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LaRosa's Sweet Spot: Aug 18, 2010

8/18/2010 1:00:00 PM

LaRosa's Sweet Spot Archive |

Dear Andy Murray,

You’re standing at a crossroads with something quite daunting ahead of you.  Yeah yeah, the US Open, first major title blah blah blah. No, I’m talking about the decision of who your new coach will be.  You’re going to go coachless during the final Grand Slam of the year and then tackle the matter.  Now, I haven’t traveled back from 2023 in a DeLorean, I don’t have Psychic Friends on speed dial. I just know, so please listen to me when I say, your best bet is your dear mum Judy.

WAIT WAIT WAIT, don’t click over to Facebook, hear me out. I know what you’re thinking.  Here comes some self-satisfied tennis writer who thinks he’s funnier than he really is (okay true) attempting to take the piss out of you.  Far from it. Your mother scares me in a good way.  She may be too proud to slip her CV into your tennis bag, she may sniff her nose and tell you, ‘Now Andy, I have a life outside the house too you know, I have far too many other things to do than focus on you 24/7’. So allow me to plead her case in the off chance (off chance!) that maybe, just maybe, she might be up for the gig.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first.  She’s an evil mastermind.  And not in a Batman and Robin kind of way where she prances about the courts in a bodysuit riddled with question marks. I’m talking about in a sick and twisted Hannibal Lecter, I can convince opponents to eat their own faces off kinda deal.  As a fan of the psychological torture that is tennis, I heart your mom.  I heart her clenched jaw as she lasers her gaze across the court, as engaged in your matches as the Emperor was engaged as he filled Luke Skywalker with a million volts of electricity at the end of Return of the Jedi (nerd alert!).  And I see her evil (again, a wicked compliment) in every stroke you hit.  The hypnotic rallies, the changes of pace, the spin, those %#%$ drop shots. I’m eating my own face just thinking about it.

Am I the right choice?

You have no interest in taking her on full time. When you were asked about her yesterday, you took great pains to squash the very notion she could possibly be filling the role. "I didn't speak to her before any of my matches [during the US Open Series].  She watched all of the guys I was going to be playing against, and sent me a message the night before of things that she'd seen, just small tactics. But she's not spending any time on the court when I've been practicing. I'm not sitting down chatting to her before matches.”

To which I reply, WHY NOT? 

Sorry, I’m shouting. But (inside voice) clearly those little notes are, you know, kinda helpful, no? Enduring a title drought in 2010, one could easily say flying coachless last week in Toronto inspired you to make some magic and down Federer and Nadal en route to glory.  And let’s be clear, I’m not suggesting that wasn’t all you. But maybe mom had just a little to do with it as well? I mean, if my mom sent me little notes about Federer and Nadal, they’d be more of the “don’t you let him hurt your feelings!” variety.

But maybe our moms aren’t so different (I don’t know, does yours hoard Family Circle magazines from the ‘70s and obsess over Danielle and Teresa on Real Housewives of New Jersey?). Maybe they’re both, at heart, moms. And isn’t that the grossest part? It’s one thing to have mom around at home, but who wants to have mom at work?  And out in the hot sun no less, nagging you to death.  “More topspin Andy!” “You’re dropping your head Andy!” “Did you put enough sunblock on Andy?” I mean, matricide ain’t just a word in the dictionary. But if you can handle Roger & Rafa, you can certainly handle your mom for a few hours.

Think of the reward!  And I’m not just talking about hardware (although, you know, put that in the back of your mind).  How cool would you be to have a woman as your coach? Amelie Mauresmo helped Michael Llodra to the Eastbourne title and not only was he not held down and forced to wear a dress and lipstick in the locker room, he was in fact an even bigger stud because of it. Did I mention that Eastbourne title? And not only would your coach be female, it would be your mom! Sure, in high school it would’ve been social suicide, but as an adult you’d be a trailblazer. To say unapologetically, my mother is my coach. Not some wussy advisor, not some note giver who’s nice to have around.  MY COACH.  And she’ll kick your ass if you look at her sideways.

How about this. Don’t tell anyone you’re trying her out during the US Open.  But since there won’t be any other coaches around, maybe let her tip toe onto the practice court.  Just to, you know, bring you snacks, make sure you’re hydrated like a good mom would. And hey, if she happens to give you a couple pointers while she’s out there on how to break those sons of a b’s ankles, well hey, no one heard it but you.

I guess what I’m saying is, if you have a nuclear weapon at your disposal, why not use it to become a superpower? And you wouldn’t have to even pay her anything. Moms work for free.

Good luck in New York!

James LaRosa

PS: My mom thinks this is a super idea too.

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Follow James at twitter.com/JamesLaRosa. You can’t follow his mom cuz the interweb is full of pervs and predators.