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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!

QueenHandel Fri 29-Jul-11 11:25:17

I would like to ask a non-tennis related question, but please don't feel compelled to answer if it is too personal;

I was involved in a concert of the Messiah in Dunblane Cathedral, on the eve of the Millennium, and the sense of emotion in the town was still raw after the horrific events less than 4 years previously. How does a town, and how did you as a parent, begin to recover from that sort of experience, and do you think having 2 highly successful sportsmen such as Andy and Jamie, hailing from Dunblane, helps to give the town an identity which isn't based 100% round a tragedy?

(please ignore if this is too personal a question though, I really hesitated before asking it).

Yy re. The criticism. Always infuriates me, I want to ask the critics when they were last invited to play at Wimbledon or take part in the Olympics etc, let alone being expected to win hmm

We really don't show enough support and appreciation for our sports people/talented stars that are doing us proud.

LilyBolero Fri 29-Jul-11 11:46:45

I third that comment about the criticism - I hate hearing Andrew Castle and the like pontificating about whether Andy will ever win a slam, or whether Federer is finished....because Andrew Castle was SO successful wasn't he! hmm

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 11:52:13

testing

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 29-Jul-11 11:57:23

Hello everybody,

Judy is in the building and will be starting in a few minutes. Thanks to everyone who has posted questions...

LilyBolero Fri 29-Jul-11 11:58:59

Welcome Judy

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 11:59:58

Hello everybody. Here I am at mumsnet hq in Kentish Town.. just waiting to hear from you so get typing...im ready!

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:01:01

shabzatron

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?

well thats a great and random question. so il say a caveman. dont ask me why.

blinkineck Fri 29-Jul-11 12:03:57

Hi Judy,

Do you think children who move abroad to further their tennis stand a better chance than those who stay in the UK?

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:05:08

Notquitegrownup

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

I think the most important thing is to try to create the right opportunities at the right time, regardless of whatever level your child competes at. Its up to the kids to take advantage of the opportunities of course. But always to give support, to praise effort and desire to improve and work hard as much as any outcome. And always to try to be realistic. Not every sporty kid can become a professional but they can become the best that they can be if they learn to work hard and set goals. These are things that will stand them in good stead whatever path they ultimately choose

<waves>
Welcome to mn Judy!
In addition to my questions, I too would be very interested in hearing about how you cope with emotions watching your boys and how this has changed over the years.

If not that many questions ...could you also tell us about how you managed you relationship as mum plus more with the boys growing up? Did you do any coaching? How did you seperate your involvement in their tennis from being a mum? Not sure I expressed myself well on that one hmm

Lainey1981 Fri 29-Jul-11 12:06:02

Hi Judy,
At what age did Andy & Jamie start playing tennis, and when did it become apparent they had the potential to get to the top?
Thanks

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:06:15

ceebeegeebies

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

Haha, I'm not calm at all. I just hide it quite well. There's a whole load of nausea and a heart attack going on at the same time during big matches! It's important to always try to appear calm and positive because the last thing your child wants to see when he/she looks up is their parent shaking their heads, sighing or panicking!

The tennis court is a lonely place when you have just lost a major final, but you have to accept there's nothing you can do until the ceremony is over. Think Andy would throttle me if I ran on the court and hugged him. Would seriously damage his street cred!

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:07:52

HandDivedScallopsrgreat

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!

Well you just have to accept that its part of the whole deal. I reckon that if my kids had been girls, there wouldn't have been so much focus on how much i go to support them. The womens tennis tour is full of parents who coach their kids, but the vast majority of them are fathers. The mother-son combo is very unusual. But i dont coach Andy any more. Not since he was about 12! So most of the apron-string comments are nonsense!

[Grin] at you running on court.

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:08:39

TiddlerTiddler

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!

Hi tiddlertiddler (great name)... my boys used to come out of school a bit from age 13, mainly because we just couldn’t get indoor court time after 4pm as the centre was so busy with classes. It was also much cheaper off peak. So they missed art, RE and PE.

When Andy went to train in Barcelona, there was an international school on site and he continued to study Maths, English and French from age 15. Jamie finished school in Dunblane and has 4 Higher grades. I don't think it's necessary to miss too much school at a very young age, but I guess a lot depends on circumstance and where the nearest training facilities are. Ours were only five miles away, but I had many other players who travelled up to 1.5 hours to come to sessions.

