He keeps telling his students to "Get stronger every day." Now, following his own ideology, he has been inducted in one of the most prestigious groups in the world of Lawn Tennis coaching. Suresh Maurya's latest feather in the cap sees him as only the second Indian to complete the Professional Tennis Registry's (PTR) Master of Tennis - Performance (MOTP) programme.
The PTR's MOTP is headquartered at the Hilton Head Island. It has been completed by only two Indians till date: Shrimal Bhatt and Suresh Maurya. A complete athlete himself, Maurya says it was a complete grind on a day-to-day basis. Under prominent faculties, there was something to learn every day.
What is MOTP?
The MOTP course takes a total of 12 tennis coaches under its wing for two years. The 12 coaches are selected out of the 16,000 coaches that are registered under the PTR. Maurya's completion of the course makes him one of the 67 coaches globally and the 13th Asian who successfully managed to go the distance in this esteemed programme.
The PTR's MOTP programme is a highly renowned course. It is accredited by the National Council of Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE), National Standards for Sports Coaches (NSSC) and United States Olympic Committee (USOC). The competencies of the program also link to those of the ITF’s highest achievement for tennis coaches. The highest of these strata is Level 5.
Coaching the coach...
The course is structured in a way wherein a coach needs to inculcate the vast knowledge of tennis within him. Later, he has to practically apply it in two of his/her students at the junior and senior level over the course of 2 years. Moreover, each coach is supervised individually. In Maurya's case, he was guided by Dr Anne Pankhurst. Such is Dr Pankhurst's stature that she became the first British woman to be named a PTR International Master Professional. This accolade has been won by only 53 people globally. Some of them are Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King, Dr Jim Loehr and Dr Jack Groppel. In 2017, Pankhurst was the recipient of ITF's "Service to the Game" award.
The athletic centred coaching approach is the heart of the MOTP. It contains various modules which hone the coach in the art of shaping his/ her protegee. Under the wing of an experienced coach, the students need to be trained in various on-court skills apart from the racquet skills. These include mental strength, stamina building, perseverance, technical, tactical and much more.
In a country like India where tennis players are still struggling to make a bigger impact on the singles circuit, getting more and more professional coaches into the picture is the need of the hour. Hence, coaches like Maurya can provide these budding talents with their professional expertise, thereby preparing them for the bigger stages.
All the feathers in his cap...
Suresh Maurya has been a coach since the past 15 years. He has the experience of International coaching for nearly 8 years. The United States Professional Tennis Registry (USPTR) Professional 4A certificate holder is also credited as the Level 3 coach by the All India Tennis Association (AITA). In 2016, the USPTA Elite Professional receiver was awarded the Coach of the Year (India) Award by the USPTR. Moreover, in September 2019, the Ahmedabad based coach was presented with PTR President Award at New Delhi.
Additionally, in December 2019, Maurya successfully completed the B-Level certification of the Global Professional Tennis Coach Association (GPTCA). This is certified by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) which is the governing body of men's tennis globally.
Perks of having a Master of Tennis in your nation
"Staying the same means going backwards" is yet another principle that the Director of Neon Sports Academy is steadfast to. This is also the sort of mentality that is expected from the Indian tennis fraternity. Since decades, Indian tennis has seen its singles players break into the Top 100, but falter soon after. They might hang in around within the Top 200, but what good is it at the tour level. Uplifting an entire sport in a nation of billions is no easy task. But, an optimistic foundation to raise the bars is certainly mandatory.
Maurya has been instrumental in elevating the level of Lawn Tennis in Gujarat just because of the positive outlook he draws. The coaching expertise of Maurya dwells on the principle of individual up-gradation. He keeps a strong communication link with the other coaches of his institute in order to know the areas where there lies a room of improvement. Moreover, when we think about it, this very step of perfecting every nook and corner of an athlete's tissues is what helps in churning out a future Sania Mirza or a future Leander Paes.
Better coaches, better training, better players, better results. A lot of secondary factors may influence a young athlete's rise in a country like India. But it takes a hero to break through those. He/She cannot do this alone. The player needs a guide, a guru, a mentor who can make the athlete realize his hidden potential. Continued success and growth, unlocking achievements at regular intervals and being a class apart in his domain has made Suresh Maurya a coaching figure that young guns can definitely look up to.