Suck it up and work your ass off

Im writing this before the mens final in Melbourne. Nadal vs Djokovic. On the womens side we saw a great final with 2 great stories. Kvitova vs Osaka. To come back and win after having matchpoints in the second set is so strong! The tournament has seen some great stories and younger player emerging on the big stage. Im thinking about Tiafoe, Tsitsipas and Di Minaur among others on the mens side. Still we have Novak vs Rafa in the finals. 

Nadal has looked so good the whole tournament and thats normally a bit unusual even for him after a long break. Very impressive AGAIN. Novak is back playing with fire and anger. These guys are amazing. Both guys on top form. Could be epic.

The overall level of tennis has been good. But its not the tournament that will go down in history for the many amazing matches overall in my eyes. This because of the fast surface but anyway nice to see tennis implementing different court speeds. Im a fan of different court speeds in general. Remarkable also to see the venue in Melbourne growing every year. Tennis Australia is probably the best event organisers in tennis and money is just flooding in to the system not only here but in all the grand slam countries. Money that can help those countries invest in junior development, hire the best coaches, be stakeholders in more events, bying land to build bigger stadiums and building huge centres short of nothing. All while smaller countries are struggling big time in tennis. On top of that it seems like the new ranking system has drastically cut jobs in tennis making the life of players ranked 300-700 almost impossible. Smaller countries dont have a huge amount of wild cards to give. So its a tougher road. Its also financially very tough to organise ITF future these days if you dont have a big al incusive hotel to host players in. Its very costly to send players on tournaments. Sponsors is really tough to get as smaller countries many times dont have huge events and exposure is therefore limited. We dont compete on the same terms but this also reflects life in general. Its a reflection of life. Money rules the world. Fact. As a small player you have 2 choices. Complain or suck it up, be humble and work your ass off. 

Stan had a tough second round against Raonic. We won 1 tiebreak and lost 3. Very tough loss as we felt we had put in a lot of work and he was playing well. Credit to Milos for playing well. Next up is Sofia and Rotterdam in Europe. Very much looking forward to the rest of the season together. 

I went back to Stockholm straight after Melbourne and have been working with our players at the academy since then. The head of sports at the academy is Mikael Tillstrom and whenever im at home i will tag in to the training where i can do any positive difference. One of my core philosophies is to be on the court everyday. The academy is really at a good level now. We will expend with another fulltime fitness coach from 1 March. The team is growing. Last week i worked with Henrik and next week i will work more isolated with Gustaf and his coach Martin. Good to Great Tennis Academy had 4 players competing in the junior main draw in Australian Open. We were able to do this trip with financial support from the federations of the players and with help of a sponsor to the academy. Thanks you very much for giving the players this possibility! We dont have endless pockets to dig from so we have to be smart. Very thankful for the support and for beeing able to do this trip.

*** Andy Murray what a champion. Warrior really. Fighter that never gave up and with a huge charisma. Hope he can get the end of his career that he wants and deserves.

*** The new ranking system with the transition tour has not impressed me so far i have to say. Why making it more difficult for players that already had a tough time? We will have to wait some time before we can say something for sure but at the moment im not super positive. 

Looking forward to watch the mens final tomorrow. Hope you are watching as well.

Have a nice weekend!

Magnus

 

Melbourne

Melbourne. A new year with new goals and new priorities both personal and workwise. 

I was happy to start yet another year together with my family in the north of Sweden. Doing some skiing and catching up on life. We went to the skiing villige of Sälen where i have spent 1 week for the last 15 years. Really like it there. Then we went to Bollnäs which is also in the north and where Linda is from. We had a really good time there as well. Good snow and weather that invited us for beeing outside. 

After the holiday i went back to the academy to work with coach Martin for a few days. Martin is going to Australia with juniors Caijsa Henneman and Gustaf Ström and had asked me to join him for a few days which i gladly accepted offcourse.

Martin and Caijsa at work
Martin and Caijsa at work

We had some really high quality days with Karl Friberg and Ipek Soylu. It was the sort of days where you can almost touch improvement. Thanks also to coach Dejan who contributed to the quality. The fact is that Good to Great Tennis Academy has 4 players qualified in the main draw in Australian Open juniors. Not to chubby for a small place up in the north right? 🙂 Apart from Caijsa and Gustaf the team will also be Harry Wendelken from Great Britain and Otto Virtanen from Finland going with coach Peter Carlsson.