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:09:30

shirl1811

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?

Ha ha yes it can be quite annoying especially when its written by people Ive never met and who know nothing about us. But i try to ignore it....as much as possible smile

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:12:53

TheGrimSweeper

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

At age eight the most important thing is to learn how to love the game. Sometimes the training and "structured stuff" removes that enjoyment of just playing freely. When I look back at Jamie and Andy at that age, they just wanted to play points and matches. For them it was about "how to play the game" rather than "how to hit the ball". They played in the men's 3rd team at our club when they were between 8-10!

It's difficult to say how much is too much because everyone is different but I would say, let her play as much as she wants to play and encourage her to try other sports/activities, too. If she develops good coordination skills at a young age, she will improve much faster in a few years. Look at www.set4sport for ideas of how to help develop those skills in a fun and unstructured way at home and in the garden!

The junior tour is a relatively comfortable environment because the kids know each other, and so do the parents and the coaches. When they move to the senior tour, it's quite a different scenario and can be very tough and very lonely. Only the strongest survive. Not every junior player can hack the life of a touring pro. But if this is their chosen career path, you have to train them for it and that means being away from home, away from friends and family, in an environment of like-minded people (players and coaches) where they can learn to train and compete – HARD! I'm not convinced we have those environments in GB yet, so our very best kids need to locate overseas for several months of the year.

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:13:12

QueenHandel

I would like to ask a non-tennis related question, but please don't feel compelled to answer if it is too personal;

I was involved in a concert of the Messiah in Dunblane Cathedral, on the eve of the Millennium, and the sense of emotion in the town was still raw after the horrific events less than 4 years previously. How does a town, and how did you as a parent, begin to recover from that sort of experience, and do you think having 2 highly successful sportsmen such as Andy and Jamie, hailing from Dunblane, helps to give the town an identity which isn't based 100% round a tragedy?

(please ignore if this is too personal a question though, I really hesitated before asking it).

The town has made a remarkable recovery and the people show so much support for Jamie and Andy smile They really get together to get behind them especially when there is a major event on. At the Davis Cup tie v Luxemburg in Glasgow last month, we sent 2 buses each day from the local clubs, businesses and community centre so that they could have the chance to support then LIVE. It was amazing smile and its nice for Dunblane to be recognised for something positive!

Thanks for answering my question. It's a shame that with all the money going into tennis we need to rely on sending players abroad.

<sits on hands to allow others to ask questions>

If allowed dd and I would have a million questions to ask grin

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:19:48

JonnoFandango

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?

haha il let you know if it ever happens!

jamie and Andy both have strong people around them on the tennis and management side so I tend to go to about 6 tourneys a year and over see all the boring things in the back ground. Outwith that stuff, I have set up a parent-child activity programme called set4sport which has come to life through a booklet and a website which gives parents lots of ideas on how to play effectively and actively with their kids. Im a big believer in getting kids in to sporty acitivities at a young age and developing the coordination skills that will allow them tottake up whatever spprt they fancy in later years. So the programme is aimed a parents with kids age 4-8 and all the games are downloadable free of charge. they are all games that i played with the boys when they were growing up and can be played at home or in the garden with everyday household objects. Dead simple and great fun. Ive been able to do this in partnership with RBS who have sponsored the boys for many years now. And next month we are on the road for a series of set4sort roadshows around the country...First stop Halifax 10th August......if you fancy joining me smile

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:20:41

fivegomadindorset

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?

Hello. That’s great that your daughter is loving tennis. It's one of those sports that needs a partner, so parents (and older siblings) are ideal for throwing or hitting balls to her. It's also a sport that requires pretty complex coordination skills, so check out the www.set4sport website for lots of different fun games and activities that can be played at home to start developing those skills.

BTW. You're doing a much better job of webchatting and getting your responses out than the politicians did!

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:22:53

munstersmum

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)

Funnily enough, they were both about 15 when they opted for tennis. Up to that point they were both playing more than one sport. When they we growing up they tried all sorts of sports and kid of settled on 2 each. But Andy adores boxing and football while Jamie loves golf and football.

