By Sean Yun and Francis Lawrence
In retrospect, 2018 was an extremely eventful year for Raffles Tennis, ranging from our ‘A’ Division campaign, our tennis camp, as well as numerous other gatherings and meals at various locations. These included potlucks, Thanksgiving celebrations, and postseason celebrations where we engaged in many activities such as swimming, foosball, and karaoke, amongst many others. During our ‘A’ Division season, we trained extremely hard and gave our best in all our matches against many different schools with varying playstyles. Our girls team emerged as champions, beating Anglo Chinese Junior College by a comfortable scoreline of 4-1 in the finals, while our boys team fought to the bitter end in a nail-biting 3-2 loss to Anglo Chinese School (Independent), emerging as 1st runners-up.
We train at least 3 times a week, with each session lasting approximately 2 hours. 2 of these trainings are official training sessions, where 2 coaches supervise us – on Wednesdays from 2pm to 4pm and on Fridays from 5pm to 7pm – to improve our technique and fitness. This includes our world-class head-coach, Weber Oh, the only level 3 coach in all of Singapore, and one of the 42 few across the entire globe. He has often masterminded our wins through his tough training methods as well as his incredible perception of the opponents’ lineup, thus giving us a strategic advantage. We also have a self-training session on Tuesdays from 4pm to 6pm, where we play tennis and train by ourselves in a more light-hearted manner. Our Friday trainings are usually followed by team dinner sessions, which are usually at Junction 8, where we usually just talk and banter around. This makes our team more bonded, and results in us looking forward to training sessions.
During our CCA sessions, our coaches usually engage us in tennis-specific drills where we work on all aspects of our tennis game, including our serves, volleys and consistency. In the midst of our ‘A’ Division season, we will also engage in more match-play so that we can adjust to the demands of competitive tennis. At the end of each training session, we undergo intensive physical fitness training sessions, such as running 2.4 km, court sprints or interval training.
To start off the year, we had a 2 day 1 night tennis camp in February, so as to introduce the juniors to the rest of the team as well as to usher them in. Our camp was filled with games such as running man, football, and icebreakers, which helped to ease the juniors into the team and relieve the tension of being a new addition to the team. Next, we had our gruelling ‘A’ division season, which lasted from March till May, and during this period there would sometimes be additional training sessions organised. On top of regular meetups and gatherings, we also have a trip to Taiwan once every 2 years. These trips allow us to spar with some of the Taiwanese players so as to gain experience, and are usually organised during the March Holidays. It also serves as a fun experience to help the team bond closer together.
If you intend to join our CCA, you will have to attend our school trials, where you will be trialled by one of our coaches. This trial typically involves rallying with an existing member of the CCA so that the coach can ensure that your consistency is of a decent standard. You may also be asked to execute the more niche aspects of the game, including serving and volleying. Finally, there will be a physical fitness trial, where the coach will require you to perform a physically demanding exercise and observe how well you can hold up. Anyone who is genuinely interested in tennis and is willing to work hard to hone their skills will enjoy being in our CCA, as we are a committed bunch of individuals who love tennis!