1 Episode results for "Cici Bellis Falconi"
Richard Ashby on working with America's young talent
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Thanks for having me. Richard Works here at the. Usda national campus. Richard tells a little brief bio about yourself then working for the for sixteen years before that coached on my own little bit privately with pros and Juniors Worked in some academies before that and so. That's my coaching background played. Junior Tennis Played College University of South Carolina. That's basically playing background played a little bit of pro after college but not that successful so onto coaching. That's relatable So what players. What age group are you targeting right now? Do you work with a specific group. Your work with the fourteen hundred girls. I'm here at the national campus. So we bring kids for camps primarily camps training weeks. We don't do a lot of traveling with kids that age. We don't have them come in. For long periods of time they usually come in for a week or two weeks of training And we work with their coaches. So we get the information back to the coaches things that we worked on here things that we see we go to tournaments have a chance to watch him play there and hopefully see them improving on things have a chance to talk to their coaches about things. We're seeing a lot easier when it's you know live where you're watching something and talking with the coach so the tournaments. It's a great option to do that. With coaches so you've been working with the USA for sixteen years. Have you been with the girls? Fourteen and under age single year no Started two thousand three so that first year and the next year we're primarily with Like junior pros so kids basically seventeen to eighteen sixteen eighteen and did that for a couple of years and then in two thousand and five started with the kids born in Nineteen ninety-one that age group so worked with an age group for few years through Two thousand eight then two thousand nine. I started with twelve and unders Jade Louise and other coach. I used to work with age group and He actually started working with kids older. So I Essentially switch places with him so from two thousand nine assorted with twelve and under and kind of grown to thirteen and then fourteen and fourteen under for last few years. Do some name. What are some players you've worked with? Amanda Anisimov was slow and Stevens. Cannon CICI Bellis Falconi yes all those players So yeah very fortunate. When we moved to we moved to Boca it was a good location. Had A lot of good players in the area so players Would come through in practice. We were able to set up a program where they're younger players. Come out and you know not every day Amanda I came out like once a week when she was younger Always worked with her. Dad was her coach. So work with her Same with Sonya and We did we actually had a pretty good set-up there where they in the morning to drilling and then the afternoons do match play and we'd be able to have kids kind of all levels. Sometimes older kids coming out in the afternoon but Amanda and Sonia. You know where kids at did that from pretty much. The beginning Sloan. I've done very little with her. I mean it's mostly been Camps or a little bit of training and Let's see who else has been out of there You know so. Yeah Irena Hell Coney for sure. Was there So when I worked with a ninety one group Sorry come and play matches Actually tell Ya arena like the first candidate when we were in key Biscayne arena. It's actually in the camp along with Alli Risk. So Mallory burdette there. You go so a bunch of kids That a moved on to play pros which is great. You know so. That's one of the things. I'm fortunate. I got to work with kids. That are the best in the country so you know a lot of them are going to be successful so I was actually mentioning that to see the other day. We were watching you practice with one of the girls. I don't I can't remember her name but she's pretty good. And I made a comment to see see I was like. Did you work with coach? Richard Like Yeah. I did and I was like. That's unbelievable when I was. I believe it was thirteen or something. I was still living in New York and I got this letter from the USDA. Do you WanNa do this. Camp Key Biscayne and sure enough it was with Alison riske Madison Bengal Whom all our top seventy have been top seventy players. It's not very common for a coach to be able to have that much of an impact on so many players that end up being professional. What is it that you have that makes that possible GonNa Know How much it is me. It's definitely good system where you know. We got a chance to see young players at an early age. I remember the first camp she came to. She was not the best. One they're You're maybe in the middle of the pack She had come to the some of the similar things she has. Now you know just the excitement. She always brings the cord and everything. So that hasn't changed. You know she's just gotten better as it's gone along so You know to be to be honest. Yeah I mean I enjoy helping the kids and you know if anything the you know. Try as much as possible for them to enjoy it as well and to try to guide them. I guess for game for the future. Now you know that's up to them to pile of things but You know most of those kids like I say we're good when they got there and you know they've gotten better they've gone long moved on to other coaches and everything so successful pretty popular name is big names that have come through the. Ashby system for all those players though that that you worked with. That didn't make it. Can you tell the difference between someone like an Anisimov an Kenan? Can you see or that early on the? Hey this kid's something different or is it more of quantity and then figuring out one or two that rice the top. There are many kids that I thought were