The Making of a Champion

Image: David Jeflea and Stewart Whicker training at Marconi Tennis 2003. David was the number one 16 yr old junior in Australia in 2003, Won multiple National and State junior titles, Was an Australian Open Junior Doubles finalist and AIS scholarship holder in 2004.

The making of a champion is a debate that rages on and on, are champions made or are they born?

To me they are born but it is the ability by others to nurture the underlying greatness that lies in us all.

Greatness to be a champion athlete or greatness to be a brilliant businessperson or just the feeling of greatness that we are all blessed with, we all have this potential.

Why are we not all great? We are as great as we want to be, some are content with what they have some want more.

“It is the ones that want more and the ones that ask and pursue for more that shows and reminds us the true gift of life, the ability to overcome adversity and seek out happiness.” Stewart Whicker

I said it was the ability by others to nurture the underlying greatness in us all, without others then greatness would never be recognised nor appreciated so other people must play a lead role in the development of observable greatness.

I am going to relate this article to the sport of tennis but it could be related to every other aspect of life.

As with all observable greatness it is the power by the individual to move our emotions that intrigues us and keeps us coming back for more.

The dominance by the tennis player, the comeback from nowhere are all part of the excitement of the game.

The game plan to nurture a champion –

My role is to observe failure and the reaction to failure by the athlete and the people around them. The reaction to failure is one of the keys to success, react the wrong way and you will not learn, react the right way and you will grow and become stronger.

Observe and recognise mental, physical and technical failures and work on those areas of failure to make them stronger.

Teach that opportunities are not what bring the best out in them; teach it is the respect for themselves and the respect for the people around them that provide these opportunities that will decide their success.

Champions are born but it is their guidance that makes them.

Stewart Whicker

Head Coach/Program Director

Expert Racquet Academy

Written – 23rd January 1998

David and Stewarts Families

July 2017 – David is now married with two beautiful little girls, works with the next generation of champions at a private college in Queensland, and owns a successful property consulting business with his wife Daniella.

Image: Left to right: Stewart, David, Vali (David’s mum), Daniella, Ava, Riley, Michelle, Josif (David’s Dad), and Sienna

Bonus PDF 5 Top Tennis Tips

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