Pete Sampras Essay

This essay has a total of 1084 words and 5 pages.

Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras the American Sensation
The reason why I chose to do my research paper on Pete Sampras is because I love to play
tennis, and Pete is the greatest tennis player alive. I have always made him my role
model, and I hope to one day meet him. I try and model my tennis game after his and it has
really helped my tennis game. Pete Sampras is my childhood hero, and that is the reason
why I chose the topic of Pete Sampras.

Pete was born on August 12, 1971. in Washington, DC. Although Pete was born in Washington,
he grew up in Palos Verdes, California. Pete is a direct descendent of Sam and Georgia
Sampras. Pete has three Siblings one elder and two younger. The elder sibling is Stella,
the current head tennis coach at UCLA. Pete's younger sister Marion has not decided on a
career yet, and Pete's third sibling is his only brother, Gus who is the Current Assistant
Tournament Director at Scottsdale ATP Tour Event (Role Models).

Pete began playing tennis at the age of seven, and when he was nine, his father asked Pete
Fischer, a physician and amateur player, to hit with his son. Fischer was so impressed
with Pete's ability, he became Pete's personal coach. When Pete was eleven, he had the
opportunity to hit with his childhood hero Rod Laver. Pete later told his coach that he
was so nervous he couldn't get the ball over the net.

Pete rarely won a major junior tournament. Fischer believed that someone of his talent
should play up in age groups against older and stronger players to develop his all around
game. When Pete reached the age of 14, Fischer changed Pete's two-handed backhand to a
one-handed. At the same time of his backhand switch Fischer switched Pete from a safe
defensive baseliner to a risky serve and volleyer. The reason he did this was to try and
make Pete feel much more laid back and in the end it worked. Pete turned pro at the age of
16 following his junior year in high-school. By the late 1980's, Pete split with his coach
Pete Fischer because Pete felt that Fischer was an overbearing perfectionist. After the
split with Fischer, Pete picked up a new coach, Tim Gullikson. Tim Gullikson showed Pete
the value of playing percentage tennis--going for smart, conservative shots rather than
flashy, difficult ones. On May 3, 1996, Gullikson, 44, died of brain cancer. Pete lost in
the first three majors that year, but retained the U.S. open title (Role Models).

Without his coach Tim Gullikson, Pete went to many different people to try and finally
perfect and put the finishing touches on his game. For his winning forehand, he was sent
to the dean of tennis coaches, Robert Lansdrop. To develop his footwork he went to Del
Little. For his outstanding volley he went to Larry Easley who was the coach at Nevada
University. Pete serve was learned for little's starting stance, called the chong. To do
this stance you must place your heels so the heels face each other and the toes form an
angle as wide as 90 degrees. With this starting stance you can get power by rotating and
using your hips rather than your legs or even your shoulders. The trick is to translate
your hips into the hit. It is that unique starting position that helped Pete develop one
of the tour's most effective deliveries and transform himself for a baselining junior to a
Continues for 3 more pages >>




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