going to be very very good. Maybe even better than those guys and they ended up not being ended up being good tennis players. But not you know making it into the pros. you know so. I've learned as gone along that. I'm not a very good predictor so We try not to pick try to just have lots of players coming through as much as possible and try to treat. Treat them all in a way that this is what you need to do to be great so they have that chance some apply while some were going to be great no matter what we did but Try to treat all the players. A came to come through with the idea that you know. Look at your game now and where do you WanNa go if you want to be a pro these things you to address and unfortunately getting to see them? When they're young twelve thirteen fourteen. They have a chance to you. Know make make those adjustments if they can. So you know the the ones that came in. Maybe I thought were really good and ended up not being so good as far as results. I think. That's just how tough the sport is. You know it's I remember the stout that somebody was saying that basically every year the top one hundred seventy six jobs available something like that. We're on the women's side so you know you have to be that good that you're going to take someone's job who's seventy in the world and that's not easy so many of these guys are good players but you know it's just not that easy to actually be a pro arena. Can you take us back to those days in that camp? Do you have any memories or things remember working on or or how you felt being part of that because you are based in New York right so you wouldn't even Florida girl yet What was that experience? Like as a as a young Irena. It was definitely. I think Not Necessarily Life Changing. But it was shocking. Because I thought I knew what I was doing on the court you know I trained with my dad for a couple of hours a day to know what fitness was and so I came in with coach. Richard and I believe was it coach Elke at the time I think we Katie's looking bear. She is Katie was Pretty much leading the campout was helping her with the camp I remember think. Jd Louis was around a little bit But I think it was mainly Katie. And either the two leaving the camp. I think that the level of competition was so high. It just was a very cool environment to be in and all the girls. Even at that age were very professional like we were there to work. It wasn't like Oh. Let's socialize and have fun it was. Let's get better which I think is one of the biggest differences in some of the camps. You see today like you know some girls. Just go out there whether it's a tennis camp whether whatever sport it is you know some people just see it as a social event and we were there to work. Even though we were very young you know that was our whole motive. There and I think coach Richard had a lot to do with it. You know one thing about that is going to bring the baskets from around the country and they all want to do really well so they all challenge each other in a good way. So everybody's you know. Basically really focused on doing their best and doing the training their best and that environment continues here so we had a camp last week where you know the kids came in and you know they enjoy working hard because that's the standard everybody. That's kind of good peer pressure and I think sometimes no some of the kids in some of their environments where they're the best kids. It's almost like they're going down to the level of somebody else because you know the. The group has a lower standard. But when you get all the best kids together they raise the standard so that definitely helps so we know Irena made the cut but how. How do you select players? How do you know which players you want in these camps and watching as it rankings results? Do you. I don't know asked our coaches their parents. Are you interviewing? Does this come together. Sure I think the main thing I look at his results so again the system we have right now. Kids go when they're say eleven twelve their instructional camps and coaches can wreck recommend them from their meaning. The coaches at work the camps might say. Okay we have these kids that did really well. And so young ones. Maybe that haven't played nationals. We haven't had a chance to see them but You know twelve's nationals. A lot of kids are playing so we a chance to see them there. And you inviting them I the camps that we have here are from basically from thirteen up For the national camps. And when I like results Kinda give you know they are okay. There have been beating these players. That and going far into tournaments. Then you see them play. And you're trying to match those things up Obviously a player. That's winning tournaments. Well it's kind of easy. They deserve to come somebody else. Who's maybe going pretty deep in the tournament but not winning them. You're looking at that and then you're looking at essentially. Do they play good tennis? Do they have good athletic skills? Do they all intangibles? You're kind of looking at with your eyes and matching that up but result is probably the like I said that's the first thing and a distinguished that from ranking because you know sometimes somebody's ranked really high because they do well in smaller tournaments but not so well national so sent you the results at you know the Easter Bowl National Claes Nationals Orange Bowl. Those types of tournaments. Those are the main results. Look at and then. You're looking to see somebody that he's not doing great but they're really fast or they have really good strokes where they play good talents. You have kids that maybe in the twelve. I remember First Time I saw clear Lou play she was ten years old and she was implanted clay courts and she's coming into the net and she comes in and you know she'll miss the volume miss the overhead. Keep coming in and you