Sign-on for Saturday morning competition
By TONY POLACK
TORRENTIAL rain on Friday night caused all divisions of the Saturday morning Junior Tennis Competition to be cancelled.
Let's hope that the weather is kinder this weekend for both junior competition and the Little Masters Tennis tournament being held at Westside courts.
If you have not entered yet and you want to play you can still enter today by contacting Ben Vandenburg on 6652 7694. Last weekend the rain almost ended training for all the best juniors on the North Coast.
Once a month they meet in Coffs Harbour to train with head coach Tony Polack.
With juniors travelling from as far north as Tweed Heads and south from Taree it was important that the trip not be for nothing due to the weather.
After studying the radar screen on the Bureau of Meteorology website it was decided to go ahead with the weekend and the weather was kind to us.
All five hours of training on both days went ahead uninterrupted.
Coffs Harbour has three juniors in the squad and one on the reserve pool.
Chanel Cunningham, Jarren Pfefferkorn and Jessica Polack are all in the squad and Morgan Waterhouse is on the reserve pool.
These four all started their tennis by being coached from the age of eight or nine.
As soon as they had reached a level high enough to begin playing some form of competition they all went into Saturday morning junior competition where they progressed through the divisions.
Saturday morning competition is great for the kids as it provides as it provides a non-pressure environment to play two sets of singles and one of doubles.
Anyone wanting information on coaching or junior competition can contact Tony Polack on 0428 454 928 or 6652 5626.
Once these four gained some confidence playing local competition they then started in the Lower North Coast Junior Development Series tournaments of which there are six at the beginning of each year.
These are also structured well so that those playing their first tournaments play each other and have to win before progressing to the better competitors in each age group.
Once these four were good enough to be in the seeded pool in their age groups it was then time to start playing more tournaments and from this flows selection in the NCAS junior tennis squad.
This squad trains together about one weekend a month, travels to tournaments as a group and will now play inter squad challenges against other squads throughout the state three times a year.
These juniors development friendships that will last a lifetime in this squad.
Thus it is not just all about tennis.
Squads like this in any sport are obviously beneficial for their sport but also greatly beneficial for their personal and social development.
You can see that these four juniors have travelled the exact same path that I have outlined in previous articles is available to all juniors who take up tennis.
It does not take a lifetime to break into the higher end of the path such as the regional squad.
Morgan, Jessica and Jarren have all gone into the squad as 12-year-olds.
They have probably been playing for four years and have now reached the really fun part of sport where you travel away with your mates to play something you enjoy.
Beats sitting at home playing computer games, watching videos or hanging out down the street with other friends not knowing what to do with yourselves.
Get your child into tennis or any other sport for that matter.