tennis coaching in india: the transition from junior tennis to senior tennis: pros and cons



Junior tennis is for players under the age of 18, after which we move on to the men’s / women’s circuit. The main objective of a good coach and parent is to make sure that the child “PLAY UP”, that is to say to make sure that when the player is under 12 years old, she is competing in the game. under 14 group, and at 16 she plays in the under 14 group. -18 group. This is a proven and tested method for improving rankings and performance. Unfortunately in India, many believe the opposite. They want immediate results, so they start cheating on their age. You can change a year of birth quite easily in India so that 14 year olds are forced to play under 12 and so on. This continues until sometimes 21-year-olds play under-18. It is a very dangerous movement, but unfortunately more and more people are doing it.

These parents don’t realize that after 18, the big leagues begin and that’s okay. Male or female tennis doesn’t care about your age. However, chasing trophies or certificates seems to be more important to some. One can get admitted to a decent college while doing this too. These are short term benefits and don’t matter in the long term.

Ideally, her child should “play” until the age of 18. Subsequently, several options appear. If your pupil is doing exceptionally well, they may apply for admission to an American college with a full scholarship. There are specialized agencies that do this job and tell you where and how to apply. The United States has a very organized and well-respected Inter College / Varsity competition called the NCAA. It’s as good as professional tennis. John Isner and Somdev Devvarman are two names that immediately spring to mind. There are many, many more. This path ensures that your child receives an education and that there is no interruption in their studies. At the end of college, she, her parents, and her coaches can take a call about whether or not to turn pro.

Becoming a pro is no joke. This means that the player has to be very good, have the requisite physical condition and the mental strength to travel 10 months a year. At a modest estimate, this costs Rs 1.25 crore per year. So make sure you have the funds before you even think about this route. It’s only when you get past the ATP top 100 that you start making money. Until then, you’ll spend on travel, food, coaches, equipment, etc. But on the other hand, your child will have an education to build on.

The other way is what the Williams sisters and others did. They continued to play for up to 10 hours a day and gave the game 120% effort. They started the tournament circuit from scratch and proved to the world that they can do it. This is a very risky method and I would not recommend it unless you are super talented.

Remember, for every Maria Sharapova, there are probably 1,000 equally talented girls who are now waitresses at McDonald’s. As one top 10 player put it, ‘This is the hardest work in the world and the best work in the world.’

(Shekhar Menon has been teaching tennis for over 30 years, primarily in the NCR. He is qualified by IATA / ITF and PTR to teach worldwide. He has coached many Davis Cup and Fed Cup players. )


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