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Mumsnet live webchat with Judy Murray, tennis player, coach and mum to Andy and Jamie - Friday 29th July, 12-1pm

(92 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Jul-11 10:21:45

The strawberries and cream are coming out at MNHQ on Friday lunchtime when we'll be joined by Judy Murray for a webchat at midday until 1pm.  Best known as being mum to tennis stars Andy  and Jamie Murray, Judy herself can hold her own in the courts and won 64 national Scottish titles and represented Great Britain in the World Student Games. Judy is a PCA Qualified Coach and has coached at all levels. Inspired by her experience as a tennis coach and parent, Judy has created a programme called Set4Sport, which showcases easy and accessible ways for parents to play with their children that develop the skills required for playing sport. The programme centres around a book of activities, ball skills, and exercises based on the games Judy played with her sons when they were growing up and is supported by The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), long-term sponsors of the Murrays. The book details a range of ways parents can help children acquire basic physical skills in a fun environment and is available to download for free from www.Set4Sport.com

If you want to put a question to Judy, join us on Friday 29th July at 12 midday or if you can't make that time, send in your question in advance to this thread.

fivegomadindorset Tue 26-Jul-11 11:14:12

How exciting, sadly won't be here on Friday, but congratulations to you for your two world class boys.

DD aged 5 has just taken up tennis and is loving it. Any tips for us as parents to help her and encourage her?

munstersmum Tue 26-Jul-11 11:35:42

Great choice of guest. I like that she usually comes across with a sense of humour. If she needs a laugh - DS age6 watching Andy play at Wimbledon on TV "When Andy Murray is old I'm going to be the best" [hmmm]

LilyBolero Tue 26-Jul-11 13:02:47

Oh, welcome Judy! Lovely to have you here!

I have a question, and then my ds1 has a question too, if that's ok!
My question; What is your take on why Spain and France produce so many fantastic players, but the UK is much much less successful, and even our successes such as Andy train in Spain? Ds1 is 10, and loves tennis, plays all the time against the wall in the garden, he's never going to be a 'competitive player' but he does love it, and it is very hard to find opportunities for him to play without paying a fortune in club memberships/lesson costs etc. But he did have a fantastic afternoon playing with a friend over from Spain, who is a tennis coach, and he came on so much in that one afternoon - do you think we should be taking lessons from France and Spain in how to train players? I tend to think that British teenagers are not pushed enough at ages 16-18, whereas the French/Spanish players are into the 'big' tournaments already - maybe that might be something to look at?

Ds1's question; Did Andy always want to be a tennis player, or were there other careers he considered?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Jul-11 13:48:15

Please note, the webchat is taking place at 12pm - 1pm, on Friday, not 1 - 2 as originally announced.

ceebeegeebies Tue 26-Jul-11 16:31:22

Hello Judy

I love tennis and I so hope that Andy wins a Grand Slam (preferably Wimbledon) one day smile

My question is how do you seem so calm when you are watching your 2 boys play? I am sure you must be so emotional inside but you hide it well. Also, how difficult is to have to stay in the players box when one of your boys has lost on court and is sat there looking devastated (am thinking of the Grand Slam finals/Wimbledon semi-finals that Andy has lost) - surely you must just want to go down and put your arms around them?

Sorry, 2 questions there (but kind of linked) grin

Hello Judy!

We. Love. You. Chez grimsweeper! Dd (almost 8) and I met you last year in brim at one of the aegon side events - you were lovely, took time to give her some tips and take photo. Thank you for your part in inspiring her to keep on working hard.

Congratulations on the amazing achievements of both your boys. I am 100% confident that Andy will win some grand slams - but you know what? Even if he didn't, he should be so proud of himself. Well done to all of you as a family, undertaking anything at that level takes a life time of hard work, tears, commitment etc.

My question is, how hard should an 8 year old who loves the game, be playing and competing. How much is too much tennis - if it was up to her she'd play all day everyday - doesn't love the training/technical stuff, adores rallying.

A cheeky second one, what in your view happens to our juniors in the transition to seniors. How come so many aren't as successful. Is there an issue with mental strength do you think?

Thanks for coming to mn!

Ps. Roger Draper was on 5 live recently saying that idea that tennis is costly is a myth and that It's accessible to all. If you get a chance, please let him know I'd Like some of what he's been smoking grin

kipperandtiger Wed 27-Jul-11 06:27:14

Hello, Judy. Can I ask you what the minimum age (or maybe height) a child should be before taking up tennis and what kind of racket they should use (which company makes the best ones suitable for small children)? My son watches older children and adults play when he passes the courts and is keen to try it.....he's not even 6 yet! (By the way, congratulations of the achievements of your sons; you must be very proud of them!)

munstersmum Wed 27-Jul-11 10:54:15

LilyB keep looking for those reasonable price tennis lessons for your DS. We pay £5 per hr for a squad lesson which I think is fantastic as the staff to kid ratio never seems to be less than 1 to 4. (Compare with swimming lessons where 10 in a lesson and 1/2 hr costs £4). The town tennis club charges £10 per year for a junior membership. We wouldn't be paying eg David Lloyd membership!

Our county council has just contributed to the cost of upgrading 2 courts in a village near us. One of the conditions is that anyone in the parish can play for free any time court is not being used by village club. Seriously thinking of moving there grin

kipper as far as I've seen at our club, which is a high performance centre, they can start even at 2. Depends on the child I think. Dd started at 4. DS who is 18 months is "handling" racquet and balls as he spends so much time down at the courts. Can you tell we're fanatical about tennis here? [Grin]

fivegomadindorset Wed 27-Jul-11 11:43:18

Kipper - DS will be starting at 3 in September.

