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Road to Wimbledon in India - A day of clinics

Dan Bloxham with juniors at the Road to Wimbledon clinics in Delhi
by Paul Hutchins
Thursday 10 April 2014

The Road to Wimbledon has returned to Delhi, India, for the Junior Masters finals. Tournament Director Paul Hutchins blogs about the importance of the coaching clinics. 

Delhi is the place to be  in April as here at the Masters the weather is perfect and all juniors seem to be enjoying themselves and we are down to the final stages of the event.

We have seen not only good matches but as ever Dan the Man Bloxham, ably accompanied by top Indian coach Vishaal Uppal, have been conducting a series of clinics with the Masters juniors after the completion of the schedule.

Dan has to be one of the leading coaches in the world at getting a group of juniors highly motivated and enjoying one of his sessions. The sessions in January with Tim Henman and Dan set the scene and continues with Dan and Vishaal.

It is just a fact of life in junior tennis development that some juniors will respond and remember the hints and tips Dan is giving while others will continue with old habits. Either way we are here to help and encourage Indian juniors and have also had some excellent off court discussions with players and coaches and yesterday a separate discussion with the parents.

Parents want to know how they can become better parents and at these discussions I can see some parents looking hard at our advice and wondering if they are doing the right things!

Being supportive, encouraging, not putting too much pressure on are key messages and often easier to listen to than to ensure good execution but it has to be the right message.

Every family is different and how to bring up their children is a very individual responsibility. We quote so many examples of good and sometimes very different ways some parents have of tackling this important subject.

I also had meetings today with the Gymkhana Club, one of the most prestigious clubs in India with a vast history of tennis. It has 26 grass courts and great facilities, and is rather like going back in time with the traditional architecture and club layout including attractive gardens and eating areas. It reminds me of the Hurlingham Club in London before the modernisation and it is fitting that the Prime Minister’s residence is next door just over the wall!

There is lots of planning for 2015 onwards going on with ideas and ways in which the Road to Wimbledon, Wimbledon Foundation and HSBC can continue this first year pilot scheme. We will be completed at the end of the week with the two boys and two girl finalists winning the invitation to our UK HSBC Road to Wimbledon UK Finals in the week beginning 11 August.

It is a busy time for all concerned but with positive outcomes.

Over and out.

 


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