Always put the athlete first

As a tenniscoach there is no or very little room for planned vacation. You have vacation when your player is resting. Period. I had a great talk with a coach the other day about this topic. Being a coach is tough job (as many jobs are) and the job of the coach should not be underestimated. One (1) of my personal principles is to always put the player first. The player in the middle. Whats good for the player. What do the player need now. And then work around that. With that said coaching is the best job in the world and would not change it for anything BUT you have to make sacrifies. Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you are ready to make them for the best of your player. Otherwise let someone else do the job for the best of the player.

Put the spotlight on the athlete and take satisfaction in your contribution to their success.

Booktip- “A game plan for life and the power of mentoring by coach John Wooden”. Good book that I just finnished. The take aways are again very much about principles for life as for baseball. About being a mentor and being mentored. Do you have a mentor? Maybe you DO but you don’t know you do? Are YOU a mentor for someone? Maybe you are without knowing it!

Be a role model with actions. Not words.

Be trustworthy in your actions.

A solid long term coach is a commited coach. Committed to its plan and goals for the athlete. Not disturb by other business things arising. Stay true to your athletes. Coaching is not only the time spent on court. Its thinking and reflecting.

Hand in hand with consistency comes honesty and truth.

”Everyone wants to be a beast until its time to do what real beasts do”.

Simplicity-thoughtful repetition of the basics presented in different forms. More is not always better. But have in mind that simplicity does not equal simple. That goes also for good Hamburgers:)

Going back home for a week now. Spend time with my kids and start the new semester at the academy is on my agenda. After that back to New York for the US Open again.

Have a nice weekend friends!

Magnus

 

Karlstad Swimrun, Washington and Ironman Sweden

Karlstad Swimrun by CrampsAWAY 2018 in the bag. It was a tough weekend to say the least. We were testing a new long-course Swimrun this year in amazing settings. The day before the race we decided to check the course one last time as we knew it was not that much water at some passings. When we arrived around 7 pm we saw that it was less water than the days before and after a few tough hours we decided to cancel  the long swim in the start of the race. Safety first. We made it back to call all participants and then headed out to mark out the new course. We headed back home at 1:30 am and I don’t know how many times I questioned myself for doing it! Haha.

However the day of the race we had beautiful weather and happy participants and the night before was quickly forgotten. We have a nice after race buffet that with great ambiance and it was a nice ending to the weekend. We in the organisation (picture above) will work hard to make the Karlstad Swimrun 2019 even better! Next race for us is however Karlstad Triathlon. We have a new partner in Clif energy bars that we will work together with to develop the energy stations. We also have a new timekeeper that will keep track of transition times and splits.

My own Triathlon? Well.. Ive been trying and hoping in the last minute. Tried to block out the fact that my knee cant take the training that is needed right now to get through an Ironman. Today I had to take the decision, that I knew was coming deep inside. I will not be able to compete in Ironman Sweden. I have a bad knee that didn’t exactly get better by the crash on the bike on a training ride in march. The Cartilage in the knee is broken and I have limited amount of meniscus left already from my playing career. The doctor have told me Its not 100% that I will be able to run long courses ever again. Time will tell. I will not give up but for sure tough when the mind wants something that the body does not want. The work to get back will start immidiately. I will be back soon!

I have also been in Båstad working the first time in 4 years. It was great to be back but had a very busy schedule also. Lots of people on the beaches and in the tennis. Great week! Would love to go back and just enjoy the event at some stage of my life.

On another positive note I’m going to Washington to work with Stan again. The long road to US Open is starting also called the US Open series. I haven’t been in Washington for a long time so really looking forward to get there again. From what I remember its a very nice city with lots of greens. Im looking for a pool to get some swimming in while I’m there. Any suggestions gladly appreciated:)

I hope for a successful start to the US Open series. Thanks for all the support!