TiddlerTiddler Wed 27-Jul-11 14:32:01

I would also like to congratulate you on the two boys. Amazing. You must be very proud.

I would like to know how you balanced academics/school and sport for the boys. Did you have to take at a decision fairly young age that tennis took priority? Eg. Take them out of normal school.

The reason I ask is that a read in one of the tennis mags (tennis head?) a few months ago about a boy who was leaving school at 10 to focus on tennis. While I am sure there will be schooling within the training centre he will attend, I was amazed that this was happening so young. I am just trying to understand what is normal!

Pabbers Thu 28-Jul-11 20:08:02

We're fortunate enough to have a tennis court in our village - paid for by raising funds and some lottery money. What we're not blessed with in this country is decent weather. Do you think that may be the reason that Spain and France have more players? It's easier for them to access outdoor courts? We could never have enough indoor ones to provide serious training for all interested kids in the UK.

LilyBolero Thu 28-Jul-11 22:02:39

Pabbers, an interesting perspective from our Spanish friend is that in Spain, the heat is like the rain in England - you just can't go out in it, never mind play tennis! So whereas in England people wait for the rain to stop, in Spain they wait for the sun to go down.

munstersmum Thu 28-Jul-11 22:20:03

Hi Judy

I was very interested to read Andy had a football club trial & Jamie has a low golf handicap. At what age did it become clear that tennis was the sport for each of them?

(Off at a tangent I read that you would have spent the recent investment in national facilities on more but smaller ones spread around the country - that would have reached out to more surely. Upwards inflection but no question mark to comply with one question rule smile)

caughtinanet Thu 28-Jul-11 23:25:07

I have a question for you Judy, do you think the current LTA system for juniors concentrates on too few children at too young an age?

In my view we would be better to try to bring on as many promising players as possible rather then directing all resources towards a handful of youngsters while allowing the rest to fall by the wayside as they are treated as second rate simply because their parents don't have the time or money to keep up.

I too heard the 5 live interview with the LTA head, he was awful and its no wonder they lack credibility.

I'm looking forward to your chat tomorrow

caught I always reflect on that. I too think the lta picks players when It's still too early to gauge their potential. Limits use of resources and in a way takes coaches attention from staying out there scouting for potential. I also think that the way the lta chooses who to support is a bit random - no one looks beyond the results to assess what is driving performance....all a bit superficial. I wonder how the likes of Spain etc do this.
Off to set my alarm so I don't forget!

SilverBrumby Fri 29-Jul-11 07:53:23

Just to say thank you for all the fab work you do with kids - totally inspiring.
Good luck with all your projects.
I am looking forward to reading your comments tomorrow night!

JonnoFandango Fri 29-Jul-11 07:59:22

Hi Judy,

If Andy wins a major, what do your think your reaction would be as soon as the winning shot is played? My partner (jokingly) says I'm dead inside, but I think tears might stream uncontrolably and I'd shout so loud that the neighbours may call the police! I really hope it happens for him - Novak, Rafa and Roger all know what he's capable of when he's in the zone.
Also, if supporting your boys is top of your agenda, what activity comes next - what do you enjoy or aspire to achieve?

caughtinanet Fri 29-Jul-11 09:15:51

thegrimsweeper - I suspect we could have a good discussion about the whole LTA system but it won't be very interesting for those not within it. smile

I'm not sure I will be able to make the chat with Judy live but will definitely be reading with interest.

I should have added to my previous post that having briefly met Jamie and seen Andy play both boys are a total credit to her and as a mum she appears to have done a great job. Lets hope that she can also work some magic with junior tennis - the path to sucess must lie in depth and breadth of players, we simply need more junior players, not just those plucked out before the age of 9.

shirl1811 Fri 29-Jul-11 09:48:44

Hi Judy - firstly I want to say what wonderful lads you have - I watch Andy whenever I can and seen him last year at the O2. He has refreshed my interest in tennis.

My question is: I have two sons and if anyone was to criticise them I get very defensive. When I hear and read rubbish about Andy I also get very annoyed as most of what I read/hear is total rubbish. How do you cope?

Hi Judy - my question follows on from shirl1811. How do you cope with the negative (and sometimes sexist) publicity that is directed at you?

You are doing a great job supporting your sons btw. Good luck at the US Open!

Notquitegrownup Fri 29-Jul-11 11:06:21

Hi Judy

I'd also like to ask about the sport/school/life balance. Your boys have been very successful in their sport, but thinking about your own experience and looking at some of the kids and parents with whom your boys have played over the years, can you advise on how as a parent of a talented sportsperson you advise them so that you a) keep the dream alive but b) keep their feet on the ground, so that their lives don't collapse, if they don't make it professionally?

Thanks

shabzatron Fri 29-Jul-11 11:08:39

Someone's already covered what I originally wanted to ask, so I'm going to throw a random question into the mix instead.

Q. Given the choice, who do you think would win in a fight: a ninja, an astronaut, a caveman or a zombie?

LilyBolero Fri 29-Jul-11 11:09:21

I would second whoever it was said that the LTA picks its players, and then only focusses on them - I've seen this even within my children's friends.

One idea we had last weekend was that even at free tennis courts, tennis coaches could be 'on duty', just giving tips to children , and keeping their eyes open for kids with potential. I do feel the system at the moment depends on having a switched on parent, and someone who 'knows' the system.

And yy to everyone who said congratulations on both your boys, they are a credit to you!

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