practice is over. It's it just doesn't happen you run for today. Yeah we also worked very early in the morning at seven thirty. We organized in structure. As Germs. Do Things and this is a strength. We are probably the worst dancers and other countries. Show us. How the Party will we? We're good at other things one of my best friends. Fabian is a chairman on definitely knows how to party. I didn't learn. Jeremy travelled a bit so definitely did a stint in the states. I think that's re- picked it up so you start early tomorrow to. What's a typical day so for your? Let's say for your teenagers. There's no real tip of the day because when you run a period as Asian you have weeks where you work really hard. And then you have weeks where you worked less and you regenerate more so we work up to ten sessions a week if the players practice full than they have a Monday and Tuesday where they have two sessions into fitness sessions on Wednesdays. They have Tennis session one session. Thursday Friday again to each Saturdays one tennis and Yoga. That's a tough week here but again we also have other weeks where we watched that the players are doing more mobility or region more stretching more. Physiotherapy it really depends on what's a but the week is planned for them. Take a lot of boxes there. The one thing I know. Is that the coaches care here. They really work hard. Some of them travel twenty to twenty five weeks a year with the players to tournaments. They really care. And that's what I really like Nobody here looks at the clock. All the time and says Lesson is op. I always say don't teach lessons. We coach players and different thing for me. So Time. Watching a bad characteristic. If two people are counting the time I know one player we feature quite a bit in the past two years is Yoenis four tech. He trains with you and he was world number one junior last year. One Grand Slams. How long has he been trained in? What you almost six years now. At that time we didn't really have a junior program and he was recommended to us and we had to look at him and I fell in love right away and I knew that this was probably the best hand eye coordination that I've ever seen in my life. So yeah just jump in there. Did you see the video with the wooden spoon? Yahoo hasn't I mean one of the most popular videos intenders. I would say so. You know what I'm GonNa send you a video just for you and you can post it on your side. Where he hits were the wooden stake now. Oh yes that is amazing. You can see on that. Looks like and then we have another junior now. Who's twelve and he was hitting really well with it and he did it with. Jonas and Jonas told me Alex I think the guy's better with a wooden stick me now because I haven't hit with it for a while so I think that was quite