//Magnus

 

New facilities for Good to Great are opened

Hi all,

Its been a hectic time to say the least. A lot of work the last 6 months at home on the court together with the coaches at the academy. We were really going hard every day in the old academy and we did not miss 1 minute of training. Very proud of the staff! Thanks for that! Its was also a great first 3 months of the year for the academy but has since then slowed down somewhat. Looking forward to the summer and what that can bring our players!

We have opened our new academy in Stockholm after 10 years of working with the project. The project was first called Tennis Base Sweden (TBS) and the first drawing were made up the 10th of October 2008 by Martin Rangfast at Tengbom. Very happy that Martin stayed on the project all the way.

Its a dream for all involved and I want to thank my partners Mikael and Nicklas for all the endless hours of work and for risking so much. I remember the first few months without salary and without any players. Tough times but you stayed the course. I also want to thank the current and previous staff and coaches at the academy for all the hard work over the years. You guys are the core of the academy. Last but not least to to the investors and our advisory board who made the dream come true.

We DO need more tennis courts in Sweden and Stockholm. We do need BETTER tennis courts. Facilities has never made champions thats for sure but it makes life easier when you can practice, go to the gym, have treatment, have you lunch and study at the same place. If you want you can also sleep there.

To get Sweden back on the tennis map however we still very much need the work in the tennis clubs around the country and its my biggest wish that the Swedish Tennis Association puts as much focus and attention they can on the grassroots because thats where it starts and thats an area where we as a nation can improve I think.

Our new center will be called Catella Arena and we are very happy with the location as it is relatively close the the city center. Please come and visit us if you are in Stockholm. The academy is an open facility where anyone can come and enjoy. If not for physical activity then for a nice lunch in our new restaurant:)

We had a great opening night where our investors, invited gusts as well as ex and current professional players where mingling. Special thanks to Gael and Stan who took time out in their schedule to attend.

Apart from the academy I’ve had a little bit of time to exercise my hobby Triathlon over the winter. Many early morning on the trainer and in the pool paid off.

I did my second 2nd Ironman in April. This time in South Africa. Did it 30 minutes better than last time and had a pretty pleasant 11 hours and 41 minutes in Port Elisabeth I have to say. Nutrition was working great! The only thing that was tough was the swim this time. Pretty tough waves I have to say and I swallowed a lot of saltwater that made me feel sick towards the end of the swim.  Looking forward to do my third race in Kalmar, Sweden the 18th of August. Im looking to change my Triathlon bike set up from South Africa as I used my old bike there and that did not work! I will also try to work on my running form as well. Easier said than done but will try. The result for me is not important. Its the journey, the lifestyle and learning new things that personally attracts me.

Now its time to hit the courts again. Hope it will not take as long before my next blog:)

Have a great night!

//Magnus

 

Keep growing

Hi again,

Its a new week back in Stockholm. The snow has been here just saying hello and then it went away again. Like the last few years its pretty mild in november/december. However we still hope for a white Christmas.

Been working everyday on court at Good to Great Tennis Academy these last few weeks. Its a priveledge to be part of a growing organisation and a growing academy and all the chains and connections that are being there. Is it easy? Hell no! Its very complex. We have a huge task in front of us. The whole chain is not running smooth thats for sure. Perhaps it never will. But we will try our best to make as few mistakes as possible! Thats a good start😁✌🏼

Right now we are looking for a coach that I supposed to work within our team with our development group. Its hugely important work. We have to find the right person with the right mindset. Someone who is not afraid to work hard within our team and to share with all coaches. The person also has to multi skilled as their is other things involved in the job than just being on the court. We need the person that can create a positive energy even under stress and will be our culture bearer! Someone that can take own initiatives. If you think it might fit you please apply to mikael@goodtogreatworld.com.

We are also just a few months away from completing our new facility in Stockholm. It will be a great venue open for all. Please visit us if you are in Stockholm. The academy is 13 minutes away from the central station in Stockholm so its a city academy with all the good things that goes with it.