know. I remember talking to mom. After mom was shaking her head she keeps missing overheads. And Yeah but you know every time. She misses one. She's getting better not getting better and basically a year and a half later. She's winning eleven winning twelve ORANGEVILLE. So you know. And she won that tournament actually coming in and executing so again it's clear was already good but when you see a kid that plays a good sal tennis that also goes a long way and you try to bounce out results and you know up what you think. Maybe they can do. Hey everyone listening to the tennis dot Com podcast with special guest coach Richard Ashby. He's Donna about his experiences. Coaching young players and all the training camps. He's coached including one with our hosts arena Falconi. Keep listening so we see talked a little bit about the fact that you played college tennis. Did you play all four years? I did yeah back when I was playing. There is one guy my age that turned turned pro instead of going to college. I was Jonathan Canter and all the other guys like Rick Leach and guys like that that were my age ritchie round number. Those guys were all going to college. think richey may be left a little bit early but most of the guys played for years. But I wasn't anywhere near that. Leo Isn't any consideration of turning pro or you know doing that I was fortunate. I've got to play some pro tournaments from after my second year so I got to know what it was about. But the D- Wasn't thinking of turning so my question to you is when I was playing junior events back in the day before I decided to go to college. I wouldn't say that the USDA had a thinking as college being like okay. She didn't make it as pro. I guess you'll go to college. That's how it felt back in the day when you went to pro it when you went to college. It was almost like all right. I guess you failed right. You go to college even though you're going to Stanford Ucla like it did not matter. Do you feel like that. Thinking has changed in today's tennis minds at all like as a junior like when they come into your camps. Is it still? I want to go pro. I don't WanNa go to college or you know what I want to go to a d. one school and get a full ride somewhere. Well I mean. I don't know what all the kids are thinking. I think I'm the majority are thinking that they want to go to college. We certainly look at it. As you're you WANNA play a little bit higher level all the way through like when you can play out to help. Junior's you want to do that when you can play pros you want to do that and your results are going to tell you where you are and what your decision should make and going to college. It's good when you go there. You got to make sure that if you want to be a pro and you choose to go to college up to go to college without mindset. I think a lot of kids and again sometimes depends on. Who's talking to them and giving them certain message but the message we want. Give them as you want to keep getting better. If you choose to go to college you want to keep getting better now again. The challenges in college you sometimes people who have the mindset. You're saying they've gone there and they like okay. I'M NOT GONNA go pro so I'm going to coast through college. Which is fine. But if you're trying to be pro then you have to go into college with a plan for just like you have a plan for how you want to improve academically whenever plan. Probably GonNA improve as a tennis player and one of the best things that starting to happen is a lot of college. Coaches are taking players to pro tournaments while they're in school You know if somebody comes in and says they want to be a pro. There are lots of coaches out there. That know how to help you get there and they're gonNA lay out a pathway and then it's an a good plan and really it's up to the player to to follow that into fight a lot of money. You're not going to have people in the team. They're all thinking they wanna be pro so you have six then. You're in a great environment and you guys are all going to push each other. But if you're the only one then how are you gonNA fight? Maybe what the other kids feeling is. And that's where you know. The player has to be determined. And hopefully the coach and sin coaches can provide a good environment. It's definitely been proven that you can be a pro on the female side even if you go to college and for some players it's turned out to be you know the best thing. I remember talking with Nicole Gibbs a little bit and you know or she was talking to us as a group just Our PD staff her and Bradley clan. And you know basically for that for her. She wasn't ready to go pro in a lot of levels of maturity game physically all those things and she when she was at Stanford how to plan for how she going to get stronger. And you know again. We're going to mature being there that environment so college is definitely a part of the pathway. It requires a little more of a challenge than somebody who turned pro at eighteen. Because just the environment you know. I mean you work with players that are a little bit younger than the college age or the age of having to make that decision. But have you had to work with anyone where you had a discussion? Hey you know what I don't think maybe a pro tennis is the right path or you or you know what you're doing isn't going to get you there and you should consider college. We ever had to discuss something that big well. I don't think of it that we don't think of colleges like a bad choice or colleges failure. Well look at it as all the players. They want to get better. So you know. Tell the players all the time you know. Federal trying to get better. Joke is trying to get better. Serena's trying to get better. You know. helps trying to get better. They're all trying to get better where you are now. Some of them sell them. You're not good. You're not