By Sean Watson
There are very few young sportsmen that can claim to have a World Champion in their corner to aid their progress. But 19 year old tennis hotshot Liam Broady can.
In recent weeks and months, the 2010 Wimbledon Boys’ Doubles Champion has been working closely with the WBA World Super-Bantamweight Champion Scott Quigg.
Under the watchful eye of strength and conditioning coach Ric Moylan, who usually trains the pair separately, Broady and Quigg have undergone several intense workouts in the past few months, and the sessions seem to have paid dividends; Broady won his first ITF Futures tournament in September.
And Broady, who doesn’t turn 20 until January, was full of praise for World Champion Quigg and the impact he has had.
“On the face of it, it might seem a bit strange; a boxer and a tennis player training together, but there are a lot of similarities between the two sports. More than you’d think, actually. Tennis is a one on one sport, just like boxing. You’re still on your own out there.
“I have done two or three sessions with Scott, and they were unbelievably intense. He is more focused than any sportsman I have ever met. And that type of mentality rubs off on you.
“It was very special talking to him about mentality. Everybody can see that his attitude is working for him and it flicked a switch in my head. If I put the work in, like Scott does week in week out, I can get the results,” he said.
Quigg, who defends his WBA crown at the Phones4U Arena this weekend, heaped praise on Broady and believes he has the talent to go a long way.
“In the field he is in, he is going to be world class. To be the best, you’ve got to live the life of an athlete. And I think that Liam is starting to do that now.
“He has surrounded himself with the right people, and I think that is very important. We both do a little bit of work with Ric and with a psychotherapist and performance coach called Adrian Tannock, and he is helping Liam to focus his mind.
“It’s all about the decisions and sacrifices you make, and that’s where Adrian comes in. It comes down to whether you want to go for a pint, or practice your serve. And it’s clear to see that Liam is making the right decisions now,” Quigg added.
After his success at junior level, Broady found the transition to the professional game tough, and struggled to make his mark in his first year on tour.
“I just wasn’t working hard enough, pure and simple. But, these past six months, I have been working myself unbelievably hard, and I’m seeing the results now. I’m playing well at the minute.
“But I know this is only the beginning. I have got so much more to give, and I know that if I put the work in, I will reap the rewards on the court.
“It’s not just doing the work, it’s doing it in the right way. That means getting my diet correct, and tailoring my sessions to my needs. I think I’m doing that at the minute,” Broady added.
His success towards the end of the season has meant that Broady has had to re-evaluate his goals, and says that he is ready for a big 2014.
“My initial target at the start of the year was to get into the top 500 in the world. But, I’m nearly there already.
“I think my ranking at the minute is 514, so I’d like to break the 450 mark before the end of the season and then push on the best I can next year.”