Early exposure to sports; consistent training; and lots of competition against different and better opponents are the three main factors to produce a world class athlete according to Alejandro W. Clemente former undersecretary of Department of Education Culture and Sports under the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos. Early exposure to sports; Usec. Clemente started playing tennis when he was 6 years old. By the time he was 15 years old, he was already a champion of U.P. and went on to win some school tournament in the United States when he went there for further schooling. World champions like Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer started playing tennis at an early age. Same with their counterpart women tennis champions Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, and the Williams sisters. So it is proven that early exposure is a really big factor in developing future world champions.

Proper and consistent training; It is very costly and expensive to the part of student or pupil athlete and school to hire a trainer. In tennis the lowest fee for the trainer is P200.00 per hour, if they trained five times a week it will cost P1000.00 so it is very hard to an average Filipino to pay for that amount. You may have notice that junior athletes who are in the top ten of their own sports events can afford to pay for their personal trainer are those elite and rich family.

The Department of Education sent teacher coach and teacher trainer of different sports event to lessen the expenses for the training of student/pupil athletes. But the problem is trainings and seminars for teacher coach/trainer are very minimal. And if they are ready to train those athletes, they don’t have enough time to train them because these teachers are loaded with their teaching loads. Teacher coach/trainer must lessen at least 80 minutes of teaching loads and use 80 minutes plus the P.E. time to hold training that would be enough to have a proper and consistent training.

Lots of competition against different and better opponents; I still remember the time I talked with Daniel the son of former Usec. of DECS  Alfredo W. Clemente after we played tennis with his dad at Pilar Tennis Club, ( They won but it was a great match) he said,  he could not even remember the name and face of his opponents as he was preparing for the next match. He also mentioned some names in the top 50 of ATP tour that he played during the time he was playing at the age-group in the United States. An interview with Roger Federer after he won the 2009 French Open for the first time in his career, he thanked his dad for driving him every weekend around Switzerland  and cross boarders  just to compete at very young age. Imagine how many games he played to become a world champion. If an average Filipino can’t afford to join a lot of tournaments because of financial constraint, home and away games in the division and outside the province is the best solution to play with different and better opponents.

By: Jose C. Guanzon

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