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:23:25

TheGrimSweeper

BTW. You're doing a much better job of webchatting and getting your responses out than the politicians did!

loving that comment. i can type fast......

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 29-Jul-11 12:24:14

Hi Judy. We've just had this question in - from Twitter. "Please ask Judy her how she'd make tennis more affordable. My son was on 4 lessons a week. It cost hundreds!"

munstersmum Fri 29-Jul-11 12:25:58

Boxing - Ouch!

LilyBolero Fri 29-Jul-11 12:26:19

As Judy is doing so fantastically well at getting through the questions, can I sneak in another one and bump ds1's?

From ds1; "Did Andy always want to be a tennis player, or were there other careers he considered?"

And sneaky one from me - what would you be doing with someone like my ds1 who is so obsessed with tennis - he literally spends HOURS hitting a ball against the wall - he is playing out Roland Garros atm - he draws up a draw of 128 players and then plays out all the matches with the wall being the opponent each time. He has struggled with hand-eye co-ordination, so this has really helped that, and he is getting quite reasonable now but he is never going to be a champion tennis player! What would you do with someone like him?

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:27:17

caughtinanet

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

Yes i would for sure spread the opportunities across way more children. Overdosing at a young age can spoil the "chosen" kids and put off those who are not included. Kids dont know if they really want to be tennis players until they are probably 15-17. Before that, they are kids who play tennis...not tennis players who are kids.If that makes sense. And as Ive always said, its better to be a small fish in a big pond. At the moment we have a small pond (not enough players) and so its not so difficult to become a big fish....

Nosy...lily how old is your DS?

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:29:59

shirl1811

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?

the natural reaction is to defend your kids, particularly if the criticism is unfair or unfounded, but sometimes its best to just turn the other cheek and remind yourself that the people doing the criticism dont know them and so its just their opinion. What matters is that you know whats right....

LeninGrad Fri 29-Jul-11 12:31:04

www.set4sport.com/ looks good thanks, will try some ideas with mine.

Just another note that I think it's great to see you all being supportive, must be difficult being in the public eye and maintaining your own identity, hopefully the balance is shifting a bit so people can just be themselves.

LilyBolero Fri 29-Jul-11 12:31:13

he's 10

MindtheGappp Fri 29-Jul-11 12:31:43

Hi Judy,

I love reading your blog on LTA.

Do you really do Andy's ironing for him when you are with him on tour?

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:33:21

Pabbers

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.

yes its a huge advantage to be able to play outdoor almost all year round. The weather helps enormously, especially if the sun is shining. We dont have anywhere near enough indoor facilities in this country and those that we do have are expensive...Playing outdoors in the wind and rain doesnt encourage kids (or parents) to love tennis...sad

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:38:02

LilyBolero

As Judy is doing so fantastically well at getting through the questions, can I sneak in another one and bump ds1's?

From ds1; "Did Andy always want to be a tennis player, or were there other careers he considered?"

And sneaky one from me - what would you be doing with someone like my ds1 who is so obsessed with tennis - he literally spends HOURS hitting a ball against the wall - he is playing out Roland Garros atm - he draws up a draw of 128 players and then plays out all the matches with the wall being the opponent each time. He has struggled with hand-eye co-ordination, so this has really helped that, and he is getting quite reasonable now but he is never going to be a champion tennis player! What would you do with someone like him?

ds1 - I reckon Andy would have been a footballer if the tennis hadnt worked out.

Its great if you have a wall to hit against. try varying the distance you hit the ball from against the wall. Put down some chalk lines and move from one to the other with each shot. So you could start wquite far away from the wall (baseline), move to next line (mid court) and then to 3rd line (net), then move back. This will help your tracking of the ball moving forward and also moving backwards. Great for foot-hand-eye coordination. Also try hitting with the other hand (left hand if you are right handed). Tennis is a 2 sided sort so improve your coordination by testing the non dominant side.

Try and get him in to a tennis club with a good coaching and competitive programme.....

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:38:43

MindtheGappp

Hi Judy,

I love reading your blog on LTA.

Do you really do Andy's ironing for him when you are with him on tour?

of course.....smile i am an exceptional ironer!

