There is always discussion in sport about “the transition” – from junior to senior ranks. Often, a played will excel at junior level but rarely be able to repeat these performances at a senior level.
How often do we hear about a young up and coming Rugby League player who is going to set the game alight, but never does? Of course, there are exceptions to that, but even one stella first year doesn’t make the transition any easier. Dan Mortimer anyone? Second year syndrome is a problem that effects even the best of players.
This also happens in tennis. You may not remember him, but Todd Reid was touted as one of the best Aussie junior hopes we had, he won Junior Wimbledon in 2002 but never really capitalised on his talent. He peaked just outside the top 100 in the world, and has faded into obscurity. For the record, he is currently in Canada playing a no-name Futures tournament
You can also look at Bernard Tomic, he won a number of high profile junior events, and was in the media eye from an extremely young age (12 or something, from memory). He had a breakthrough year last year by reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and had a good run at this year’s Australian Open, but is currently on a six-game losing streak. It seems people have started to work out his game, or he isn’t training hard enough, or a combination of both. The transition is as tough as it’s ever been and it’s not getting any easier. Tomic is the only teenager currently in the ATP top 100, which is an amazing achievement in itself, but you must be expecting more from the talented young Aussie.
But Edwin, where are you going with this, I hear you ask? Of course it’s tough making the transition, if it were easier, everyone would be a professional, I hear you say. And you’re not wrong, not at all, but I have drawn relevance from this transition into my own life.
I finished Uni at the end of the last and I am currently, in my professional career, attempting to make the transition from junior to senior ranks in the media industry, and I believe it’s tougher than those whingeing sports people.
I spent six or so months with Tennis ACT, doing media for them, something I considered a “foot in the door.” I also spent two weeks with the Tennis Magazine Australia and the Canberra Times, something I also considered “a foot in the door.” I then spent two weeks with the Australian Open digital team which was also, you guessed it, a “foot in the door.” Do you see a common theme here? How many feet can one man have in said door until he gets his body inside?
Well after a long summer of depressing job applications, Twitter came to the rescue and I got a part-time job with Tennis Victoria as a communications assistant. I’d done it, I thought, someone finally realised my feet were sticking in their office, and dragged me in. Three months later, and we are in the same position again. The idealistic hope of this three months turning into three years didn’t come true, and I am back looking at jobs on seek and other job sites that don’t interest me the slightest.
I received a thanks, but no thanks, email from a job I applied for (which I thought I was a good shout for) not once, but twice. It was like hey Edwin, you didn’t get the job, so we are going to kick you in the face, just to make sure you hurt enough.
So, although I made it to the big-time for about half a season, I have been dropped back to juniors for the foreseeable future and it’s back to getting my feet into doors once again. I just hope that someone, somewhere is noticing my feet, and wants to give this guy another chance to prove he has what it takes for the second year.
Let’s just hope second year syndrome doesn’t kick in. (To potential employers – it won’t. I promise)