“Love the process”.
That’s the advice from Get Set Tennis coach Nelson Parker to any youngsters aspiring to success on the court.
Parker dropped into the Paramount Tennis Club on Friday as part of the Sydney International tour, alongside the tournament’s men’s, women’s, singles and doubles trophies.
Some local juniors were thrilled to get photos with the trophies, before Parker and his fellow coaches Reza Tompsett and Mitch Joyce put the kids through their paces.
“No matter what you’re doing, you’ve got to continue to love the process,” Parker said.
“Enjoyment is going to be the key to success in this sport, so just make sure you have fun!”
Dubbo was the fourth stop on their tour, which is designed to bring the historic Sydney International – one of the world’s oldest tennis tournaments – back to the grass roots.
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Parker said there were “absolutely” some “superstars” in rural NSW.
“One of the things I notice about kids in the country is, because they play so many sports, it relates to their tennis ability,” he said.
“They’re a jack of all trades so there’s some out here that we might see on the pro circuit in a few years.”
Dubbo South Public School student Lindon Lempriere is one of those hoping to play tennis professionally one day.
The 11-year-old said he felt “very lucky” the tour chose Dubbo for one of its nine stops.
“It’s just fun to play,” he said of his love for the sport.
When asked what it might take to ‘go pro’, he said “a lot of believing and just trying your best”.
“And don’t give up,” Lempriere added.
Parker grew up in Cooma, and said giving back to rural towns “means everything”.
“We used to love it when things like this would come to our town; it just gives it a little bit of a lift and a spark,” he said.
“Every time I go to a place like this, it just reminds me of home.
“Being able to go around and just give access and opportunities to these kids, like I had in the past, it’s a great way to give back.”
And the kids aren’t the only one’s benefiting, with Tennis NSW Central West participation leader Matt Edwards also keen to learn from the visiting coaches.
“When we come out of Canberra, not only do we love to share all our ideas … but we learn from the coaches here,” Parker said.
“There’s no competitive spirits at all, which is really great in this tennis community: especially in the country.
“Everyone is willing to help each other out, add ideas, and it’s only going to benefit the kids in the long run.”