LilyBolero Fri 29-Jul-11 12:38:43

(That was to The Grim Sweeper - he's just turned 10, and I've never seen anything like it, he spends so long out there hitting the ball against the wall, and when I saw his draws I was just shock because it is such a big undertaking, he does all the seedings (adjusted to which 'surface' the tournament is), and plays best of 5 matches for every pairing, right the way through to the final. I did lol when he came in yesterday and said "GUESS WHAT, Tomas Berdych BEAT Rafa Nadal in the FIRST ROUND of RG" - I was a bit shock until I realised it was the wall, not real life!).

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:38:59

kipperandtiger

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!)

Hi! You can start mini-tennis from age four, though I remember the boys having mini-rackets (more or less a head with a handle) when they were three. The smallest rackets are 19". They then go up to 21" and so on. Any good sports store should stock the small rackets these days or go on line to www.pwp.com for a good selection. I recommend Head. You can get mini versions of Andy's racket! I'd suggest a 19" to start with!

LilyBolero Fri 29-Jul-11 12:40:23

Thanks Judy, I will see what we can do about a tennis club - he is going for a 3 day course in a couple of weeks and will see if they do some reasonably priced lessons. The distance to the wall is unfortunately not huge, it's just on our drive, but once we've moved our shed that should be better! Thanks for the advice, and ds1 will be interested to know about Andy and football too!

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:41:56

HelenMumsnet

Hi Judy. We've just had this question in - from Twitter. "Please ask Judy her how she'd make tennis more affordable. My son was on 4 lessons a week. It cost hundreds!"

build lots more courts in public parks and ensure there is a coach/organiser employed on a part time basis to ensure lots of fun activities. If we can significantly increase the places to play and number of people playing tennis, there would be lots more local competition and practice opportunities. Too much structured coaching at a young age can be a bit of a turn off. Learn to play the game rather than how to hit the ball......less expensive too!

SenoraTorres Fri 29-Jul-11 12:43:26

Hi Judy,

was so excited when saw you were going to be on mumsnet. We're big fans of the Murray family in this house and want to echo the comments of a previous poster and say that you have all rejuvenated our interest in tennis too. I really enjoyed watching Andy and Jamie play doubles in the Davis cup and hope to see them play together more in the future. I also really enjoy listening to Jamie when he's commentating on radio 5.

Jamie once said that Andy's gameplan is to wait for the other player to make a mistake and this is pretty much his gameplan. Has Andy had to become more aggressive in his play and has this changed his personality at all?

If i edit this anymore will run out of time to post!!

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:46:34

TheGrimSweeper

<waves>
Welcome to mn Judy!
In addition to my questions, I too would be very interested in hearing about how you cope with emotions watching your boys and how this has changed over the years.

If not that many questions ...could you also tell us about how you managed you relationship as mum plus more with the boys growing up? Did you do any coaching? How did you seperate your involvement in their tennis from being a mum? Not sure I expressed myself well on that one hmm

Good question.....i find it a lot more stressful nowadays watching the boys because the expectations (esp on Andy) are enormous. When they wre growing up and playing through juniors, for the most part its just about having fun and trying to improve. I think it helped me a lot that I was a coach and could analyse the matches and the performances without getting too caught up emotionally!

Re the coaching...I found a great young caoch to work with the boys when Andy was 12 and Jamie 13. He was just learning to coach and was very keen to learn. He had bleached blond hair and diamond studs in both ears. Very Beckham and very cool (acc A and J). So i mentored him to work with the boys and that allowed ne to be a step back. His name was Leon Smith and he is now Head of Mens Tennis at LTA and Davis Cup captain. Minus the earrings!

carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 29-Jul-11 12:51:12

Two questions if that's allowed!

Firstly as someone who already struggles to keep up when playingtennis with my 10 year old ds, do you still manage to play tennis with Andy and Jamie?

Second: As you can see from above am not the best at tennis but would love to play more with friends. Some of the mums at school sometimes suggest playing but when folks say they play tennis "a bit" I've discovered that can mean anything to v basic player like me to ex junior wimbledon champ? Any tips for mums wanting to return to tennis without experiencing total humiliation?

