Our juniors are up there with the best
By TONY POLACK
WITH the school holidays now on junior tennis competition is taking a break.
However, it is now that many of the better juniors venture out of Coffs Harbour to play tournaments.
The Country Championships were held at Forster last week. Most of the juniors in the Coffs Harbour TDC Squad competed at Forster.
Chanell Cunningham, Morgan Waterhouse and Jessica Polack were the best performed of our juniors.
Chanell teamed with Simone Ludeke (Wingham) to win the 14 and under girls doubles. They defeated Georgina Maher and Amy Wills from Wagga 7/5 6/3. Chanell also made the quarter finals of the singles losing to her doubles partner, Simone.
Morgan Waterhouse put behind the disappointment of losing earlier than expected in the singles to win the 12 and under boys doubles final.
He played with Thomas Billet (Maclean) to defeat Jason Taylor (Laurieton) and Matthew Wenta (Newcastle) 6/3 4/6 12/10 in an epic final.
The tension in the third set was extreme. Morgan's mum Robin was more nervous than the players in this set and needed a while to recover after the match.
Jessica Polack reached the quarter finals of the 13 and under girls singles only to lose to Lisa Stacey (Albury ) 7/5 7/5 in a match that Jessica had her chances.
She also teamed with Taylor Moore (Lismore) to reach the quarters of the 14 and under doubles. They lost in a close tussle to the eventual finalists.
These results show that our best juniors are up there with the best that country NSW has to offer. However, taking that next step to compete with better players in the State is the big challenge for these juniors.
That will require a lot more work both on court and off court with raising fitness levels and speed around the court.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the steps taken to introduce your child to tennis.
Following on from initial group coaching and playing Saturday Morning Junior competition are the various levels of tournaments.
The first stage of tournaments to enter your child are the JDS Series which are round robin format in the lower North Coast region.
From that you progress into private lessons and various squads that all coaches in the area hold.
The top squad for Coffs Harbour is the TDC Squad which is run by Tony Polack and Danny Soussa. Once you are at this level competing in long weekend tournaments on the North Coast and events like the Country Championships are next.
Next week I will outline what is available for the top juniors both in Coffs Harbour and the North Coast.
Suffice to say there is a very clear ladder that can be climbed by any junior.
All that is required is a keenness to practice and an enjoyment of the game. Probably more important is that when you practice you practice the correct things and that when you play you play the way that will allow long term development of your game. That is where a good coach is essential.
The junior has to realise that results at a young age are no where near as important as developing the strokes and foot work that can take you much further as you get older.