ITF coach has a warning for Sri Lanka | Sunday Observer

ITF coach has a warning for Sri Lanka

Pancho Alvarino (right) and Iqbal bin Isaack
Pancho Alvarino (right) and Iqbal bin Isaack

There is a big difference among tennis players from Asia and the European countries that is also a big problem for Sri Lanka to tackle if the sport has to be taken to a competitive level in the future, was the observation made by Pancho Alvarino the tennis coach from Spain.

He said this at a media conference held at the SLTA on Wednesday (12) after he completed a three day training secession in Sri Lanka.

Alvarino is from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and sent to Asian countries to assist their national associations improve the level of standards of the national training centres. He has been working with some handpicked coaches of Sri Lanka at the SLTA courts to educate them on the methods to spot and pick talented young players.

“Alvarino said that the difference in players from Asia is in their mentality. A lot of young players are good in their technique and skills but what makes a player win is in their mentality,” noted Alvarino.

“Sri Lanka has a lot of good players at the base but good coaching is necessary to take them to the next level.

“Sri Lanka has two types of courts which is a great advantage for players to learn on. The facilities are also good but not the best. The methods of coaching must be improved among the coaches also and the player has to play in more tournaments to gain exposure and experience,” said Alvarino.

The SLTA president Iqbal bin Isaack proudly said that they have a large number of juvenile players from many regions in Sri Lanka. Tennis is taken to eleven regions in Sri Lanka like Kandy, Ratnapura, Jaffna, Batticaloa, Kurunegala and Negombo. There are about 8000 players in the under-10 to 16 age categories playing in these regions. The structures must be improved and the coaches too must be updated with the latest methods in coaching according to Alvarino.

“We are going in the right path and have good facilities and structure, but we don’t have many good coaches. They have to improve in their training level if we are to raise our standard of tennis. We will be introducing a licensing system for coaches who qualify. They cannot coach without this license. A good coach should be a person with motivation and sound philosophy,” said Iqbal.

The coaching structure will also be improved and will set up a high performance centre for those players who have reached national level. This is a new opening that will help further improve the standard of the tennis player.

Sri Lanka men’s and women’s teams have reached group II in their respective international ratings.