The gym looks to be really good as well as the sports clinic within. We have really tried to think about what an athlete might need. Not just throw in equipment from a sponsor. We bought the equipment that we think will make better athletes. Its a huge difference.

Im also really excited to be a part of a mentorship program with the Swedish Tennis Federation. Its an amazing lineup of former players and coaches who will be mentors to a group of Swedish coaches. The coaches will apply to the mentorship program themselves. Its a start of something that I hope and think will grow to something really strong for Swedish Tennis.

Here is the lineup of amazing mentors.

Big things do matter, but the little things also matter. Pay attention to detail but never get caught up and lose sight of the big picture

Keep growing.

About practice. Today’s session must fit in the context of the whole training plan and program. Great performance in competition is set up by consistent work in training, not one great workout. Today’s workout is important but remember it is one of many in pursuit of a goal.

Support and prepare the athlete then step aside and let them perform.

It is not necessary to get in the last word.

Forgive but don’t forget.

By the way! Who else is missing the ATP and WTA tennis tours?? Cant wait for the new ATP and WTA season to begin again. Life is not the same without the ATP/WTA tour live score application😊

Have a great Thursday friends!

//Magnus

 

Not only a sport clinic. Not only a gym.

Hi guys,
I havent written here in a long while. As i said when i started the blog i will only write when i feel for it and i don’t want he pressure on writing something every week. I wanna write when I feel I need to write. Not when I HAVE to write because someone tells me to.

However there is a lot of things that is happening at the moment. First and foremost and as you might know I’m not working with Stan Wawrinka anymore. A very very tough decision that i had to make as I’ve loved every minute of my work with Stan. We shared so many memories over the years and he has become a part of my family as well as I’ve been a part of his family. I could never have asked for a better player to work with and i could never imagine having the results that we had together. I believe Stan has many great years ahead of him and I wanna thank Stan and his team for some amazing years. I also wanna thank the fans of Stan for sticking with Stan and as i said I’m sure he has many years of great tennis ahead of him so keep supporting team Stan!

Im excited to spend time at home with my family but also scared off course having to spend the whole winter back in the snow:) No Australia after christmas will definitely feel strange. My time working will now be devoted to the Good to Great Tennis Academy in Stockholm. We are building a new academy that will be ready in February 2018 with 7 indoor and 7 outdoor tennis courts. The program will be the same but in reality the new facilities will give as a huge momentum and possibilities. We will move from 5 days of training to 6 days and have a whole different possibilities to host guests, tournaments, events etc etc.

We are also building a 300 sqm fitness center and a 150 sqm sports medical center. 18 dorm rooms for players to stay in as well as a restaurant that will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Facilities are one thing but we are working hard to fill the new facilities with great content. We are not only building a fitness center and putting machines there, we have a thought with what machines we put there. We are not just putting together a sports clinic. We are putting together a great sports clinic with people that I’m trusting to 100%.

We currently have 32 player that we help under our wings in our annual program. Player that practice with us and I’m many cases also travels to tournaments with our coaches. We have good players on all levels from 11 years of age up until the professional tour with our PRO TEAM with 6 player traveling the ITF future and ATP challenger level together with Luca and Peter in the PRO TEAM.

In the spring of 2018 we will also see the birth of Good to Great CAMPS. We will start with the Good to Great summer camps for 10-15 year olds and the Good to Great Mini Camps for 7-10 year olds this spring. Something new and a chance for anyone be get involved and get a feel for the spirit at the academy. I know what a great addition training camps can be for you program.

Me as a 10 year old kid at the Percy Rosberg camp in Båstad

Apart from the work related to Good to Great Tennis Academy Im also working with Karlstad Triathlon as you might know and very much a fan of the sport in general. We have moved dates next year to 1-2 September. Late summer and a possibility for all Triathletes to have a race a little bit later during the season. We have a few great news for the Karlstad Triathlon event next year that and I also have a few personal goals that I will share with you soon:)

Thats all for now. Hope to update you soon again.

