Life on Tour With Jean-Yves Aubone (@JYNole) March 2015 Update #4 On Tour In Israel
Jean-Yves Aubone, Tennis Atlantic
Losing Can Be A Good Thing But Jet Lag Sucks
I’ve been in Israel playing tournaments for only a week and this trip has already been absolutely invaluable. To begin with, I’m guilty of assuming things without actually knowing. I’d never traveled to this part of the world and the news coverage of the Middle East in America is always negative. The media only discusses warfare and the political side of things. Because of this I didn’t think the quality of life was going to be great. I couldn’t be happier to have been proven completely wrong. Israel is a first world country that is incredibly beautiful. The quality of life is high, the food is great, and the majority of people speak English. The beaches are stunningly gorgeous. I can unquestionably envision myself living in Israel one day.
Here in Tel Aviv, I’ve been working with Gabriel Rujinsky, who used to coach me when I was younger. I first met him when he worked for my dad at Don Shula’s Athletic Club in Miami 12 years ago. He now lives in Tel Aviv. He’s been kind enough to let me stay at his house and coach me in Israel. Without him, this trip would be so much more difficult to continue improving everyday. Having him here gives me the option to have practices where I only drill and specifically work on parts of my game that need fine-tuning. Gabriel also communicates my mistakes immediately to me. If he wasn’t here I’d have to figure things out on my own. If I wasn’t able to figure them out on my own, then I’d have to wait to fix them back at Ginepri Performance Tennis in Atlanta.
Because I lost in the first round of the first event that I played on this trip to Israel, I’ve had a lot of extra time to work on my game. If I didn’t have a coach here a lot of time would have been spent simply practicing with other players. The only bad part about that is practices have to be compromised so that both the other player and I can do a little bit of what we want to work on. I’m not part of a team out here so I want to spend as much time as I can working on my game. Having Gabriel has allowed that to happen because for some practice sessions it’s just he and I.
One of the best things that could have happened to me was losing in the first round. It was my first hard court match in 8 months (I wanted to save the pounding on my achilles) and it clearly showed. I had a hard time trusting the strategy I wanted to execute on important points. On clay I didn’t even have to think so much about strategy. It was pure instinct. But the strategy to win on clay is different than the one used on hard courts. In that first match I found myself thinking too much and not hitting shots with enough conviction. If I would have won the first round then I wouldn’t have taken such a hard look at what I needed to fix. Also, losing early gave me more days to practice and improve. As much as I wanted to win, winning now at a 10k future’s event isn’t the main goal. Putting myself in the best position to make a run at the challenger in two weeks is. Losing early has given me more time to work with Gabriel, improve my game, and adjust to the time change. .
The most important thing I’ve learned on this trip so far is to not underestimate the power of jet lag. My first match was five days after my arrival and I still didn’t feel normal. The level of exhaustion was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. It’s 6 hours later than the east coast so when I’m awake and playing tennis, I’m usually sleeping or waking up. The first two days in Israel I had to have extremely limited practices because I would get tired so quickly. I also couldn’t recover as well so sometimes I couldn’t even practice twice in a day. At night I would fall into such a deep sleep that it was extremely hard to wake up in the mornings. Next time I make a trip to a massively different time zone I will go with more time to prepare.
With only one week of this trip completed it’s already been such an amazing and humbling experience. I’m beyond excited to see what these next two weeks will bring.