Rick Macci is a coaching legend that may be remembered as the greatest tennis coach of all time. But he has no plans on slowing down. After moulding the Williams sisters, Andy Roddick, and Jennifer Capriati, he took the time to sit down with me and tell me some of his story.
Q. You’ve coached everyone from a 6 month baby hitting balloons (even if you told them to come back in 4 years) to senior citizens and your approach is the same. Teaching is teaching. If there was one piece of advice you could give to a 3.0-4.0 level player, who wanted to improve. What would it be? What is the most important ingredient for that person?
A. The most important thing is to enjoy the competition and play as much as possible. nothing beat repitions!
A. No that wasn’t fuel. I think my love to play tennis and compete overall and help others lead to who I am and my drive. Helping others and caring about others and finding a way to do better , has just always been me. That persistence has molded me. I feel I have to get better, even today!!!
A. Building weapons is a mind set and how a coach looks at things. I build courage , no fear and always look at a big big picture and there will be lots of positive errors. It is jr. development, not jr. final destination! I build the groundies first, early, cut the court, play the ball, attack 24/7. I feel when your nervous, everybody can go back!!!!!
A. Kids that come now a days have the means to train. Tennis is very expensive to do it right. I would love to help kids who cant afford it and are hungry like a lion and appreciative. Those will handle pressure better in the long run. I can build the player. the wiring inside a lot of time comes from family environment/influences,,,,, but I can override it a lot and mold them.
A. I would like to be remembered I guess as the best ever!!!! how is that for thinking big!!!!
A. Depends on student and commitment to practice on a ball machine etc. Do they really want to change? and who is doing the changing? Maybe they should just get more fit and better tatics. Technique changing when your older are tough, but I have had many do it, but 10,000 reps on a ball machine!!!! Ouch!
A. T shirts sweatshirts wrist bands racquets string money, free lessons and most of all, lots of high fives!
A. Talk to them about greatness. All sports. Never lose sight of that. A competitor first. don’t get caught up in forehands backhands, work on positive attitude fighting running for everything ,, no time to be a baby and get mad. Everything make them compete / fight.