Great chat with John-Laffnie De Jager! “JL” is a South African former professional tennis player.
Had a career high singles of 313, but had great success as a doubles player with a career high of 11 and 7 titles. He also reached 4 grand slam doubles semi finals and 2 mixed doubles finals. JL achieved 4th place in the Sydney Olimpics in 2000 and qualified for the ATP Doubles Championship in 1999. He is a Grade A star GPTCA level coach, certified by the ATP; and captained the South African Davis Cup team. JL is involved in several projects and businesses: Founder: Matchpoint Tennis Foundation Owner: JL’s Tennis Academy in Pretoria Motivational speaker and mental conditioning coach for high performance athletes and teams including top rugby teams. JL was also the head coach of the UAE Royals (tennis team based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates that competed in the International Premier Tennis League) and is the head coach of the Springfield Lasers are a World Team Tennis franchise in the USA. He also talks about his involvement in the “Match for Africa”, which his company organized; and talks about getting Federer, Nadal, Bill Gates and Trevor Noah involved and breaking the world record for attending a tennis match in the Cape Town Stadium! He also had a very interesting childhood growing up on a farm; and tells us the story of when he was born, his heart stopped and they had to give him an injection to get his heart going. Instead of injecting him in the thigh, they injected him in his butt and basically hit the main nerve going down his right leg, so he only had 10 percent use of his nerve in the right leg. The doctors told his parents that he only had a 12% chance of walking properly and he’d never be able to play any sport. His right leg is an inch-and-a-half shorter than his left leg, and he was in a cast until he was three years old!