Tennis zeroes in on mental health of young aces
The raging pandemic continues to take its toll on athletes as they encounter several roadblocks that prevent them from training, let alone competing.
Worse, they are starting to feel the impact of the coronavirus lockdown in other areas, too—like mentally.
That’s why a weekly webinar, started by the Philippine Tennis Association (Philta), tries to touch on the athletes’ psychological wellness specially among the junior players.
“This generation has unlimited access to information; it can be good or bad. But the important thing is to help them filter these information and put in the right values in their minds,” said Gerber Mamawal, Philta junior tennis training coordinator.
Tennis gets a lot of media mileage from its pros, especially after top local stars provided the country with its golden moments in last year’s Southeast Asian Games.
But it also has a robust grassroots roster. Mamawal, along with top Philta officials and coaches including head mentor Chris Cuarto, said there are at least 2,000 tennis players in the 10-under division alone.
“It is important to have routines for these young kids,” Mamawal said. “The discipline to follow a set of things to do every day and have structure in their lives despite the pandemic.”
Their webinar, which started two months ago, has so far reached at least 40 clubs and 20 schools nationwide.
“All of them (tennis youths) have too much free time in their hands,” said the 33-year-old official, who taught tennis in San Beda, Miriam and the Children Tennis Workshop, among others.
He said the so-called new normal, is already a big mental test for the young athletes because they departed from their usual routines of “seeing their friends, gathering and doing activities.”
“This pandemic is teaching them the values of adapting to situations especially those that didn’t go their way,” he said.
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