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John Friends: Regular progress results in success | 31 March, 2023 | All Information | Information and Options | Information and Occasions

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In our ‘Coaching ideas’ collection, John Friends explains why specializing in one percenters is the important thing to long-term enchancment.

Melbourne, Australia , 31 March 2023 | Leigh Rogers

John Friends is a two-time Grand Slam doubles champion, an Olympic bronze medallist and has been ranked as excessive as world No.2 in males’s doubles.

The 34-year-old Australian, who grew up in Melbourne and is now primarily based in Perth, has reached such glittering heights by way of laborious work and dedication.

Friends, additionally a proud Australian Davis Cup consultant, displays on his greatest practice-court classes in our Coaching Suggestions collection …

What time of day do you favor to observe?

I’m usually a little bit of an early chook, so I prefer to stand up and observe within the morning. Throughout coaching weeks, I’m normally out beginning by 7.30am.

Do you observe on daily basis?

I observe six out of seven days. I give myself someday off per week and grind the remainder of it. Having a time off helps to clean up each the physique and thoughts. It’s good to have the ability to loosen up and recharge to go once more.

How do you get essentially the most from a observe session?

By ensuring issues are aggressive. You will get a little bit stale at instances however making the observe aggressive lets you have extra enjoyable. It doesn’t actually matter what you’re engaged on on the time, discovering methods to invent video games or make it as near match play helps you take pleasure in it extra.

Is there part of your recreation you least take pleasure in practising?

Probably not, you simply need to get to work and get on with all of it.

In doubles, is it all the time vital to observe together with your associate?

There are intervals of time the place you’ve received to do loads collectively, however when you get the grasp of what one another needs to do at sure moments, then you definately’ve received to return and get the work accomplished that it is advisable to do. Enhancing your individual recreation additionally helps the workforce. On the finish of the day, you’ve received to know what the workforce objectives and targets are so that you just don’t go away any holes on the market. Typically you’ll be able to go lengthy intervals of not enjoying or coaching collectively after which come again and gel immediately, so long as what one another needs to do.

Do you keep in mind the primary skilled participant you had the chance to observe with?

Probably not, it’s a couple of years in the past now. I used to be fortunate sufficient to be a hitting associate on the Australian Open once I was ending juniors, so I received the prospect to hit with many alternative gamers again within the day. I additionally did that once I was enjoying US faculty tennis, as I’d all the time be again dwelling across the Aussie Open. It was all the time a implausible time to be in and across the event and see what it was all about.

Do any observe classes from that point stand out as most memorable?

Probably the most thrilling was with Rafa (Nadal), which was lots of enjoyable. That was when he was beginning out.

Is there anybody on tour that you just haven’t practiced with but, however would love the chance to take action?

The one one I’ve actually missed out on is Roger (Federer). All the opposite guys I’ve performed in opposition to or practiced with, you get to know all the blokes while you’re travelling week in and week out with them.

Who’s your favorite participant to observe with?

It’s all the time nice enjoyable to get on courtroom with Lleyton (Hewitt), particularly when he was nonetheless enjoying. He was unreal to observe with. His power and pleasure ranges made each observe session unreal.

Have been you nervous earlier than your first hit with Lleyton?

Oh 100 per cent. Everybody all the time is. While you first get on the market, he hits this ball that zings in so low, so you actually need to be prepared for it. He’s a real champion and all the time nice to get on courtroom with.

Do you’ve any common or favorite observe companions on tour?

The Aussies actually stick collectively and assist one another out. We work laborious and it brings all of us up collectively. We’re usually a good distance from dwelling all year long, so that you’ve received to stay collectively and ensure everyone seems to be there for one another. I received to observe with Ash (Barty) a pair instances at Wimbledon, once I was enjoying combined together with her, which was all the time nice enjoyable.

What recommendation would you give an aspiring participant to get essentially the most from a observe session?

It doesn’t matter how lengthy you’re on the market for, simply attempt to get one per cent higher each single day. Over an extended course of time, that one per cent will continue to grow and rising should you simply maintain engaged on the little issues.

Are there any observe classes you want you realized earlier in your individual profession?

Probably not, I used to be fortunate sufficient to have some good coaches rising up and was in a position to try to work on these one percenters early. On the finish of the day, you’ve received to stay with what you’re doing and luxuriate in it. Half the battle is simply staying within the recreation lengthy sufficient.

Lastly, should you had 5 minutes left in a observe session and will do something you want, what would you select to do?

For me, it’s all the time a reflex volley drill.

Learn extra in our Coaching Suggestions collection:

Guide on-line, play as we speak: Go to to get out on courtroom and have some enjoyable! 

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