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

 

Indian Wells

Hi all,

Hope you have a good time and that the winter is treating you well if you are in Europé. February has been all about work for me personally. Lots of time spent with our academy Good to Great off course. As you all know we are not finalizing the plans for our new center. Even if we are 11 months away from striking the first ball the main decisions about the building have now been taken. Im really impressed by our project group working with the center that has managed this in great fashion.

I also had the opportunity to visit the GPTCA course in Hungary during the month. Inspiring to see all coaches there to attend the course and hungry to learn. Attila Savolt was the brain behind the conference and has done a great job. Thanks so much. Also inspiring for me to spend a few days with Toni Nadal among others and to learn about the financial recourses being put into sport in general by the government in Hungary now. Will be interesting to follow! The venue where the coaches conference was held was also the venue for the WTA event as well as the ATP Challenger event.

Now its time for Indian Wells. Another fantastic stop on the ATP World Tour. Another tournament that keeps improving year by year. Always a new development for fans and or players every year. We haven’t done so well in the desert last years. This year the hope I have is to be able to play and practise like we intend to do. As you all have seen the knee of Stan has been an issue the last few events but it keeps improving bit by bit. The trend is positive. As a professional athlete your body is your tool that you work with. We depend on our bodies as a race car depend on the car. We need to move explosive and free without pain in all directions. That has to be the superior objective. I’m very positive.

AND the training for Ironman??.. Well. I have spent a lot of quality time with my family last few weeks when not working so its been tough to scrap in the training but I’ve done my best. If you happen to be interested you can head over to Strava to follow my open profile Magnus Norman over there:)..

Ok folks. Touch down Los Angeles. Just a few hours drive to Indian Wells and straight on to the practice court. Perhaps there will be time for a stop at my nr 2 favourite burger joint In N Out burger on the way. Always a classic.

Keep you posted from Indian Wells!

 

Partner in CAPA Karlstad endurance races

In late 2015, I started to get interested in Triathlon and endurance sports in general. I love the versatility of running, cycling and swimming. One day you can run. The next day, you are a little worn out in the legs and swim instead. Great weather outside you take your bike for a spin. It is also possible to combine Triathlon with my profession as a tennis coach when traveling.

I have no background in any of the disciplines. To be really good in the Triathlon, I believe it is essential to have competed in one of the disciplines before. My goal is not to compete and win however. I love to compete BUT my goal with Triathlon is something else and thats a great feeling. I compete with myself and I have found something where I develop all the time, despite my age. I had never swum before January 2016. In July 2016 I did a half Ironman and crawled all the way. I know I will never be the best in running, swimming or cycling. I have been number two in the world in a different sport. This is something else. Triathlon is a place where I collect energy.

I can honestly say that I’ve been very active in my life. During my active career I trained insanely much. I had an incredible drive when I think back. I trained 2-3 sessions a day for more than 10 years. I ran in the morning before my “regular” workout because I thought I would get more out of the sessions if I was a little tired when I started them. When i was in school and had 1h break i went to the gym. It almost got me to number 1 in the world. Now I see the training primarily as a energy source in everyday life, as I said. Something I turn to in order to be able to perform well in life and to feel good. I’m now coach of Stan Wawrinka with about 180 traveling days a year, I run the Good to Great Tennis Academy with a few friends north of Stockholm and i have twin girls at home. It live a busy life but I like it that way. But to cope better with my duties I prioritize daily exercise.

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It feels fantastic to now be able to combine my newfound passion for Triathlon and endurance sports and to do this in my home region of Värmland. Pär and Camilla have created 6 very well managed endurance races in Karlstad that I will now be a part of. Im really looking forward to further develop the races and the sport together with Pär and all the great partners of CAPA Karlstad. We hope that the races will continue to attract all categories of athletes and we hope that we have the chance to welcome the very warm and genuine Triathlon- and endurance family to Värmland. We want the races to continue to feel personal and well organized. Perhaps there will also be some surprises along the way.

Welcome to Värmland and any of our races in the future!

 

Back in Stockholm

Back in Stockholm after 4 days vacation in Dubai on the way home after Australia. Really like Dubai as you know exactly what you get. Sunshine, beach, food and shopping. Spent amazing time with my kids and family on the beach. Feeling ready to get back in the groove again. The academy, the training and the everyday duties.

Unfortunately the older guys will be playing ITF Futures by the time I get back home. They will be playing in Egypt and other countries but I’m looking forward to jump in and work with all the other players if needed and also get involved in all other areas of the academy. Our new partner Wilson is coming over for some internal education as well and we also have “open training” this week. Many thing happening.

I think we are at a point in our short history where we are soon ready to take the next step with our small academy Good to Great.

We will start with U10 tennis and we will soon announce the recruitment of a person responsible for building up that segment together with our team.

