Kinesis Tennis Academy hosted an Instant Tennis session to impart fundamentals of the game to beginners

A son giving a pep talk to his father, a daughter cheering up her nervous mother, and men and women, cutting across age-groups and social hierarchies, itching for their first feel of tennis were all part of the diverse vignettes seen at the Kinesis Tennis Academy courts in Kundanahalli, a fortnight ago.

These visuals reflected a kind of reverse synthesis initiated by M. Krishna Kumar, renowned coach and director of KTA. “There are many who watch tennis on television and love the sport but are somehow nervous about playing the game.

I wanted them to shed their inhibitions and get a feel of wielding a racquet and the soft bounce of the tennis ball. So we devised a concept called ‘Instant Tennis', which is basically a 45-minute module that helps the beginner get a fundamental awareness of how to play tennis. I invited parents of our wards to come over and have a knock, so that they will be more clued in to the game and also be aware of what their children are learning out here,” Krishna Kumar said.

The academy that has roots stretching all the way back to 1997 has evolved over the years and currently has three centres, with the other two venues being Hennur and Yamalur.

“There is this perception that tennis is an expensive sport, but it isn't. You need a minimum of about Rs. 1,500 for a racquet and the same amount may be for a good pair of shoes and so with Rs. 3,000, you are all set for the game. As our dean Pavan Murthy says, ‘Tennis is not a ‘cheap' sport but it is an affordable sport',” Krishna Kumar said.

Grooming talent and strengthening the Indian tennis conveyor belt remain long-term goals while for Krishna Kumar, the key is to empower coaches, who in turn will nurse the talent.

“We have a lot of youngsters training with us and our process has been standardised across venues. We are the only tennis academy to gain an ISO 9001 quality certification and our coaches are all well qualified. Their minimum yardstick is graduation but we have many post-graduates and eminent people ranging from the corporate world to the Indian Foreign Service cadre. I believe that communication is a key element of coaching and all these coaches with their excellent academic background are well versed with people-skills,” Krishna Kumar said.

The academy conducts various coaching certificate programs that are in accordance with the acclaimed USTPR programme. “Almost anyone can get a Level One certificate after training with us, but, for the higher levels, you got to be an active tennis player at least at the club level,” Krishna Kumar said.

And as for the parents, they all expressed their delight over learning the rudiments of tennis while their children beamed with pride. Talk about tables being turned! For details, mail: kk@kinesisnet.com

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