Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Florida coach on vacation helps out national tennis players

Florida coach on vacation helps out national tennis players

Coach Cliff Snider (right) stands next to Tennis Cambodia secretary-general Tep Rithivit as he explains the importance of the American's methodology after a session at the Olympic Stadium courts in Phnom Penh on Thursday. Supplied
Coach Cliff Snider (right) stands next to Tennis Cambodia secretary-general Tep Rithivit as he explains the importance of the American's methodology after a session at the Olympic Stadium courts in Phnom Penh on Thursday. Supplied

Florida coach on vacation helps out national tennis players

A tennis coach from Florida who worked for six years in the 1980s with the legendary Australian player and coach Harry Hopman at his Largo academy chose to spend his time sharing his expertise and experiences with a group of national senior and junior team members while on vacation in Cambodia.

Cliff Snider took a break from his work at a small country club in the Sunshine State to travel to the Kingdom, and he lost no time in rushing to Olympic Stadium just after the Khmer New Year break to hold a session with some of the national players.

Having read about Tennis Cambodia and seen some videos before his trip, he was eager to help the Federation in some way during his holiday.

That irresistible urge to do his bit for Tennis Cambodia brought him back nearly a week later to the courts again on Thursday morning, as the secretary-general of Tennis Cambodia, Tep Rithivit, joined the session to watch at close quarters Snider’s methodology and simplicity of coaching.

“We are very thankful to have Cliff Snider come out and help us after hearing about our programmes here. For him to do this while on holiday is something remarkable. That shows that the thought of tennis is never too far away from him all the time. We are highly appreciative of his advice,” Rithivit said.

“I think it’s great to see his style of teaching, and we sure will try to implement some of his style in our own initiatives as we groom the next batch of national team players for the Kingdom.”

Davis Cup dominance

Snider worked under Hopman, an outstanding Australian player who captained his country in the Davis Cup from 1938-1939 and 1950-1969, at his academy in the United States from 1980-1986 in Largo, Florida at the Bardmoor Country Club, which had no less than 42 tennis courts.

“On all 42 courts under Harry [Hopman], the methodology would be the same, and that is what I hope Tennis Cambodia can achieve with its programmes here,” said Snider, referring to the effectiveness of utilising a one-system method.

Hopman won the Davis Cup with Australia in 1939, 1950-53, 1955-57, 1959-62 and 1964-67

After Hopman passed away in December 1985 at the age of 79, Snider left the academy and moved to the Netherlands to coach at an academy there, where he adopted the same coaching style he had learned from working with Hopman.

“Now that we have established this contact and have got to know him well, I am confident this relationship will grow and we continue to benefit from his invaluable guidance. My first thought was: how many coaches in the world would do this on their vacation?” said Davis Cup player and head of Junior Development Phalkun Mam

“For someone to take this personal interest and offer advice as Snider has done shows his deep commitment to tennis and also his compassion for Tennis Cambodia and its programmes.”


  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

    The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has dropped all charges against eight ethnic Kuoy villagers who were in a land dispute with the Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co Ltd since 2014. Wednesday’s decision was made by the judge who tried the case on June 10. The eight

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Eighty replacement peacekeepers set for Mali mission despite Covid

    Eighty Cambodian blue helmet soldiers who completed the peacekeeping mission under the UN umbrella in Mali will return to Cambodia on Friday, said the Centre for Peacekeeping Forces spokeswoman Kosal Malida. “To protect their families and communities from the Covid-19 pandemic, the 80 are required to

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this