Indian tennis players steal the show in AITA coaches workshop

Indian tennis star players Ramkumar Ramanathan, Rohan Bopanna, Ankita Raina and others spoke at length about the sport's development in the country.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran thanked coach M. Balachandran, for helping him grow as a professional.   -  Special Arrangement

Indian tennis stars lit up the coaches workshop webinar conducted by the All India Tennis Association (AITA) in collaboration with Sports Authority of India (SAI) with their in-depth knowledge of the game and hearty narration of invaluable experience.

Speaking to the workshop host and coach Sureshkumar Sonachalam, Rohan Bopanna said that Indian coaches have the ability to make champions and stressed on the importance of working on the "tennis specific movement" of the players at an early age.

Yuki Bhambri, the former world No.1 junior, Youth Olympics silver medallist, Asian Games medallist, conceded that each player had to work on his fitness and game differently, to suit his own requirements, and not do the same which may work for others.

Ankita Raina spoke about importance of self motivation in her career.   -  special arrangement


The country’s No.1 woman player, Ankita Raina talked about self awareness, and the need to channelise the good and bad experiences to become a better player.

"Win or lose, one should have the discipline to keep doing the right things. Self talk is important. Positive assertion is key to break the negative thought chain," Ankita said.

Ramkumar Ramanathan recalled how he played tournaments every week when he trained in Spain, not bothered about results, and how satisfied he was to go back to the same tournaments later and winning them, after having worked on his game religiously and with strong belief.

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Like Ramkumar praising his coach for many years T. Chandrasekaran, Prajnesh Gunneswaran also expressed gratitude to a bunch of coaches including M. Balachandran, for helping him grow as a professional.

"I used to write down my plan, and that how many months that I would stick to it. You need long term commitment, for long term interests," he said.

Mind trainer Dr. Janki Deole stressed on the importance of sports psychology in the development of tennis players.   -  special arrangement


Mind trainer Dr. Janki Deole showed the example of Roger Federer who blossomed from a talented kid throwing tantrums, to the most adored tennis player of all time, with the help of sports psychology.

Seasoned coach Nandan Bal mesmerised everyone with his eloquent presentation on strategy and tactics, taking the example of players at all levels across different era.

"Leander is amazing, beating guys half his age. His instinct at the net is still the best in the world," said Nandan.

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Coach M. Balanchandran stressed the need for clear communication to young players, about what, when, where and why.

Cheston Pinto, an expert with the Bopanna Academy, talked about strength and conditioning, and about "movement efficiency" being most important for tennis.

Coach Gary O’Brien won the admiration of everyone by sweating it out at his home, demonstrating possible ways of indoor tennis for kids during lockdown. He also talked about strategy and tactics for players below 14 years.

The webinar promises to step it up further next week, with the presence of Olympic medallist and 18-time Grand Slam Champion Leander Paes on Monday. There was also hope that one of the best experts of coaching, Miguel Crespo would join by Wednesday, to enliven the proceedings.

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