Brad Gilbert Visits IMG Academies!
Legendary player, coach, and announcer Brad Gilbert was at IMG Academies last week to visit his old stomping-grounds and do a little coaching. We were able to steal him from the court for a few minutes to chat…
Brad Gilbert and Mark Dalzell at IMG Academies
What are you up to this week at IMG Academies?
“The biggest thing is you’re trying to inspire these kids, trying to tap into something to try to make them a little bit better. A lot of these kids are putting a lot on the line out here, so we’re trying to help give them that extra push. Since I only come once per semester, I can see some big leaps in some players. I’d like to think that I ooze with passion. Every day I’m blessed to be doing something that I’ve been doing my whole life, and I love this game. A couple kids I work with individually, I work with groups, I kind of go where they want me to go. Sometimes they have me talk to a kid that’s going through a rough patch. I’m not a yeller or a screamer, I just try to expel a little wisdom on kids to help them as much as I can.”
What are some things you tell them specifically?
“Sometimes you see kids that want to be there (at the pro level) at 10 or 11 because they’re working hard. The one thing this game takes when you’re little is patience. The most important thing is to focus on progress– ‘let’s make it from this group to that group, one tournament to the next.’ One of the most important things this game teaches you is patience.”
You were a student here when it was practically just a few banks of tennis courts. What’s your take on the ever-expanding IMG Academies as it is currently?
“I met Chris Weinke the other day, the guy’s running football. They’ve got lacrosse, all these different sports. My friend’s son came here to play basketball at the same time mine came to play tennis. He’s now just finished his junior year at Colorado (University), and has got a chance to make the NBA. Seeing all of these kids with the passion and enthusiasm to succeed, it’s just a great feeling.”