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Phuket’s TSLC sporting tips: Tennis and swimming

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: In a continuing series of sporting tips provided by Phuket’s Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club, resident experts Tennis Head Coach Roger Cochrane loosens his grip and Aquatics Head Coach Randy Simon is in for the long haul.

Loosening your service grip – Roger Cochrane

You have probably noticed that the more pressure you feel in a match, the more tense you become. This is very natural and happens to everyone.

Serving in a close match makes us all nervous, whether you’re a player in the 2013 US Open, or in a match against a local rival here on Thanyapura’s tennis courts. The tension can have catastrophic effects on your serve and your success.

Before each and every serve take a few seconds to rest the racket in the last three fingers of your non-racket hand, while holding the ball between your index finger and your thumb. This will allow you to rest the racket in the non-hitting hand, so you can fully relax the hand that is going to be holding the racket during the precious moment of contact.

Take advantage of these seconds to shake out your arm to relieve it of all tension. Also, because you are holding the ball lightly between your index finger and thumb, it will prevent you from squeezing the ball and a light grip on the ball will allow you to keep your toss more consistent when you are under pressure.

The picture below shows a good image of this easy and relaxed way to relieve the stress in your arm before each and every serve.

Go ahead and give it a try next time you’re on the court!

Pace yourself – Randy Simon

This is a popular time of year for athletes to make plans and set goals for the new season. However, the smart athlete will see this as a time to evaluate what went well for them and what can be improved upon for next summer. With a little analysis, and some clear direction on what our desired outcomes are, this can be a time for turning weakness into strength!

A great example of this is a swimmer I was working with over the past 8 weeks: Ayushi Chandaria.

She came to me to assist her training in preparation for competing at the FINA World Junior Championships in Dubai. She wanted to improve her performance, but we were only 8 weeks away from the meet. We agreed that pacing her swims would result in a better overall pace that she would be able to maintain for her races. At first it was difficult for her to hold pace, but as she adjusted she got to where she was able to be consistent. Tests we did showed she was ready and able to hold her paces even as she fatigued.

As a result, Ayushi was able to drop time in all 4 of her events, and set a new Kenyan National Open Record in one, the 200m Butterfly! A rare feat for a swimmer competing in a World Championships for the first time. When you have a clear goal in mind, and a solid plan for how you are going to get there, “luck” becomes more about proper preparation meeting opportunity.

Tips by Phuket’s TSLC’s Tennis Head Coach Roger Cochrane ( and Aquatics Head Coach, Randy Simon (aquatics@thanyapu(

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