Keep being humble to each other.

Magnus

 

What makes a winner

Hi guys,

In a few weeks, the 18th of October, i will be part of a sport and business seminar with Mats Wilander among others during the ATP event If Stockholm Open. Im sure it will be a great afternoon and evening with good discussions and nice tennis. The topic of the seminar is “What makes a winner”.

The organisation at If Stockholm Open have been kind enough to give my fundraiser Race 4 Kids With Allergies 20 tickets that I’m now auctioning out for the prize of SEK 5 000 where the money will go to the fundraiser. Included in the prize is the seminar “Whats Makes a winner”, dinner in the VIP lounge and tennis tickets for the evening session on the Wednesday of the If Stockholm Open tournament. Apart from a great evening you are also contributing to my fundraiser Race4KidsWithAllergies!

Hang with us at If Stockholm Open and make a difference at the same time!

Click here for more information!

The first 20 people will get the tickets. Contact me right here or on any of my social media:

Instagram: swedennorman
Twitter: normansweden
Facebook: Magnus Norman

Kids with allergies should have the same possibilities as every kid!

Have a great week!

//Magnus

 

Nice Ironman

Hi guys,
As you might know i did my Ironman last weekend and i decided to write a short race report from the race. The race was initially moved from June to 23 of July because of the tragic terror attacks to the city a year ago.

We were expecting a hard course for the bike and a hot and steamy run. We got exactly that.
35 degrees on the run after 3 steep climbs in the mountains on the bike.

In May when i was in the area for work i did a bike run between Monaco and Nice just to check out Promenade de Anglais in Nice and the hotel i had booked. I decided to change my initial hotel to a one closer to the start and finnish area. That was a great move! The promenade is long and it was great to be close to the venue.

I arrived in Nice on the Thursday night before the event. Fixed my bike in the morning on Friday and went for a short swim. In the afternoon i did a 30 min run what felt like a 2 h run because of the heat. I knew then that the run was gonna be a big struggle. I know my body from my previous life and i know i need more time then 2 days to get used to warmer weather.

Had my bike check in on Saturday afternoon. Everything went very smooth and professional. Lowered the tire pressure because of the heat and put everything on the bike except the nutrition because as i didn’t want the energy bars to melt.

Sunday morning start at 6:30 am. Was in the transition area 1h before. Pumped the tires and put the drinks and bars on the bike.

The swim went really well. Rolling start and put myself in the 1:12 group for the Swim. A bit crowded at the boyes but i decided to always be on the outside lane not to be involved in any accidents. It was a good strategy i feel. Swim time 1:06.

Great transition to the bike. The first 20 km very flat before the first steep climb. Put the the chain on the lowest ring in the front and stayed sitting. Small descent before the big climb of 20 km to Col d Lécre (2000 m above sea level) at 70 km. Was sweating like a pig at this point. Pretty flat until 110 km where a quite tough climb followed again. People was starting to get tired i could feel. I felt great however. The only thing that bothered me a bit was the fact that i could not drink the energy drink provided as my stomach started to hurt a bit. A had water and my extra bottle of Resorb. I also tried to have 1 energy bar per hour and also a few gels. My idea was to cut back on the bars on the run and focus more on the gels as its easier to take when running. The end of the bike was a tough descent followed by 20 km of flat. I didn’t push as i wanted to get a lot of fluid in my body and wanted to spin the legs before the run. I finished the bike in 5,59. Was really happy with that and i arrived back to Nice with some experienced Triathletes.


Great transition again to the run. I really wanted to start slow and controlled on the run. First km was to fast. I told myself to slow down but the second km was also to fast. First energy station and the energy gels was missing at the station! SHIT. I had 2 gels with me on the run (as i thought there was gonna be gels on the stations) and my usual emergency plan so i started to plan for when to take the gels.

