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Noah Rubin’s “Behind The Racquet” • With • Michael Chang | Tennis 10sBalls

Editor’s note: 10sBalls thanks Noah Rubin for giving us permission to repost these great stories. We wish him and this endeavor the best of luck. Great seeing Noah wearing K-Swiss and playing Solinco Strings.


#LegendaryBTR- “I think that there’s probably one thing I would change about my time on tour- my mentality. When you’re on tour, you have invincibility, to some degree. You don’t realize how quickly the time goes by. I think sometimes you’re out there playing and you’re thinking, ‘Okay, I’m done with this year. I have next year on the tour.’

I turned pro slightly before my 16th birthday. I retired just before my 32nd birthday. Those years just went by in the blink of an eye. Looking back, I could have enjoyed some moments a bit more, such as tournament victories. I think sometimes you win a tournament and if it’s a smaller tournament, you don’t really think twice about it. You kind of just say, ‘Okay, it was a great tournament, I won it. Next week.’ I probably would have taken more time to enjoy being ranked number two in the world.

I also might have changed my mentality in certain aspects of training. Had I known that I was going to play professionally for over fifteen years, I probably would have approached training differently. Today, players on tour have great longevity thanks to how they take care of their bodies. This process is much more advanced now and is very beneficial to a lot of the older players. Many guys in the Top 10 can now play through their mid-to-late 30s. You surely didn’t see this in my generation.

Coaching is not very difficult since I was a thinking player. I didn’t have the size or the power, I had to think my way through matches. As a coach, I dissect a player’s style and create strategy, this is similar to what I did on tour. A more difficult aspect about being a coach is sitting in the stands, knowing that I cannot do anything more for the player during the match. If I see a pattern taking place that is hurting my player and he is not picking up on it, it’s difficult to watch.

For me, whether I’m out helping Kei, my daughter, or a club player, it’s just a matter of enjoying it and helping players improve. It is rewarding to see the satisfaction on their faces when they say, ‘I understand that, I got it and wow, that works.’ For Kei, the rewards were the results that happened on tour. They came pretty quickly, which was a good thing, Kei is one of those players that picks things up incredibly fast. In so many ways, he is a joy to coach.

Tennis has changed as the racquet technology has evolved. If you look at my generation of players, you had a pretty good mix of baseliners, serve-and-volleyers, all-court players, and chip-and-chargers. You had a lot of different styles to play against. Nowadays, you don’t see that much variety. Current players can generate more power and spin. They grew up playing with the new technology and they know how to utilize it to the best of their ability. None of the guys that played in my generation still use their older racquets and strings, because the new technology allows us to do much more with less effort.”

Michael Chang

Editors note: We applaud Noah Rubin and all of his colleagues. The way they open up and expose their situations with the reader of BEHIND THE RACKET is truly amazing. NoahRubin33 is always ready to give you a tennis tip by sending him your video. Please listen to his great podcasts and go check out his coaching on his sites.

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