Zente (11) plays tennis at Elly Shearman Tennis Coaching. He started playing tennis when he was 4 and François started coaching him when he was 9 and a half and he just loves it! He wanted to share his thoughts from his last few competitions to give everyone an idea of what opportunities there are in tennis for young children.
Babolat UK Cup 2021
I got the news a week before the tournament that I was in the main draw of the Babolat UK Cup 2021 Brighton event. It made me feel happy and excited that I would be going to a tennis tournament where the other players are from all over the UK, and they are pretty good.
The Babolat Cup UK returned this year with an exciting new format, offering increased competitive opportunities to under 12 players across the UK, in partnership with the Progress Tour.
The high-level British under 12 tennis circuit aims to give young players a chance to battle their way through circuit events, earn circuit points, and climb a leader- board with the hopes of reaching the Masters event at Edgbaston Priory Club in Edgbaston, Birmingham. This exciting new format will see the champions taken on an incredible prize trip to the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar.
It was a long weekend for me and my family, we got to stay in a hotel 😊which made me very excited. On the other hand I was nervous what I would do, and how I would feel if I lost all my matches?
The first day was a round robin, I won all of my matches so I finished first in the box, this helped settle my nerves and I wasn’t nervous at all after that. I was relaxed and ready to try my best on the second day. I lost the semi final but won the next match so I finished third place overall. I was happy with my place and that I was entered into this tournament and I also entered a competition with a chance to win Rafa’s racket.
The other players were friendly, we played together after the matches and I made some new friends, we have found each other on Instagram and we chat all about tennis, which is really good.
I spent the whole afternoon after the tournament on the beach. The water was super cold….
Meanwhile I was selected for the County Cup in the Avon team. It was a great feeling to represent Avon, our county. I was a little bit scared because what if I didn’t perform well.
County Cup events give players the opportunity to represent their county in team competition in national/regional stages. Events are held at different times of the year and in order to compete players have to be selected by their county.
There are separate County Cup competitions for six age groups, 18U, 14U, 12U, 11U, 10U and 9U.
After the two day event, I can say it was amazing! I enjoyed playing doubles, singles and off court was cool too. It was the cream on the top that I won both my singles matches. We played football and were cheering for each other. A great extra at the County Cup was that between sets the coaches were allowed to talk with the players and give feedback, tactics, what we did well or what could be improved. This has never happened to me before and it was extremely helpful.
François is really supportive and always messages me before all my tournaments. He always asks me to play with my style, be confident, believe in myself and win or lose it doesn’t matter. I try to act like this but sometimes it’s so hard, when I am on court, I really would like to win.
Feedback from Elly Shearman
Elly Shearman, head coach at Elly Shearman Tennis Coaching explains: “We are so proud of Zente, he has been playing tennis with us since 2018 and his improvement is just fantastic. He is completely committed to learning more about tennis and is always focused!
“There are so many opportunities for children within tennis, if you are interested in finding out more please do email me.
“We would like to congratulate Zente on all his hard work and progress and we look forward to see how his tennis continues over the next few years and beyond.”