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:51:40

SenoraTorres

Hi Judy,

was so excited when saw you were going to be on mumsnet. We're big fans of the Murray family in this house and want to echo the comments of a previous poster and say that you have all rejuvenated our interest in tennis too. I really enjoyed watching Andy and Jamie play doubles in the Davis cup and hope to see them play together more in the future. I also really enjoy listening to Jamie when he's commentating on radio 5.

Jamie once said that Andy's gameplan is to wait for the other player to make a mistake and this is pretty much his gameplan. Has Andy had to become more aggressive in his play and has this changed his personality at all?

If i edit this anymore will run out of time to post!!

Glad you enjoyed the Davis Cup. It was a fab atmosphere and the boys loved playing in front of a "home" crowd. The support was amazing. Not sure I totally agree with Jamie because I think Andy has got a lot more aggressive over the last couple of yearssmile Tennis is an individual sport and everyone has a style to suit their physique and their personality. Andys game is not based on power...its what makes him interesting...i reckon! smile

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 12:57:19

carriemumsnet

Two questions if that's allowed!

Firstly as someone who already struggles to keep up when playingtennis with my 10 year old ds, do you still manage to play tennis with Andy and Jamie?

Second: As you can see from above am not the best at tennis but would love to play more with friends. Some of the mums at school sometimes suggest playing but when folks say they play tennis "a bit" I've discovered that can mean anything to v basic player like me to ex junior wimbledon champ? Any tips for mums wanting to return to tennis without experiencing total humiliation?

Last time I played tennis with Andy was about 18 months ago. when he clearly had nobody else to play with......As i havent played competitively for about 8 years and mostly coach 14u players...I was not surprisingly struggling to keep up. Hes smacking balls side to side at the rate of knots and im popping them back in the service box. He says "mum - what the matter with you? You used to be good." I said " and you used to be 12". smile

Its very common for mums who played at school to return to the game when they have their kids. Tennis can be a tricky sport to come back to in terms of fnding someone to play with who is a similar level and who can keep the ball going (control it). Nothing worse than spending most of your time picking balls off the next court or the back fence. If you are coming back to the game, make it easier for yourself by trying with green low pressure tennis balls. You can buy them in most sports shops. They move more slowly through the air and are lighter. Give you more time to react to the ball. So it helps you to get your stokes and footwork under control...and when you are ready ...move back to the yellow balls. Sorted

It's gone so quickly sad

Thank you so much for coming to mn Judy, It's been one of my favourite webchats.

Set4sport looks great too, will be trying some stuff out! Good luck to you and the boys, you're doing a fab job.

lily your DS sounds awesome smile

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 13:00:45

LeninGrad

www.set4sport.com/ looks good thanks, will try some ideas with mine.

Just another note that I think it's great to see you all being supportive, must be difficult being in the public eye and maintaining your own identity, hopefully the balance is shifting a bit so people can just be themselves.

glad you enjoyed set4sport. If you get a chacne would you email me on judy@set4sport.com and elet me know what you thought of the game s and the content.

If you fancy joining us on any of the set4sport roadshows...hers the dates and venues...we would love to see you..;

Aug 10 - South Shields
Aug 16 - Halifax
Aug 22 - Brighton
Aug 23 - Manchester
All free. Nice family day out!!!!!

Full details on set4sport site and set4sprot facebook page.....

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 13:03:56

LilyBolero

I third that comment about the criticism - I hate hearing Andrew Castle and the like pontificating about whether Andy will ever win a slam, or whether Federer is finished....because Andrew Castle was SO successful wasn't he! hmm

you said it...not me! Im told that Andrew Castles new nickname is Bouncy....

caughtinanet Fri 29-Jul-11 13:06:20

Annoyingly I've just got back and missed it all but I'd like to say what a good chat this was (nothing to do with Judy agreeing with me of course grin) and I'll be looking at the set4sport website.

Its a pity there wasn't more time for questions but thank you for taking the time to answer.

LilyBolero Fri 29-Jul-11 13:06:36

lol @ Bouncy!!!

I'll look at your Set4Sport pages, they look great, and I'll try some of the games with the kids - as well as ds2, the next 2 are both starting to get into tennis now (they're 8 and 5), the baby is too small! But I think looking at your games, the older 3 will all enjoy them!