We are constructing a performance- and medical center within the building as well and the goal is to build something that is cutting edge and top notch. As we all now its not the building that defines quality, its the people working in the building that makes a successful program. Therefore its now important that we recruit the right people.

If you feel like you are a good match with our values you should look out for the new recruitments coming soon on the Good to Great homepage

*** We need direction, honest coaches and leadership, not marketing and hype.

*** Everybody works hard. But whats YOUR definition of hard?

*** Congrats Team Sweden for winning the Davis Cup tie this weekend!

*** Its does not matter how many letters you have after your name. In coaching what matters is how you get the message across to your athletes!

Have a great week you all!

//Magnus

 

Melbourne and the mistake of trying to help to much

First Grand Slam of the year in the books. We had a great few weeks in Melbourne after Brisbane.

First of all very satisfied with the training week we had. We were able to do basically everything we set out to do. With the new (its been there for a few years now) National Tennis Center that the players can also use for training i think we have some great possibilities to practice in Melbourne now. Great gym over there as well as recovery. Everything you need really to become a professional tennis player. Every time i step in to that building i get jealous of the possibilities that the kids have here in Australia.

One of our practice sessions before the tournament
One of our practice sessions before the tournament

First match of the tournament was a tricky one. As many times in fact. This time a break down in the fifth set vs Klizan. With great strength, determination and a bit of luck Stan managed to escape a first round exit. From there on the game sort of kicked in a gear and he played really well the rest of the way.

With Casey and Stan after the win against Tsonga
With Casey and Stan after the win against Tsonga

The semifinal vs Federer was a bit strange. Roger played so well the first 2 sets. Fast and taking time away from Stan. He was also serving so well. Then all of a sudden the match turned. Stan relaxed a bit. Got a bit lucky at a few points and was able to almost turn things around and win. Stan had a few breakpoints in the beginning of the fifth set but then Roger suddenly broke Stan in the middle of set and served it out for a place in the final. However I could not be more happy with the fighting spirit. We had some issues with the knee the whole tournament that we will now take care of. Stan is seeing his personal doctor on Monday. Next up is Rotterdam if everything is going as planned.

Personally I will now go back and work at the academy back home. I know it will be a lot of work on my desk when i arrive and I’m looking forward to that. When I’m home I’m on the court everyday with our players and coaches. This year I will be working with our older players and mainly the boys. We have a unique set up at our academy I think. We have 11 full time coaches on around 20 players. We are therefore very selective with the groups and the players that we have. We don’t have the best facilities to be honest but what we are doing I’m quite proud about. We put all our recourses on the court. Sometimes I think to myself it would be a better investment to put more money in to marketing. Like a nice homepage, nice marketing material or nice looking reports for the academy but every time I come back to why we started the academy. Then the choice is easy to keep investing more in the program and whats happening on the court.

We have done many mistakes for sure during the fist 5 years since we started our academy. Hopefully we learn along the way. One of the mistakes is being way to generous with giving out scholarships and financial support without anything in return. Good to Great has given multiple million Euro in support to different players with the help of our partners. Many times we have financed the travel, hotel bills and other expenses without asking for a penny back. We have done this because we wanted to help. It has not had the effect I was hoping for. I think we have been a little bit to generous. A little bit to naive perhaps also. I have changed my opinion about financial support to players. I don’t think we are doing players a favour with just giving support without any sort of pay back. We have sort of created a mentality where you take without saying thanks and where its common to take without understanding the actual support given. This has changed from 1 January. We will be way more strict with this in the future.

Anyway Im looking forward to work at our high performance center again. BUT first 4 days to recharge in Dubai on the way home:)

Charging the batteries
Charging the batteries

Hope you will enjoy the great finals in Melbourne coming up this weekend and that you are having a great time.

All the best for now,

Magnus

 

Brisbane

Happy New Year all!

On the flight from Brisbane to Melbourne as we speak. Looking back on a great first week of the year.

As you know Stan made the semis. Lost to Nishikori in a tight match. Really thought Stan played well and it was a close contest. However Kei was playing really solid and a bit to good on the day. Overall I’m satisfied with the week however. Brisbane was such a great start to the year. Lots of courts to practise on even if it was a combined event. Great crowds. Very friendly staff that went out of the box to try to help the players and everyone around the tournament.

I also managed to squeeze in a few training sessions. The hot and humid conditions really beat me the first days:(

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It slowed me down and i had to adopt quite a lot. Felt a little bit better towards the end. I can really see why some very good Triathletes coming to practise in this country. As i wrote last year its a country where people spend time outside. Already early morning the track along the river in Brisbane was crowded with people. Its very easy. Very convenient. Also a track for runners and a big track for bicycles along the river. Offcourse you gonna get great athletes out of that environment! And more important you would get a healthy population and sort of a eco friendly lifestyle as people tend to commute more. In the city where i live we have nothing of that going in to the city. It would be the best investment they could make to have a big track for cyclist going from the suburbs to the city. Great work Australia! So jealous. We need to find a substitute for that back home. Offcourse we have our indoor facilities but we need to build more of those as the population only gets bigger and bigger. We are constructing new houses like never before but what about sporting facilities for our youth? I think there should be a sporting facility in every new construction that are allowed to being built or at least in every new area!