Harry and coach Peter after winning SALK Open ITF G3 last week

Equally happy to start the new full season together with Stan in Melbourne again. We had a good preseason together and he had a pretty good first week in Doha reaching quarters as well.  Looking forward to spend a week on the court together in Melbourne before the first Grand Slam of the year. To build for a healthy and succesful season for the team. Looking forward to go from -16 degrees celcius to +40:). First few days will be tough as always. 

Melbourne is also a perfect spot to get some health sessions in. I love the culture of living outside here. To go for a morning run alongside the Yarra river is one of my absolute favourites. Speaking about training i havent been able to do as much as i like because of my knee pains. I have gained a few pounds over christmas haha  but hey… Its not the end of the world. I hope to get back on track here in Australia where its easy to stay healthy. I still have hopes to compete in Ironman Cork this summer so fingers crossed. 

I will try to share some pictures from the trip down under on my Instagram account @swedennorman

Last but not least. Good to Great alumni players Mikael Ymer and Aryna Sabalenka starting the seasons in really good fashion with pro titles. Always happy when former pupils are finding new paths that leads to success. Gives me as a coach huge satisfaction. The opposite is a nightmare and the sort of things that keeps you awake at night.

Well well, its 4:30 am in Melbourne. Jet lag deluxe haha. Time to go for a short run before the monrning coffee i guess:)

Stay healthy friends. Remember to not take health for granted. Its a priveledge to be healthy and we should be happy for it everyday we wake up. Some people dont have that luxury.

Have a nice week!

Magnus

 

November

Whats up everyone!?

Hope you are having a good time. November is not exactly my favorite month but its all about how you approach your day. The month has been ok but nothing extraordinary. Just daily grind. Going about business trying to develop all the different aspects of life. As a father and as a coach. Not complaining but trying to be the best everyday. Believing in what you are doing and not listening to no-sayers. Do instead of talk. Wake up early and chase those dreams. To many people just talk. Big words. It all sounds amazing but then what? If you dont back up what you say there will be no trust. Big words dont mean anything if you can’t follow up with actually living by what you have preeched. Respect is for me built by doing before talking. In November you need character. You need to find that passion from the inside when its dark outside. The boost. How do you find that boost of motivation? I think by setting goals! You can complain or you can set goals and work toward that goal. Thats is the boost! The egnition! The goal can be personal and you don’t need to tell anyone about it if you don’t like but goal setting is a great motivational boost. I have had many goals in life. I still have. I don’t care if people laugh at what i do or perhaps thinks something is weird. I have more confidence in my abilities and knowledge. I have my philosophies and my principles and I stick to them before anything else. I know who i am. I know my strenths and also my weaknesses. I want results. I take full responsability if things does not work out. My principles are my road map in life. No money in the world is more important than living by those principles. You should to! If you believe in something just outwork the negative people! Believe in what you do! Dont stop and always learn.

A good friend of mine told me about the 7 golden rules of his coaching philosophy last week. I enjoyed that very much and appreciated the time he took to share this with me. I also came across a few interesting bulletpoints from the website medium.com on what succesful people DONT do in life. Great insight and stuff that i want to share along with you guys. The text underneeth the bulletpoints are my own.

1. Give Up On The Unhealthy Lifestyle

Wow! What a great start! To give energy to others you need to have energy yourself. It starts from inside and out.

2. Give Up The Short-term Mindset

Yes yes yes!! Long-term goals. Visions. Process driven. There are many words but something else to back it up in real life. The people that can do this are winners.

3. Give Up Your Excuses

This goes very much for sports as well and tennis specifically. You will looose A LOT of points in tennis. You will loose A LOT of matches. The winners are the ones that learns no matter winning or loosing and never complains or finds outside excuses.

4. Give Up The Fixed Mindset

Growth mindset rules. Angela Duckworth is an author that has written books on mindset. I Especially the book GRIT. Recommended reading.

5. Give Up Believing In The “Magic Bullet.”

Yes yes yes! There is no secret sauce. Passion beats talent.