good enough right so it's not an insult it's just a fact. So what are you going to do to get better? And it's not that you're not good enough to be pro. You're you're there are lots of things that junior top to improve their and have that focus really trying to get better if you're fourteen years old and you're worried that you're not going to be a pro while you're thinking about the wrong things you need to be worried about how you're gonNA get your second serve better how you're GONNA get your transition game better. How are you gonNa move better all those things and then and the results tell you if you're fifteen years old and you're not being successful pros while it's going to mean that you need to improve Xyz to be successful when you go back out the next year when you're sixteen seventeen if you're seventeen? Eighteen and not being successful. It tells you that you're not ready to go to the pros and you need to work on those things in college. If that's the path you choose but I don't think I guess I don't look at it that way. Collars not failure. I mean it's another step in what do you find is one of the challenges When you do have these camps and you have all different ethnicities cultures. I mean obviously there same age but maturity. I'm sure varies with a lot of the the girls. What would you say is like your biggest struggle and challenge a very fortunate that most of the kids get along? There's always a few kids that are little bit either. You know they like to be the by themselves or do they. Just don't they? Don't get along with kids in general you know so. It's it's not so much the tennis it's just kind of their personality. Sometimes you have kids that are just raised in a certain way or they thinking a certain way but you know most of the most of the Times. The camp goes along. People realized they realize they're all there to get better and telling the group last week. You know you need you. Need the other person to play well for you to be successful so you need to be able to you. Want them to play. Well you want them to do well because if they do that then it helps you and you know so. I don't. I've been really fortunate. I can't say that they've been pretty personality problems in in camps we've had if we've had that it's not been that difficult to get them on a working page best friends you know so that except that. I know and you if you have one kid by themselves the whole camp and that's a problem but sometimes you have three kids are hanging out another three there hanging out you know okay. As long as they're not doing mean things each other. It works out okay. Clicks thinks they start very young. Don't they everyone? Were here today with national coach. Richard Ashby talking all things cocoa golf. What he's excited about for twenty twenty and all the players that he's helped along the way keep listening. Have you had a moment in your career? You realized you know what this is where I meant to be like. I'm so the right place for me. You know like like I've not I've made it because players we asked I like. Wouldn't you know you made it in like your coach a little bit different? But wouldn't you know you know what like this is? What I'm doing is being. It's it's it's paying off because when I started like say work. More with pros or Younger pros and I enjoy that when I started with a twelve and unders What I came to realize is that more teacher than a coach so with younger kids. There's a lot more teaching because they really don't do things well right. So they're They're expecting to learn they come into it with like if you tell them you need to improve your serve there. Yeah I know right. So they're not fighting you. They want to learn. They WANNA be taught So I think pretty much. Two thousand nine So I I used to help Julia. Bosian actually wind hold and so two thousand nine. They were playing a pro tournament and when I was having lunch with them and they asked if I enjoyed working with WHO. I'm working with now more than them and told me I enjoy it more. Not because of them but because I enjoy doing that enjoy teaching more so I guess if there's any moment maybe that sometime in two thousand nine it's not Easy to being your position in have a like your job for as long as you've had it sixteen years is very long time for anything to be honest. Is there someone that kind of helped you find this path? Did you ever have a mentor before you decided to take this coaching journey? I mean they've been very very fortunate to have a lot of coaches I worked with. Were good coaches. When I was playing and to be around good people I would say that you know what the person that got me on. This path really Benny Sims was a national coach. When I was playing like the last year I was playing playing a pro tournament. I I didn't know him and you know he. I was playing. I was practicing next to like some national players. He was working with and so he introduced myself introduced himself to me and just talked a little bit and then it was maybe six months later after. I stopped the He contacted me about going to celebrate hitting partner for Jennifer Capriati. And that really gets took me from doing. I don't know what would have been probably. I think it would have been teaching tennis teaching. Maybe at an academy or at a Tennis Club Tennis Center But that took me to wear working with you. Know obviously high level player. I was hitting partner for her for a little bit and from that. I was fortunate enough to keep working with higher level juniors or higher level pros and so I. Benny definitely providing me a great opportunity by recommending me for that job. I would say probably the coach that taught me to play Henry Proto You spent a Lotta time with me individually more time than he had to work without charging all those things that Maybe set well. Not Maybe definitely set the tone for