Oct. 20, 2020

Raising A Champion

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What does it really take to raise a tennis champion? Find out from a parent coach that has done just that.

Coach: Mark Hildebrand, high performance (parent) coach
Bio:Began as Head Pro at the Green Tree Tennis Club in 1997, where both junior and adult programs won back to back city championships. In 2000, became Head Pro at Oak Hills Country Club and coached the Junior team to a silver medal in the AAU Junior Olympics in Detroit, Michigan. Moved to be Director of Tennis for the Northside Independent School District where he was in charge of providing tennis to 65 elementary schools, 19 middle schools, and 11 high schools. While at NISD, managed an elite program that produced two Texas 5A state champions and numerous players to play for top universities. Involved in over 10 USTA High-Performance training camps. USPTA 1 certified professional.

Birthplace: USA

Length: 2 min 43 sec
Theme: Strategy

Other tracks by Mark Hildebrand:Raising A Champion, Coaching Your Own Child, Getting Two Steps Ahead.

You might like:Coaching Your Own Child.


When Trey was extremely young, we were able to see Trey was going to be very tall. Trey's speed was not going to be as fast as others. I was very passionate about tennis, couldn't love the game anymore. And we just poured everything we had into Trey because Trey loved it as well.

Raising a tennis champion, Junior Davis Cup, Wimbledon quarterfinalist US Open quarterfinalist, many, many accomplishments, and still going. But it started when Trey was very young. And it started with a vision. It started with a vision, seeing the future, seeing who Trey was going to be when he was older, seeing things that Trey was good at selecting all Trey's attributes and molding his game around those things. That's how you raise a champion, in my opinion, you see what they're good at, you focus on those things, and you do not get caught in wins and losses, you get caught up in making sure that your player is doing the things that they're supposed to be doing.

And in Trey's case, Trey was going to be tall. Trey was not going to be the fastest mover and Trey possesses a really good high skill set with his hands, hand-eye coordination, knowing that we pursued him going forward to the net a lot more. Although today's game is not like that. We still believed in that. And we still had a vision and did that.

In doing so we feel like we mastered that style of game that made Trey the best tennis player, he could be in the end. To me, that's how you raise a champion. We're very passionate, we did it for years. Some years honestly, maybe without more than five days off in a year. It was blood, sweat, and tears from start to finish. And honestly, I can relate one story when we're on an airplane, we were going to Florida and Trey might have been 13 years old. I was always very realistic and with goals. And I asked Trey on that plane ride, you know, going to the US clay court championships. What do you want to do? What's your goal on this tournament? And Trey said something along the lines of I want to win two rounds, which, you know is not incredible, but it was good for that it was a good goal. And I agreed with them. And I said I think that's a good goal. Let's shoot for that. And then he looked at me and he was pretty young at the time. And he said he said, "But Dad, I want to win it". And based on how hard trade work Trey worked very hard every day. He did all he could. I knew how much we were putting into it and I knew we would not fail in the end. And I looked up to him and I told him Trey you've already won you just don't know it yet. And I would say you know later on Trey, like Junior Davis Cup trade played Wimbledon, played the Grand Slams and is still going strong. And I think a lot of those things, that's how you raise a champion.