Boom. After 8 km on the run i started to cramp in my hamstrings. Pulled my first gel. Tried to run again. Boom in the other hamstrings and the calfs. At this point i pulled the emergency liquid. The cramps went away after 15 seconds and i was able to Finnish the race half jogging and walking in 4,54. Not the run i was planning for but a great experience anyway. It was amazing to feel the body totally empty on electrolytes probably.

Overall time 12h10min for Ironman Nice. Happy to have finished the race and that i can now call myself an Ironman:)

I attended the after race buffet that tasted amazing. Great organisation post race as well. I can truly recommend the Nice Ironman for anyone seeking a big physical and mental challenge.

Thank you Ironman Nice organisation!!

 

On to the grass

Hi all,

Hope you are having a good summer so far. Nothing better then the fresh air in Europe in the summer.

The spring in Sweden is in all bloom. The air is crisp and its beautiful over in Stockholm at this time of the year. We have the amazing nature up here in the north that is there for everyone to enjoy free of charge. We can use it for fitness training, recovery or contemplation. Its a resource and environment that is unique really. The water is also running in the city. We have al the elements.

We are now in the middle of the ATP season 2017. French Open was great for our team. We had a good preparation in Geneva winning the title the week before Paris and then off course the final in Paris. Rafa Nadal was simply to good in that final. Nothing to say about that.

Now we have started on grass. Tough first round loss in Queens to Feli Lopez but still some good signs there in the game. Looking forward to keep working for the next days before Wimbledon.

Its great to have Paul Annacone in the team as well. He has worked with so many great players and has already brought in many good ideas to our team. Looking forward to learn and be inspired by one of the greatest coaches.

We have had a busy time at the academy for a while. We are preparing for the new center as you know. We hope to be able to start training there around January 2018 and we are now taking applications. As the planning takes place the main focus is still here and now. We work hard everyday to try to improve the environment and how we work at the academy. We have a long way to go but after 6 years working with elite youth players I’m proud to see what our coaches and players have done.

Swedish tennis keeps struggling really. We have 1 direct acceptance in the main draw singles and 1 in the qualifying singles (Elias Ymer alternate). Tough for our country now with also very limited financial recourses to hire coaches and make programs. This is now recognized by ITF. Great move by them to distribute money to other counties than the Grand Slam counties through the International Player Grand Slam Grant. 12 players each received 50 000 USD. Thats a lot of money! Again, great move by the ITF. BUT i think its a mistake to give the money straight to a player instead of the Federation in that country. The Federations are the governing bodies in that specific country and should be the one sitting on those money making sure they go to the designated intention.

Karlstad Triathlon is getting closer. As of today we have a record in participants in our local event that I’m helping organize. We hope to have more then 150 participants on the starting line for the Triathlon. Enter here!

My own Ironman training and the Race4KidsWithAllergies fundraiser is going well. I invested in a new bike a few weeks ago and I’m so happy! Its a Scott Foil 20 and weights barely nothing! Very much bike for the €€€.

Im trying to do as much as i can when also traveling. You can follow my training and communicate with me on Strava if interested. We have gathered more then 130 000 SEK to the research on kids allergies as of today and the 23rd of July i will be standing on the starting line in Nice. If you wanna support he fundraiser you can go straight to the webpage. It only takes 3 minutes to donate as little as €1 if you want.

There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as life in-between. -Pat Riley

Have a great day wherever you are!

//Magnus

 

We have to prepare our kids for life.

Hi all,
Hope you are great!

I was reading an interesting article on a interesting topic in Mens Journal the other day that I put up on Facebook. It sparked quite a lot of comments and thoughts so i though i better follow up with a longer post on my though about the subject.

First thing first. I don’t think I would have continued with SPORT if I would not have had the POSSIBILITY to compete and to be crowned winner..or for that matter loosing. I would never have continued with TENNIS if i would not have been allowed to win and be crowned winner..or for that matter loosing. Perhaps I would have found something else where I would have had the possibility to win. I loved playing points no matter practice or competition. No matter sport. Competing is the best way of player development. No drills are equal to competing!

