News & Features
Courier: "The Grinder"
by Nick Bollettieri
, 5 January 2009
Jim Courier's career can be summed up in just a few words: hard work, guts, and passion! He has had to work for everything that has come to him in life, but the fruits of his labor have produced four Grand Slam titles, a #1 ranking in the world, and membership on the victorious 1992 Davis Cup Team.
Throughout our many years together, Jim has never showed an ounce of fear about putting everything on the line every time he stepped on the court, which actually turned out to be a good thing as he just happened to attend the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy at the very same time as other players like Agassi, Sampras, Seles, Wheaton, and Blackman. Those were the days, before "political correctness" existed, when I would allow my players the freedom to really express themselves both on the court and off.
Jim and his fellow comrades always looked forward to ending their day of training by going out to the back courts to play their version of "King of the Mountain" where they would show up for battle and give it everything they had. I purposefully kept coaches, umpires, and parents away from their battlefield. For these young warriors winning these games became as important to their developing egos as earning ITF points and tournament rankings. One of Jim's greatest quotes was, "You have to be willing to take the risk to get the reward." - and risk it all they did!
Whenever professional players finish their matches, they are usually asked to do interviews, sign autographs, have pictures taken, etc. I've always been especially proud of my players who take the time to share their gratitude for their many blessings with their fans... and Jim is one of the best at showing his thanks to others.
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