“Keep your head down, do the right things and success will come your way” is Alex Bolt’s mantra.
Australia, 14 April 2023 | tennis.com.au
Hard work is the key to success according to Alex Bolt.
The 30-year-old is qualified to spruik this message, having soared to impressive heights in his own career. As well as representing Australia in Davis Cup, Bolt has been ranked as high as world No.125 in singles and peaked at world No.81 in doubles.
His journey, however, has not been without challenges.
At age 23, a disillusioned Bolt briefly walked away from the sport. He spent time working as a fencing contractor in country South Australia, before rediscovering his passion for competing and returning to the tour.
Elbow surgery last year provided another setback, forcing Bolt out of competition for six months. But he is quickly re-climbing the rankings again, having improved more than 1100 spots since returning in October. Winning three ITF singles titles in the past six months has propelled Bolt back into the world’s top 400.
In our ‘Training Tips’ series, Bolt provides examples of his work ethic and reveals why perspective is important …
What life lessons have you learned through tennis?
We all get caught up in winning and losing, but at the end of the day, it’s just sport. There’s so many other things going on in life, with family and everyone else around you. I try not to be too hard on myself out there, I know it’s just a game and there are other more important things in life than just a game of tennis.
What advice would you share with your younger self?
Try not to get caught up in the results. If you put in the work, train hard and do all the right things, then the results will come. You’ve just got to keep your head down.
Do you have a preferred time to practice?
Probably early, I’m a bit of a morning person. I like to get things done early in the day, so you’ve got more time to relax and run some errands.
Do you like to follow a set training routine?
I guess it depends. Leading up to a tournament, you don’t train as much as you would in a training block. It might be a couple of hours a day, then before the tournament starts it might only be hitting for an hour a day to really freshen up ahead of matches.
Do you have a least favourite part of your game to practice?
I’m at the age where my game style is pretty set in stone, so I pretty much like to work on everything. I get pretty fussy out there. If I do something wrong, I’m pretty hard on myself. That’s the beauty of tennis, you’re always trying to work on things and make your game better.
Do you remember the first professional player you had an opportunity to practice with?
I actually don’t remember. I do remember in 2009 I got to hit with Fernando Verdasco. He is a player I based my game on, so that was a pretty cool experience to go out on court and train with someone who I admired at the time.
What have been some of your most memorable practice sessions?
I’ve hit with Novak (Djokovic) a few times, so that’s always pretty cool to hit with one of the greatest players of all time. Being on court with anyone like that is awesome. You try to soak in what they do, how they go about things.
Is there any player, past or present, that you’d love to have the opportunity to hit with?
I’d probably have to pick Rafa (Nadal). He’s obviously one of the greats of the game and just to see how he goes about his business court side and see it up close and personal would be a really cool experience.
Rod Laver would be a pretty cool experience as well, just to see how he did things back when he was winning every tournament he played in.
What advice would you share for an aspiring player to get the most from a training session?
Just enjoy yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself and work hard. There’s always something to work on.
If you had five minutes left in a practice session and could do anything, what would you choose?
Something to do with points. I enjoy ammunition, as we call it, when we have four on the court and get the juices flowing.
Read more in our Training Tips series:
> Jaimee Fourlis
> Priscilla Hon
> Storm Hunter
> John Peers
> Max Purcell
> Aleksandar Vukic
Book online, play today: Visit play.tennis.com.au to get out on court and have some fun!