The Bryan brothers will play for TEAM USA in Boise this weekend in Davis Cup tennis. It isn’t the first time they have been here playing tennis. I met them in 1999 with their Dad, Wayne, who accompanied his two sons to Idaho to play World Team Tennis on the Idaho Sneakers. I did a few interviews with Wayne and he told me all about the book he was writing on how to raise kids to play sports and be good at it. It took him seven years to write How to Raise Your Child to be a Champion in Athletics, Arts and Academics. It was first published in 2004. Wayne didn’t believe his boys should play more than one organized sport, have very limited time alone, learn how to play a musical instrument, have no toys and watch minimal TV. The boys lives were scheduled and monitored and he explained they were encouraged to have fun with a purpose. Or else.
How can you argue with the results? They play in a band, with their Dad, got Stanford scholarships, and are the ALL TIME Men’s Doubles champions.
Of course, they had natural advantages. Both are about 6’3” 190 (Bob is actually 6’4”), Mike is right handed; Bob left, and they are identical twins. Wayne got his law degree, married a professional tennis player and became a tennis pro near where I graduated High School in Camarillo, California, about 50 miles north of LA. He coached the boys to every national championship they could win. He made them alternate disqualifying against each other in singles play so they wouldn’t have to compete. He had them play doubles as well and the results are history in the making.
Bob has now had a child of his own, says he won’t coach her in tennis or spoil her but admits he has set up a mini Toys R Us in his home. Both boys admit they love video games. They have moved in different directions though in the last year. I look forward to reading the book they write on raising kids and how it was to have their upbringing. In the meantime, the results speak for themselves.