In just under 4 hours, unseeded Robbie Bellamy saved 3 match points to win the Boys 18s SoCal Sectional over Ernesto Escobedo 6-7, 7-6, 7-5. Robbie trains full time at the Riviera Country Club with Head of Player Development Erik Kortland. Robbie will finish the summer playing National Clay Courts and Hard Courts as well as Jr Davis Cup.
Posts Tagged ‘Erik Kortland’
Eduardo Nava and Riviera coach, Erik Kortland, in Miami for the Orange Bowl. Eduardo took out the number 1 seed from Great Britan before losing in the quarterfinals of the boys 12 and under division. Eduardo is ranked 2 in socal and top 20 in the nation and plays in our excellence program as well as training in Carson with the USTA.
The following is an article from the upcoming February issue of Tennis Life Magazine, featuring photos and advice from Riviera Excellence and Competitors Coach Erik Kortland
By Robert Wynne
Erik Kortland, teaching pro at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles and a satellite tour player.
20 TennisLife magazine FEBRUARY 2010
everyone gets frustrated at some point, but if you keep your
cool and redirect negative energy, you’ll come out ahead.
“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” —Proverbs 29:11
It happens every match. A double-fault during game point, an easy volley sliced into the net, a backhand pushed a foot long. From Roland Garros to public courts in Rochester, everyone wants to win, and no one likes to make stupid mistakes. What we do after the error, whether it’s seething rage kept inside or frustration expressed outwardly, can determine our emotional state and how we perform.
Experts and teaching pros agree that suppressing frustration may be unrealistic and usually doesn’t work. But expressing anger is just as bad and may inhibit not only match play, but also enjoyment of the game. So what’s the secret to being more like Bjorn Borg and less like Ilie Nastase; hitting like Roger Federer in the clutch and keeping your inner Marat Safin at bay?
“Everyone is going get angry when playing tennis—it’s inevitable,” says Erik Kortland, a teaching pro at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles and a satellite touring pro. “The key to anger is being able to let it go.”
Kortland, has experienced anger from both sides, as a coach and a player. “I tell all my players to use a technique called ‘thought stop•ping,’” he says. “If they end up screaming, or hitting a ball, or even throwing a racquet, I tell them to think of an object that helps them visualize stopping. For example, think of a big red stop sign, or slam•ming on the brakes, or someone pulling on the reins of a horse. I then tell them to go over to their towel, which they should keep at the back fence, and as they wipe their face, I want them to visualize the towel as wiping everything clean of anger.”
After visualization, Kortland recommends repeating a mantra inter•nally such as “keep hustling” or “get the ball in.”
“It’s important a player does this every time they get mad so anger doesn’t build up until the point that they snap,” he says.
Redirect Negative Energy
Fabrizio Coviello hasn’t snapped yet, and the teaching pro at the West-wood Tennis Center near UCLA doesn’t plan on doing so. He special•izes in redirecting the negative energy his students may have.
“Instead of smashing the racquet on the ground or yelling at the umpire or complaining, try to turn the frustration into good energy,” Coviello says. “Start pumping yourself up as soon as you win a point. Create good emotions inside yourself, let it out with a fist pump or a ‘Come on!’ Go to the next point with your mind focused. Past is past, there is nothing we can do about it.”
Control Your Emotions
Losing control can backfire in big matches. “Showing frustration is a big advantage for your opponent. You’re sending the message that you can’t do it,” Coviello says. “Getting excited for a point or a game has a big impact on the opponent. It scares him. Handling the bad emotions and turning everything into good and exciting is a big key to winning.”
John McEnroe told the Sunday Times of London in 2008 that he never thought his frequent outbursts hurt his game. However, there may have been a major downside. “Sometimes when you wear your emotions on your sleeve it may fuel an opponent who is down and out. Perhaps it has cost me at times when the other player said to him•self, ‘I’m going to keep trying because this guy is such a jerk.’”
Relaxed vs. Reactionary
Brent Dias works full-time as an engineer in the aerospace industry and teaches tennis nights and weekends in Redondo Beach, Calif., and he has a very analytical way of looking at frustration and anger on the court: He believes all players are either “Relaxed like Federer” or “Reac•tionary like Safin.”
“The relaxed player probably doesn’t have a problem controlling his or her emotions, but may have trouble staying focused during a match,” Dias says. “This player needs to work on concentration to keep their focus, and therefore intensity, high during a match. Problems oc•cur when the mind drifts to other things such as work and relation•ships and doesn’t stay focused on the task at hand—winning the point, game or match.”
Dias believes the reactionary player will have more trouble con•trolling his or her emotions because their egos and emotions are too wrapped up in each point. Regardless of your personality, Dias thinks strategies for controlling temper and staying focused are the same.
“The goal after every point, whether won or lost, is to show the same amount of emotion and keep the same amount of focus—in other words, the player’s response is similar,” Dias says. “The occasional first pump is OK, but you need to keep the negative attributes in check.”
Keeping your cool and refraining from smashing your racquet may not make you as famous as Mac or Safin, but it will probably keep you in the match and help you win a few more points. And it won’t get you kicked off the court, whether in Roland Garros, Rochester, or anywhere else.
Robert Wynne is a public relations professional based in Manhattan Beach, Calif. He writes a monthly column on PR for Forbes.com. He can be reached at rob@wynnepr. com.
Give yourself corrective cues, provided they are positive. The affirmation “I’m going to hit this ball over the net” is better than, “Don’t hit the ball in the net,” says Brent Dias.
At the end of every point, immediately place the racquet in your non-dominant hand and carry it by the throat. This gives the perception that you are relaxed even if you have just lost the point, says Dias.
To generate positive thoughts, repeat a mantra to yourself such as “keep hustling” or “get the ball in,” says Erik Kortland.
When you’re about to lose your temper, wipe your face with a towel and visualize the towel as wiping everything clean of anger, Kortland adds.
Turn the frustration into good energy, pump your fist after a good shot to turn the match around, says Fabrizio Coviello.
Jackson Frons and Coach Erik Kortland at the Copper Bowl In Tuscon, AZ. Erik Kortland runs our excellence program where Jackson trains. Jackson is top 500 in the nation in boys 16 and under and top 80 in SoCal.
The Riviera Junior Program is excited to announce its partnership with new a serious performance apparel line Athletic DNA. Athlete owned and athlete inspired, Athletic DNA was founded to cater to the specific needs of competitive tennis players. Their high performance apparel utilizes the latest in textile technology and is tested and validated by world-class players. In addition to offering the highest quality products, they also invest in the development of tennis. ADNA has an extensive sponsorship program and athletes, coaches, and academies are its business partners. That being said, every player part of the Riviera Academy will qualify for a discount sponsorship regardless if your ranking isn’t high enough. If interested contact Erik Kortland, ADNA Advisory Coach, or go online to www.athleticdna.com and fill out a dna select form. Be sure to mention you are part of the Riviera Country Club Academy and coach, Erik Kortland.
Riviera’s Junior Excellence Director, Erik Kortland, coached Carolyn Xie to the recent Championship Title in the Girls 12s at the Nike Junior Tour Masters Tournament at Stanford. She went on to the world competition in the Dominican Republic against girls from 28 other countries.
Carolyn is ranked 2 in the nation and 1 in Southern California