Tennis Cambodia’s technical director and national coach Braen Aneiros conducted a two-day workshop on the Junior Tennis Initiative in Phnom Penh to bring the entire coaching staff up to speed on the latest concepts and trends that would help them efficiently handle this vital developmental project.
The workshop, which concluded on Saturday at the National Training Center, was attended by nine coaches with Aneiros and head of junior development Mam Phalkun taking the participants step by step through the JTI objectives to operational demands.
At the first session, Aneiros stressed on the need for the coaches to focus on the JTI’s main goal of achieving a healthy progression of competent tennis players with the Tennis 10s as the base and then reaching out to U12 and U14 high performers.
The opening day at the courts of the National Sports Complex ended with the participants running a mock competition for kids 10 and under on the five red courts that were specially set up. The group moved over to the National Training Center the next day to learn more about new competition formats.
“The whole point of these competitions is that it enables kids to start thinking for themselves on the court. Tennis players are often very smart. So there is no reason why we should not test their ability to think just because they are young,” Aneiros told the Post yesterday.
Two of Phnom Penh’s most promising juniors, Klang Ponlok and Chheang Vannasith, were drawn in as experimental models for what was virtually practical session for the coaches.
The coaches were split into two groups of five each and assigned one player to work with for five minutes on one aspect of his game that needed improvement.
To judge which group had done a better job, the two players were asked to play a tie-breaker and, for the record, the Ponlok corner came out on top.
The workshop concluded with attention of the participants being drawn to fitness workouts that could be completed on court to help a player’s balance, co-ordination and agility.
“Overall it was a very successful workshop and I think the coaches are inspired to get back on the court with the kids soon,” said Mam Phalkun.