Experiences from 2 tournaments in Mexico
It is time for some hot climate. Mexico City and Merida. 2 really high-grade ITF tournaments for the best players in the world. As a tennis coach from Europe going to so unique places like Mexico always make me want to learn as much possible. And this time was no different. I took a lot of great coaching lessons from there.
Mexico is really far from Poland where I live. I had to take 2 flights to get there and the second one was straight 12,5 hours flight. Pretty long right? It doesn’t matter because tournament is a tournament. Mexico City welcomed me with great weather and really hot climate. It takes a while to adjust if you come from colder places so you have to be ready for that. Additionally Mexico City is located 2250 meters over the sea level. It simply means that it is more difficult to breath and playing tennis is totally different there.
At the beginning, players were competing with special balls: Babolat High-Altitude. These balls are designed for high-altitude tennis. They are faster and bounce lower. Additionally, location of the courts makes balls fly much faster and further so control is of utmost importance. What I learned from this tournament are few things. Firstly, you have to learn how to quickly adopt from different perspectives (different climate, different balls, different time zone etc). Secondly, you have to learn how to play effectively using special balls. Thirdly, players have to possess many technical skills to be able to win in conditions that their main weapons are more difficult to use.
Second tournament was played in Merida. This place was even hotter than Mexico City but location was normal so there was no problem with altitude. The difference in comparison to many tournaments was the schedule. Many matches were scheduled late afternoon or at night. I believe it was made because many spectators were coming to courts after work so I see the reason of this late schedule. Sometimes my player was getting on court for doubles match at 9.30 pm. It simply means that you have to able to plan your whole day to be able to perform effectively at time when you normally go to bed. It is an important skill of time-organization to schedule your practice, meals and adjust them to late-night match. If you can’t do that you can be quickly out of tournament.
So that’s it. Another tournaments and another experiences. If you want to learn something from any trip you can do that but you have to keep your mind open. Remember that the more you see the easier it is to prepare better for the same situation in the future.
About the Author
Marcin Bieniek is a tennis coach from Poland and a former professional player (Polish National Juniors Team). He is a certificated tennis coach by the Polish Tennis Coaching Association and the Professional Tennis Registry. Marcin has worked with many of the top 3 Polish Juniors and the top 60 players in the world.