For the first time in its history, the Tennis Federation of Cambodia organised a two-day coaches conference at the National Training Centre to ensure the entire team follows a uniform and consistent method of teaching all over the country in sync with well-established practices.
The conference on Friday and Saturday, chaired by the TFC’s technical director and national head coach Braen Aneiros, was attended by all 17 federation coaches and two current Davis Cup players, Bun Kenny and Long Samneang.
It addressed both the theoretical and practical aspects of coaching with the main focus on novices and their initiation into the game through programs like Tennis 10s.
Before getting down to brass tacks, Cambodia’s national coach for the last four years, Aneiros, himself a former Panamanian Davis Cupper, shared with the attending coaches the knowledge and experiences he had drawn from his visit last November to the Worldwide Coaches Conference held in Cancun, Mexico.
Pivoting Tennis 10s coaching as a significant challenge, Aneiros highlighted the finer points coaches will have to bear in mind in handling the various stages of player transitions from red to orange and, eventually, green marked courts.
“It makes no sense for a player eight or nine years old to play on the same court as a professional. Other sports don’t make kids play like adults so why should tennis be any different,” the national coach contended, citing a video produced by the United States Tennis Association which poses the same question.
“With everything customised to their size and ability, like mini court, controlled bounce on the ball and smaller racquet, the kids can not only play but also serve, rally and score from the first lesson,” he said.
“The game is always changing and we must change with it. More importantly, every coach must stick to a model of consistency in teaching basic techniques at this level.”
TFC secretary-general Tep Rithivit told the Post that the body is planning to have similar conferences every year and to introduce new material that would be useful to the coaches.
“The idea is to evolve a consistent pattern of coaching,” he said.
“The TFC would like to thank Gaea, one of our co-sponsors of the Schools Tennis Initiative along with Cambodia Airports. They have been supporting our co-ordination programs throughout the country.”
Gaea, which deals with waste disposal in Kep, was in the forefront of a Kep clean-up project jointly undertaken by the TFC and Miss Japan Volunteer Association headed by TFC Global goodwill ambassador Hisae Arai about six months ago.
According to the TFC, the travelling needs of some coaches from provinces attending the two-day conference were met by Gaea, which also supported the recent TFC presentation to local businesses
Assembly names executive
At the Tennis Federation of Cambodia’s general assembly held on Saturday in the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia’s headquarters, Minister for Industry, Mines and Energy Cham Prasidh was re-elected president unopposed for another term. He later re-appointed Tep Rithivit to continue as the secretary-general.
Christopher Forsinetti, who served as treasurer in the previous committee, was elevated to vice president, with Kith Siphin being named to manage the TFC finances.
The other members of the executive committee are Chay Manakseka, Som Sokha, Yun Youri, Chea Pov and Ik Bun Leakhana.