LilyBolero Fri 29-Jul-11 13:07:27

(sorry that should read 'as well as ds1' - can't type!)

TennisFan Fri 29-Jul-11 13:07:43

Hi Judy
My DS is entering his first tournament this week - he has been beaten in his singles matches - he seems to not be playing the game well. So although he hits the ball well, can serve good etc he doesnt seem to win the points that count.
Is he spending too much time on coaching and not enough time on how to win a game?

He is 11 and loves the game, but has been very frustrated this week losing 4 matches to what he perceives as weaker players!
thanks

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 13:08:42

Wow how quickly did that hour go....? Thanks so much for all the questions. Hope you enjoyed it as much as i did. Forgot how fast I could type. If you are anywhere near any of the UK Set4Sport Roadshows.....why not pop by and join in?

Free fun day out for the family. Would love to see you! smile

PortBlacksandIsleOfDogs Fri 29-Jul-11 13:09:07

I enjoyed that grin

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 29-Jul-11 13:13:05

Thanks very much to Judy.

She has given us three signed Set4Sport books to give away to Mumsnetters, they show loads of games you can play with your children to improve their sporty skills and coordination, based on the stuff Judy did with Andy and Jamie as kids.

We'll pull three names randomly from the people who've taken part in the chat and mail you. smile

LilyBolero Fri 29-Jul-11 13:14:52

Thank you so much Judy, really good webchat, and good luck to Andy and Jamie for the rest of the season (and beyond!). smile

JudyMurray Fri 29-Jul-11 13:15:27

TennisFan

Hi Judy
My DS is entering his first tournament this week - he has been beaten in his singles matches - he seems to not be playing the game well. So although he hits the ball well, can serve good etc he doesnt seem to win the points that count.
Is he spending too much time on coaching and not enough time on how to win a game?

He is 11 and loves the game, but has been very frustrated this week losing 4 matches to what he perceives as weaker players!
thanks

try to get him to work out how to analyse strengths and weaknesses in his opponents..how do you make that opponent struggle or hit a weak shot. then put the ball in to that area of the court, but be ready for the short abll and know what you want to do with it.

other things you can try are - encourage him to watch tennis on tv and be the commentator. that way he will address the tactical side of the game rather than the technical. it will give him a lot more focus on the strategy....."Nadal serves wide on the ad court to Federers backhand. Federer hits the return short in to the service box. Nadal runs up fast and smacks the ball to the other side of the court. Makes Federer run the full width of the court. He sticks up a high ball and Nadal smashes it away to win the point." By actually talking out loud about what is actually happening, makes you think about how to play the point, rather than how to hit the ball.

And that little exercise costs nothing......

Elemis Fri 29-Jul-11 13:16:08

she was lovely

LilyBolero Fri 29-Jul-11 13:24:13

TheGrimSweeper - thank you, he is v funny about tennis! His day was made playing with our Spanish friend, who told him he has played with Rafa, ds1 just couldn't believe it!

When I grow up, I want to be Judy Murray.

Lainey1981 Fri 29-Jul-11 13:30:25

Really loved the web chat. Am trying not to be offended that mine was the only question not answered hmm
grin it was probably boring

Lainey1981 Fri 29-Jul-11 13:32:02

Me too ice my ds is only 8 months and I already have his tennis career planned out. Hope I can be as much of a good influence as she seems to be with her boys, who have clearly been raised v well.

ceebeegeebies Fri 29-Jul-11 13:42:30

Ice Me too grin I often fantasise about Ds1 and DS2 becoming top tennis players and being able to travel the world following them - my ideal life I think wink

Judy thank you for answering my question and you seem lovely smile

caughtinanet Fri 29-Jul-11 14:57:20

tennisfan - ime an 11 year old playing in their first tournament is unlikely to win any matches as they will be playing against children who've been competing since they were 8 and it can be difficult to catch up.

If you haven't done already I'd make sure he doesn't enter tournaments that are at too high a level within his age group as its easy to get disheartened by being beaten.

blinkineck Fri 29-Jul-11 14:59:42

Lainey. She didn't answer mine either. Don't worry.

kipperandtiger Sat 30-Jul-11 04:19:14

Thank you very much, Judy!

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