you. Know Understanding that You try to help somebody in you. Basically go all in and you put your heart into it And so he's definitely a good example. You this kind of set the tone for example for me anyway like we also have to talk about a little bit of the Cocoa Mania being a little bit older than the players. You're working with us. Fifteen and I know she with her parents or her dad so not quite the same path as as close you work with but when you see a player that age that young exploding so majorly in the big screens you. What's your thoughts on the Cocoa Mania I always call Corey but She's amazing what she's done so it's really interesting to see. She's obviously has been very very good. Having been very successful. But socking to some of the coaches and they're saying like the huge change from French Open because people don't realize okay. She played French qualities. Lost Second Round right people. Just remember where people know her from Qualified Wimbledon beating Venus. And then that's her story from there but even an juniors. She just didn't have as much emotional control she needed. She was a great fighter but not that emotionally control and the fact that she's able to go from the French and really make a huge huge improvement in her mental skills and the commitment to controlling yourself. I mean that's amazing but it's also a good sign for young kids to know that how important that aspect is for tennis. Not just about hitting the ball or or moving. It's also how you control your mind and I think she's definitely a good role model for all ages and I would say you know. She's earned everything that she's gotten fortunate to see her when she was maybe nine years. Old Eight or nine for the first time and You know she's always worked just like she's always worked. Hard in the court always fought. The biggest different is just how much more professional. She is with her control of her emotions. Speaking of professional I just WanNa back to the fact that you were Jennifer Capriati hitting-partner anything that you can remember that you really took away from your experience with her. That kind of kept for the rest of your life that maybe you teach your own kids in in the camps and stuff. Well I mean. She's pretty amazing like her concentration to a matter when she was thirteen and thirteen fourteen like her concentration was amazing. And the fact. That if you're doing something if it's not that I guess not that challenging. She's bored but as soon as it's challenging or as soon as she's down in the game she raises her level. And you know when you're I guess looking at players you know. Those are the kind of the intent qualities the the mental side of the game. That is hard to know until you see players situations but certainly when we're in camps if we see see players that actually love the challenge you know like we start keeping score and their level goes up. Their focus goes up. Let's a good thing. You can be focused all the time but you'd rather have good match players and good practice players Kind of the way. Her mind was is definitely a good example. And a good as we look at Look at other players. You know some of the qualities that that she has Or qualities kind of look for Learned a lot about you. Know all the hype that surround you know really good player when they were young And understanding that they need to have good people around them and they need to have perspective. That you know tennis is a part of life. I think that sometimes it's a challenge when you're rewarded for all his success in tennis. And you're you're not I guess nobody reprimand you or nobody disciplines you when you do things that are not Not The right things and they let it pass. Because you're such good tennis player. I think that you know people have to keep in mind the tendencies part of life and understand that you know. It's a big part in your on the court. It's maybe the biggest part of that moment. But you need to know that there's more to life and tennis and know that you know all the players you know need to and people around the need to keep in mind. Yeah I mean I think that's a tough lesson that young prodigies are going to be learning. And hopefully someone like Cocoa Goff maneuvers her way through all of that. Let's end with one final thought from Richard Ashby. Who will be excited about twenty twenty? I mean people already excited about cocoa but Anisimov but are there any young players we should be seeing for over the horizon? There's not somebody that's That's really again. Nobody was going to say that. Naturally about You know coriander results but you know. I think the kids had did pretty well. The Juniors last year our kids that could make that switch to the to the pros Yeah I don't have one name to look for I'll say that what? I think that Corey actually did to help. And it showed the. Us Open that a lot of players that you know maybe were kind of doing okay realize hey I can go big and I can have that dream that you know. Corey should everybody. You know you might as well dream big and go all out and I think it's going to help a lot of the US players. I think Christiane and Taylor Townsend. There's successor the open. I think it has had more belief that maybe they had you know before early in the summer. So think there'd be a lot of players that are billing of that. I love the Color Corey. He did say that. He's not a good predictor. So you did put him on the spot that even though I did I did. I definitely did. So let's let's end on that. This has been the tennis dot Com podcast. And I've been pantic joined by Irena Falconi. Thanks for listening you guys and thank you so much Richard for being with us here today. Thanks for having me enjoyed it. Thank you all right from the tennis channel PODCAST network. This has been the tennis dot Com. 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