I used to love to compete when i was younger. It was my passion to practice and then go head to head with another team or another player. I ended up focusing more on individual sport when i was around 14 years old after winning the Orange Bowl in Florida. The reason for me focusing on tennis was part that I liked LOOSING more in individual sport. Yes thats right. You had no one else to blame then yourself. I hated loosing don’t get me wrong. The friends that knows me knows how difficult I was to be around after defeat. But I learned how to grow from the losses. I tried to practise harder and better until the next match. When you are doing any kind of sports you will learn to loose. I’ve had so much benefit from that in my life. Sport thought me that. During my 10 years as a professional tennis player I only won 15 professional tournaments (12 ATP, 2 Challengers and 1 Satellite at that time) out of probably around 200 tournaments!! Still got to number 2 in the world.

When I read that we are taking away the opportunity to compete in young ages and even giving trophies to EVERYONE involved I’m not sure we are doing the right thing here. Sports build strong character. Character for life. Not only for sports. Not all people in life will be winners ALL the time. We have to learn and grow from defeat. This is best implemented in early years if you ask me. If we make this a part of life. We have to give inspiration to the winners that feeds from that and the create building platforms for the kids not winning.

If we look at the business life we know for sure that everyone is not winners all the time. Specially not the first time (watch the movie Steve Jobs as an example). BUT if you can handle defeat and grow from that you will have a chance on the next deal. All days in your private life will not be great (even if it looks like that many times on social media), we just have to deal with it and move on with a positive mindset. Same goes for school. Not everyone can have the best grades. Its impossible. But the champions are understands the process and that keep pushing forward without loss of motivation even when it gets tough.

Are we gonna take away this? Im not sure we are doing the right thing here.

We start in the wrong end I think. Let the kids compete. Let them do that alone. Kids are smart enough to solve the issues and scoring without interaction from parents. Positive feedback from the coaches and parents. Talk after the game. No stress. It should not be that difficult. Did we have ”crazy parents” at my times? Hell yes we had!! We can’t wrap our kids in cotton. We have to prepare the kids for life. In sports and outside.

Hope you are having a great Sunday!

//Magnus

 

Good weeks in Indian Wells

Hi all,

A few weeks ago I wrote that the main objective in Indian Wells was to remain healthy and to be able to play and practice without pain in the knee (had been the problem for a while). Thats exactly what we did, so I could not be happier today.

On top of staying healthy Stan played 6 singles matches. 2 of them went the distance and deep in to the 3 set. We also had some good training sessions and played doubles. All of this without feeling any worse in the knee. That is such a good feeling right now.

Always tough to loose finals however. When you get that far you wanna come out on top. This time we went down to Roger again like in the semis in Australia. We just have to work harder/better and try to go back to the drawing board and figure out what to do next time around. Hats off to Roger however who played flawless throughout the weeks in Indian Wells.

The tournament again was a big success I would guess with attendance of 439 261 tennis fans that came through the gates at Indian Wells Tennis Gardens. But I sort of understand the fans. The investments that are being made for the fans and players out in the desert are nothing short of fantastic. They are really trying to stay on top when it comes to the experience with great restaurants on site, WIFI everywhere, water fountains, hawk eye on all courts, shaded seating, shopping and lots of more.

Next up is Miami. Looking forward to be following the progress there from back home. Back to work at the Good to Great Tennis Academy again. Landing in Stockholm 10 am on Tuesday and have the first player development meeting at 1 pm.

My training to try to complete an Ironman is going pretty well. I rented a bike in Indian Wells and was able to go for a few rides during my time here. Saw some amazing views in the mountains. Follow me on Strava if you are interested in the training.

Thanks for all the support for Stan and our team!

Keep you posted.

Magnus