Starting your child on a journey towards becoming an elite competitive junior tennis player is an exciting journey. As there are many steps along the way, it is easy to become lost or take sideways path that will hinder Juniors progress and development into a top tennis player. Here, we set out a definitive guide for tennis parents in their journey with Junior to the top of the competitive junior rankings in their age groups and the most ideal way to seek out the best tennis academies in Singapore, best tennis coaches in Singapore, tennis trainers and tennis programs for Junior to facilitate his success in tennis tournaments and tennis competitions.
How Elite Competitive Junior Tennis Players are ranked in Singapore
The ranking of Singapore’s Competitive Junior Tennis Players is administered by the Singapore Tennis Association (STA). STA is the National Sports Association (NSA) for the sport in Singapore under SportSG (formerly known as Singapore Sports Council). Competitive Junior Tennis Players gain their ranking by competing in the SPEX Junior Age Group Tournaments in Singapore, which they can sign-up for online here. There are six such tennis tournaments each year, and the year-end rankings shall be determined by the sum of the ranking points of all the participants over the course of the year. Playing all the tennis tournaments will definitely help, but because the tennis ranking points increase are exponential, it is much more important to reach the deeper stages of a tennis tournament.
Why is the Competitive Junior Tennis Players Rankings so Important?
Competitive Junior Tennis Players’ ranking in Singapore is important because of the Ministry of Education’s Direction Admission Scheme (DSA). If your child is ranked in the top 20 of his cohort, there is a good chance that he will be accepted into Raffles Institution, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Hwa Chong Institution, Victoria School, Raffles Girls’ School, Methodist Girls’ School, Nanyang Girls’ High School or Singapore Chinese Girls School ahead of Junior’s Primary School Leaving Examination Results, which can be very helping in being able to attend one of the top secondary schools in Singapore while avoiding a lot of stress for both Junior and yourself. Many of these top tennis schools also engage quality tennis trainers to provide a good tennis program, so juniors will have productive tennis training even in school.
Once they are in secondary school, Competitive Junior Tennis Players ranking in Singapore is also important because typically, the top 6 players get invited to try out for World Junior Games, Junior Davis Cup, Junior Fed Cup, and Asean Schools tournament and the Youth Olympic Games to represent Singapore in international competition. Such national representation is important from Junior to receive their Colours Award from the Ministry of Education which has an important bearing on the scholarship opportunities.
Tennis Training in Singapore
Best Private Tennis Lessons in Singapore
If you are serious about developing your child into a competitive junior tennis player in Singapore, the most effective approach is to send Junior for private tennis lessons. Private tennis lessons are one-to-one tennis trainings between Junior as his personal coach that is usually sixty, ninety or a hundred and twenty minutes. Providing Junior with the best private tennis lessons in Singapore are important because this is when fundamentals and techniques are imparted and repeated. Because the time is solely for Junior, and the tennis lesson is customised specifically to Junior and his or her attributes and temperament and approach to the game, and a high volume of repetition which is essential for improvement is achieved.
In Daniel Coyle’s “The Talent Code“, a lot of research and evidence reveal that high volume repetition of the correct technique is a cornerstone for improvement. It is also during private tennis lessons that aspects such as tennis tactics and mental toughness are also imparted to Junior. The best tennis coaches in Singapore are keenly aware of this and make imparting such skills an important part of their private tennis lessons.
Group Tennis Lessons in Singapore
If budget is not an issue, private lessons are certainly the way to go. However, to provide Junior with the recommended amount of training per week (the rule of thumb is number of hours of quality training should be equivalent to their age in years up to 18 years of age), it can be very costly to have solely private lessons. As such, group tennis lessons in Singapore by qualified tennis trainers can be engaged to supplement Junior’s training program. Most of the best tennis academies in Singapore provide group tennis lessons, such as TAG‘s lessons at Winchester Tennis Arena, Chinese Swimming Club and the SAFRA Clubs.
High quality group tennis lessons can also be found at the ActiveSG Tennis Academy which is helmed by the Academy’s Senior Coach Tan Xu Teng and assisted by TAG’s Tennis Coaches Jeremy Maniago, Bobby Esquivel and Neils Khoe. The ActiveSG Tennis Academy has a stable of quality tennis trainers that are mainly locals.
Best Tennis Coaches in Singapore
There are several types of tennis coaches in Singapore, ranging from those from best tennis academies in Singapore to the freelancers and the weekend part-time coaches, or even ball-feeders who act as a tennis trainer or hitting partner with no coaching inputs.
As there is a huge body of research to show that children at a younger age are visual learners, what is most important is to find a private coach who is well-certified, and with a vast amount of competitive experience as well as a high level tournament player. Some of the more notable coaching certifications include ITF, TCA, AATC, PTR and the GPTCA. The best tennis coaches in Singapore would hold at least one of these tennis coaching certifications.
From the list of well accredited coaches, it would be possible to narrow it down to coaches with extensive international competitive experience. Such playing record is publicly available at the ITF, ATP and WTA websites. For example, Coach X, Coach Bo, Coach Michael, Coach Pratim are all ranked players on the international circuit. Coach Rocky Paglalunan has coached Jeson Pratombon to number 9 in the world junior ITF rankings, while Coach Israel Abarquez is the reining Singapore Open Men’s Singles Champion.
The Guide to Tennis Competitions and Tennis Tournaments
One very important aspect for Competitive Tennis Junior Players to do very well in the local tennis competition when it matters is to provide them with a lot of matches. Tennis socials in Singapore is limited, but with some effort, the parents can make it happen. The first and obvious necessary way is to exchange contacts with other tennis parents you meet at the tennis tournaments. Junior’s tennis trainer can also link you up with other parents. Then just book a public court and arrange matchplay for Junior. Slightly more formal social competition include the JTT League, and the Smash Junior Tennis League by former national tennis player Leong Shieh Yen. Basically, the more matches Junior has under his/her belt, when it comes to actual matches that matter, they will have a lot more experience, understand their own strengths and weaknesses, understand how best they win their points, and also be a lot less anxious and thus less tentative and conservative during their matches.
Overseas tournaments also can provide the family with a nice weekend getaway for good food and tennis, such as a roadtrip to Malaysia, where the standard of play is high and is usually a fruitful trip for the family. You can find the schedule of Junior Tennis Tournaments from the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia here. While Junior is young, the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) provides serious international competition for the Under-14s. Many of the junior tennis tournaments are held in Thailand, and it is highly recommended for a short holiday getaway centered around tennis for Junior to experience some high level tennis tournament play. When Junior has reached a high level, and his tennis journey is ready for the serious amateur level for the path towards professional tennis, he is ready to participate in the ITF World Tennis Junior and Transition Tour Tournaments, in preparation for a professional tennis career on the ATP and WTA Tour.
The journey to develop a top level elite competitive junior tennis player is can be a tough task even for the most dedicated parents. Hopefully the information in this article has helped to organise all the different resources and information into one place to help you to streamline the process to avoid unnecessary detours that may set back Junior’s development. It is important to hire the best tennis coaches for Junior so that his or her developing will steadily progress forward, rather than two-steps forward and one-step backward, or worse, in a perpetually sideways manner. I will be happy to hear from you and assist Junior in his tennis journey.
Tan Xu Teng
Founder and Head Coach
TAG International Tennis Academy
Where Champions Learn to Play
W http://www.tennisallegiance.com | tagtennis.org
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M +6598395232 | +6591832852 | +6590298400
Winchester Tennis Arena
Where it’s Game On, Always.