Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pancho Gonzalez - Tennis History FYI - The Jackie Robinson of Tennis

What I love about this video is everyone you see in it who gushes over Pancho, is the very best at what they do. You'll see Robert Redford(green tee shirt) and Edward James Olmos (Miami Vice, etc), two great actors that your parents are sure to know.

Redford was a great baseball and tennis player and all around athlete growing up in Southern California, before he played 'Sundance,' on the big screen. Pancho was also a fellow Southern Californian, who Redford saw play tennis in person many times.

The gentleman you see with the glasses, who says he followed Pancho around and apologized to people he offended is Vic Braden. Braden is one of the greatest tennis coaches in the history of the sport.

A true innovator of the mental side of the sport along with technique. Coaching among others, Tracy Austin, who won 2 Grand Slams and is in the Hall of Fame. We are teaching you some of the tennis technique and mental aspect that Braden popularized in the 1970's.

You'll see Jimmy Connors in a sweater vest, well you could make a sports argument that he is the best tennis player ever. We know now that the fire that he and John McEnroe frequently displayed on the tennis court is a direct reflection of Pancho's influence on both.

Venus & Serena Williams and Andre Agassi are all first ballot Hall of Famers', and all gush over Pancho in the piece. You'll see Vijay Amritraj, the greatest Indian tennis player ever call him superman. You know I love Pancho.

I sent many of you this video last year. I first learned about him many moons ago. You'll see his eyes at one point, you can't miss it, they appear to be burning with determination. They look huge and seem like they could pop out of his head. This shot is from a well known Wimbledon match he played at the end of his career at the age of 41.

Its all in the eyes. They are the most important muscles you have in life and this sport, whether it be following the ball or using them to display confidence, desire, heart, etc. We can all use our eyes better to display those traits to our teammates and opponents, before we go on the court for a match, and or before we arrive at the courts that day. Use your eyes, and if you don't think
you can, pretend a little, till you SEE THE LIGHT.