Junior to Pro
Michelle Jaggard-Lai, ex-pro tennis player, talks about her journey from junior to pro and provides unique & invaluable advice – whatever the goal.
Michelle Jaggard-Lai is an ex-pro tennis player on the WTA tour. She’s based on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. Michelle has an impressive list of National junior titles including two Grand Slam titles and 12 pro career tournament wins. She also played in the Federation Cup for Australia. Since retiring from pro tennis Michelle has worked with Tennis Australia, Global Ten Pro Events, EGM of Newsamp at Newscorp and Elite Agent editor – to name a few!
From her pathway to pro Michelle learned how to redefine what was possible. Her goal is to help educate more people across the globe on a larger scale and to bring high-end resources and expertise to the ground.
In this fascinating and insightful discussion with Mark, Michelle talks about the journey from junior to pro, some of the lessons learned along the way and her vision for the future. Her thoughts are empowering: at the end of the day you should own your tennis journey and not be afraid to turn down opportunities if they’re not right for you.
Michelle specifically talks to us about the support needed be it alone or in National programs and the advantages of both – including being threatened with never receiving another tournament wildcard in Australia if she turned down a place on a national team trip.
She touches on the large number of disconnection and psychological challenges players face today and some differences between girls and boys and how individual the journeys have become and more about the “player first” approach so their team is working cohesively to common goals.
Michelle believes that mentoring is key today and I can touch base on why this is important and how it bridges the gap and brings more possibilities to performance and education for the players.
One of the nuggets Michelle shares is to “think your biggest and work back from that”. Without understanding where you want to go, then you won’t be prepared to get there. She also touches on the large and valuable role her parents played.
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