“The big thing was… we wanted to show them not tell them” said professional tennis coach Robert Davis. Davis was in Singapore at the invitation of ActiveSG to run a three day coaching clinic at the Yio Chu Kang Tennis Centre for coaches based in Singapore.
With a focus on providing an insight to developing professional tennis players and training regimes, the clinic strayed from the typical classroom and lecture format to give these tennis “teachers” a hands on experience.
Robert Davis,who is also President of the Global Professional Tennis Coach Association (GPTCA) Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar, said: “I believe people learn faster from seeing and being involved. So we let these teachers and coaches jump in… and be on the court with the pro players”
Robert Davis. Photo: Sport Singapore
“This is an interactive coaching course rather than a traditional one… where one speaker talks the whole time. We just threw them in there, the structure was very flexible the coaches could rove and go to different courts” continued the former Technical Director and National coach for Peru, Panama, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar and current ATP World Tour Coach.
Davis brought along with him a slew professional players including Wimbledon doubles champion Jonathan Marray and former top ten ranked doubles player Aisam Qureshi to share their experiences on tour as well as give practical tips to the younger players and coaches.
Robert Davis (in orange) speaks to the players during the clinic. Photo: Sport Singapore
At the end of the clinic Ng Eng Soon, Senior Director ActiveSG Sector 1, addressed the coaches: “We can allow more institutions to push for a common goal… this is for the development of Singapore tennis and it is not just for Singapore. For South East Asian tennis to be somewhere on the world map we really need to get our act together… let’s move toward the same direction”.
Ng also revealed, that with the success of the program, there were plans to continue the coaches clinic in the new year.
One player that benefited from the experience was Stefanie Tan. The 28th SEA Games alumnus had this to say “This (the coaching clinic) has given me a taste of what it’ll be like on the tour. It’s been really exciting to learn from these guys and to see their work ethic and how much effort they put on the court but at the same time they’re having fun”
Stefanie Tan in action. Photo: Sport Singapore
“Having seen improvement over the last couple of days, it really motivates me and makse me believe that I can become a professional tennis player” she continued.