Indian tennis needs a sports science centre: Paes
When it comes to tennis heroes in India, the counting does not go beyond three or four and picture is piteous on women's side.
Dwelling on the reasons for the bleak scenario, Paes said the problem lies in off-court training.
"The primary factor is the lack of understanding about the need for an intensive training regime away from the court. Our juniors have great tennis skills but fall short on the physical aspect," Paes told PTI in an interview.
"The lack of a sports science center in the country hinders not only tennis but every other sport too. That is one of the primary needs of Indian sports."
"We need to get that sports science center which will allow our athletes to train scientifically. Then, the whole culture of fitness for professional sport has to come in.
"We need world-class trainers and physios. Tennis skills our coaches can impart, especially at the beginner level, but that emphasis on sweating off-court has to be made."
The trio of Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza has been the face of Indian tennis internationally for quite some time.
Of late India have found the mettlesome Somdev Devvarman, who with his indomitable spirit, revived the interest in the game. Then there is fast growing Yuki Bhambri, whose age and demeanour belies the sheer grit and passion with which he takes the court.
And Leander acknowledges their training regimen.
"Somdev already knows the value of quality fitness. He trains with Andy Roddick and has good support through his managers at Mamba. He does not need my advise, he's smart enough to know what professional tennis demands."
"Also, he has a good work ethic and the willingness to go through the pain of persistent gym work."
"Yuki is still growing as a player. He regularly visits the Nick Bollettieri academy in Florida and has access to their trainers," he said.
Leander said there is no dearth of tournaments in India for exposure and urged the players to understand the need for out of court training.
"There has been major improvement in exposure as now India holds a great number of Futures. It is up to aspiring players to understand that hitting balls alone will not make them into performers on the Tour. They have to hit the gym and that do under expert supervision," he said.
Assam, Feb 22 (ANI): These youngsters have gathered at the Jorhat Districts Sports Association Field to participate in a recruitment rally b... More Assam, Feb 22 (ANI): These youngsters have gathered at the Jorhat Districts Sports Association Field to participate in a recruitment rally being conducted by the Indian Army. Thousands of youth from different districts of Assam as well as from Arunachal Pradesh took part in the process. Through this recruitment drive, hundreds of people will be selected and absorbed into the different regiments of the Indian Army. The army officials were impressed by the large turnout. The Indian army and other security forces regularly conduct such recruitment programmes in the region with an aim to increase the presence of youth from the Northeast in the armed forces.
Date 22-02-14, Duration 1:54, Views 36