6. Give Up Your Perfectionism

Yes it will become to tough on yourself if you try to be perfect all the time. Try to be your best insead.

7. Give Up Multi-tasking

Something i need to work on everyday. BUT im getting way better!

8. Give Up Your Need to Control Everything

Tough when you have high standards but also tough to gro if you are not able to trust others.

9. Give Up On Saying YES To Things That Don’t Support Your Goals

Both yes and no. Someyimes i like to do things that has zero relevance to my goal but perhaps i need to change things up to gain motivation.

10. Give Up The Toxic People

Candy to my ears.

11. Give Up Your Need To Be Liked

More candy.

12. Give Up Wasting Time

Bulls eye. Perhaps TO much time are wasted at talking instead of doing? Planning is very important. No doubt about that! This has to take time and a lot of thought..but in my humble opinion there are perhaps to much time wasted on endless meetings with not that much conclusions?

Those 12 bullets are really something that got me thinking. Great stuff.

Anyway. Enough about that. Today is Saturday night after a good day of training with the players at the academy this morning. The players wanted my input. They wanted to give energy to each other. Fantastic as a coach to be on court with those kind of sessions. THANKS for making my Saturday.

The academy is a constant work however. In my eyes we do certain things good but we also have big improvements to make in many areas. Im very happy that we now have a nutritionist and lifestyle coach at the academy that the players can meet on a regular base. For us its about building a team. This takes time. The road is not straigth. The best coach might not by default be the right fit for a team of coaches. Next thing for Good to Great is to find is a mental coach to be in the team. BUT rather than throwing in people in the organisation is about building a team. This is the tough part.

Above 3 of the coaches from our team. Next week will be my last week at home (befere travelling 2 weeks) starting on Monday. I hope it will be a good week. It WILL be a good week! Im planning some exciting sessions at the academy and a few good sessions myself i hope to keep beeing energised.

Speaking about my own training. I havent been able to run that much because of my knee again but at least now i know what causes the pain. Im suffering from Arthritis in my knee. Have to train different with this in mind and also my age in mind. I see this as a great way of learning more about training and a nice challenge. Lets see how things will go. Im entered for Ironman Cork the 23 of June.

The new season is winding up. On and off the court.

Have a nice evening!

Magnus

 

New York

What do you think of this player? Can he be a good player? Probably the question i get asked the most, apart from ”What happened to Swedish Tennis”.

For me its almost impossible to answer that question. Most likely because im really bad at predicting the future but i also know how many factors that really plays in when it comes to ”making it”. I have also learnt that with hard work, repeated over time with dedication and a ”Im gonna make it” attitude can take you very very far!

To say that someone is talented and will ”make it” or for that matter is LACKING talent and ”He will not make it” just is not good coaching in my eyes. Its so much that comes into play over a long period of time. And talent?? If you happen to follow me you also know how i define talent.

If the player is good enough and has enough skills the mental aspects will play a huge part if the player will ”make it” or not. The will to push through also on tough days. To not give in. To not loose motivation when going through failure. To follow a team and a plan for a long period of time instead of looking for ”freerides” or change to often. Anyway. That about that.

This week we are back in New York for the first time since Stan won here. We have had a good trip so far and improved a great deal i think. Step by step. Toronto and Cinci was good tournaments for us. Actually we are just very very happy to see him play at that level again. Its tough to come back from an injury BUT there are also Injuries and then there are INJURIES. This one was tough and nothing to play around with. Stans doctor, fitness coach Pierre, fysio Serge and coach Yannick has been with him and done an amazing job together with Stan who has shown his character more than ever.

We are training at Flushing Meadows this week. Great facilities and the organisation is really trying to imporove last years and keep up with the rest of the Grand Slam events. This year a huge investment has been made in totally remodelling the Louis Armstrong stadium. Its impressive indeed! People also ask me -What tournament is your favourite? And to be honest i think all Tournaments are really good these days. Im just so priveledged to have this as my job. The tennisfamily (ITF, ATP, WTA i dont really care as we all represent the sport tennis) is doing an amazing job and to be a tennisplayer and coach on this tour is such a huge preveledge. Thank you!!

For all tennisfans out there i wish you a few great weeks!

Have a nice day!

//Magnus

 

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