Work on mental aspect of the game from Junior level, says Fed Cup star Ankita Raina

Ankita Raina QNET OpenNew Delhi: India’s history creating Fed Cup team member Ankita Raina joined the “Education Webinar for Coaches” being organised by the All India Tennis Association (AITA) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Friday. The Webinar, which started this week from 27 April (Monday), has witnessed former and current National and International champions like Nandan Bal, Yuki Bhambri, Rohan Bopanna and Ankita Raina.

Raina, highest ranked Indian on WTA rankings at 163, spoke to AITA registered coaches and Tennis experts in a unique online session which is being conducted by the support of SAI.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic situation put almost every major country in lockdown, the 2020 season began on the right note for Raina as she notched up couple of ITF Women’s Tour titles in Singles and Doubles each, and later, in March, played a crucial role in India’s historic Fed Cup feat to qualify for World Group playoffs.

Speaking to the coaches and Mental Training session expert, Dr. Janki R Deole, Raina talked elaborately on the value of a healthy sporting mind.

“We all are realising the importance of working on your Tennis skills and fitness but I feel that one should start building on their mental aspect of the game from the Junior level itself. When we are transitioning from Junior to Senior Tennis, it is observed that many players either drop out of the sport or they choose something else in life. If we work on the mental training from a very young age, it will definitely help the players,” said Raina.

She added, “As you keep improving yourself in your game and reach higher and higher rankings, there would be a stage where your mind will be tested, and at that stage, those who had worked on the mental training from a young age will be able to manage it well”.

Dr. Janki R Deole, who presented on the topic of “Importance and Integration of Sports Psychology in Tennis”, echoed her sentiments.

Understanding Sports Psychology, its importance in Tennis, the Mental Training routines, etc were some of the topics touched upon by Dr. Deole during her session on Friday.

The Education Webinar for Coaches will continue tomorrow from 10 am with a talk on “Strategy and Tactics” by Gary O’Brien.