I know Melbourne is equally good. You can both walk/run and bike along the river there. Looking forward to more outdoor activities!

We are training next week. Have a few good sessions booked in. Looking forward to get out on the court again.

Update you more in a few days. Thanks for reading and have a nice week!

//Magnus

 

Its been a while

Hi all,

Its been a while. London to be more specific.

The ATP tour finals in O2 is always amazing and I’m so happy every time I get the chance to be a part of that event.

It was tough indeed for our team. Stan picked up an injury in his knee a few weeks before so we could not really prepare so well PLUS he was in a super tough group also with Key, Marin and Andy.

After London I was working a few days at home before spending a long weekend in Antwerp together with Tennis Vlaanderen. Belgium has 2 separate federation and Tennis Vlaanderen is one of the Federations. It was very interesting to share experience with other national coaches ,that are also working with player development, but with younger players. I was supposed to speak for 3 days and the first morning i woke up with a terrible cold.. But with some medications I was able to go through the 3 days. Thank you Tennis Vlaanderen for organizing that great event with over 400 coaches and for the great hospitality. Good luck this year!

IMG_1905

Good to Great Tennis Academy is going quite well. Spent 2 weeks there after Belgium. Busy days on and off court as we are building the new facilities at the moment. A lot of decisions to be made. thank god I’m not that involved. Nicklas Kulti and Mikael Stripple is the ones in charge of the construction. We are really fortunate after 6-7 years to find a great location in Danderyd, Stockholm and we are super excited. Very close to an existing club with 6 indoor courts and 4 hardcourts outside as well as a 400m track and soccer fields. It will be a great center for sports!

Skärmavbild 2016-12-20 kl. 20.18.53Skärmavbild 2016-12-20 kl. 20.18.13

The players and coaches are working hard at home. We have a nice group of kids now. Most important thing and whats makes is fun for us is the work ethic and the values they have. They appreciate and understand the support they get. That means a lot more than anything else for us.

Right now I’m writing from Switzerland. Im here working with Stan a few days again. The last few days we have Marton Fucsovics and his coach Attila Savolt here with us.

Off to Australia the 27th of December. Brisbane start this year. Also time to get back to training over there. Nice to break up from the winter in Scandinavia! Ironman Nice is a few months off:)

Any triathletes out there from Brisbane or Melbourne that has any suggestions I happily take them!

Race4KidsWithAllergies going well and have collected 120 000 SEK to research on kids allergies. Thanks so much for your donations!

Have a nice holiday you all!! Thanks for following. Thanks for supporting Stan.

//Magnus

 

ATP Coach of the year award

Yesterday I got the honor to receive the ATP Coach of the year award.

Its special since I was selected by the coaches on the ATP tour to receive this award. The coaches who are out on the ATP tour on a day to day basis.

I also like the fact that coaches and teachers as a group get credited. The ATP coaches organization, as an example, is a great thing for tennis. Coaches are now frequently getting together, as a group, to discuss different topics in mens tennis from a coaches perspective. There is so much knowledge, passion and experience in the group of coaches out here working on the field. We are all here to help develop the ”product” mens tennis. Again, what makes this special is being appreciated by you guys. Thanks.

Photocred Riccardo Piatti
Photocred Riccardo Piatti

I think this is a good opportunity for me as coach to share the success we had over the year with a few people:

1. Stan

99% of this award belongs with Stan Wawrinka. He is the one on the court with the racket in his hand. He is the one doing all the hard work. He is the one faced with challenges that he has to overcome. What he has done over the last few years is amazing. We as a team give him tools but at the end of the day its about what you do with the tools. Its many times a rollercoaster with Stan but he has had the outstanding ability to produce some of his best tennis in big matches. It has both surprised me and inspired me.

2. The current and previous team of Stan

This award also belongs with the current Team Stan as well as the previous people involved with Stan. Pierre, Yannick, Seve, Pencil, Lawrence, Fred, Dimitri, Peter (Im sorry if i have missed someone). If you follow me you know how much i appreciate and admire the work that is being done with the players in early ages. I see the quality of the work you have done with Stan and it has made my job very easy. I admire you all for that.

3. My family

Last but not least on a more personal level i wanna thank Linda. The mother of our beautiful girls. Thanks for being the rock in the family, taking care of the show when I’m away 180 days every year for the last 4 years. Thanks for letting me do what I love. You have put your own civil career on hold for me to pursue a career in coaching. For that I will be forever grateful.

Have a great weekend friends!

From London, Magnus