I’m often asked, “Who’s a really good tennis coach for my child?”
My answer: Tommy Frederiksen.
For the past 15 months, he’s been the coach of my daughter Jana. He, too, coaches Anday Alferez and Shyne Villareal. Between the three of them (all Bright Academy varsity scholars), they’ve won the Milo National Little Olympics, Batang Pinoy and more than 15 singles and 10 doubles titles.
He’s good. He’s in Cebu. And, best of all, he’s available to teach your child tennis.
Tommy hails from Sweden. On Bjorn Borg, the greatest ever Swedish athlete, Tommy says, “We were born the same year, even in the same hospital, Sodersjukhuset, in 1956 and we lived in Stocholm, the capital city of Sweden.”
Bjorn Borg and Tommy Frederiksen, as 10 year olds, even tried out in the same Stockholm tennis school. And while Borg went on to win five Wimbledon and six French Open crowns, Tommy pursued other sports such as ice hockey and soccer and went on to work in the corporate field (Human Resources).
Now, he’s full time into tennis. He’s the head coach at Bright Academy and he teaches tennis P.E. to those from Grades 2 to 6.
This summer, Coach Tommy will be conducting a few tennis clinics. The first, at Casino Español de Cebu, will run from April 7 to May 5. This program is open to the public with a very reasonable fee of P2,000.
The next Summer Clinic of Coach Tommy is at the indoor tennis court of Bright Academy. This will be for the month of May.
WHY TENNIS? I asked Coach Tommy what makes his sport different. “You can play tennis in any part of the world,” he said. “Singles or doubles. For fun and also for competing and playing tournaments. All ages, from 5 to 75, actually there is ITF world championship tournaments for age groups up to 80 +.
“Tennis is an ‘open sport’… not like running or swimming where it is you and the competitors against the clock or by the measurement tape. Tennis, apart from technique and movement, is about anticipation, reading the play, decision-making, understanding tactics and strategy, concentration, mental skills… and it is also a sport that has style and sportsmanship as part of its history and culture. It is the most demanding sport, and the most beautiful sport. And it’s a kind of art also. Andre Agassi said ‘Hit the ball dead perfect – the only peace.’”
SWEDEN. His country has produced the likes of Borg, Stefan Edberg (who now coaches Roger Federer), Mats Wilander and Robin Soderling. Why are the Swedes so good at tennis? Sweden’s population of 9.5 million is just 10 percent of the Philippines. Why are you guys so good in tennis? I asked.
“One reason for the Swedes total domination during the 80s and 90s, including seven consecutive Davis Cup finals, was their physical strength and fitness built from early junior period,” Tommy said. “Most of the Swedish players as young cross-trained in other sports, such as football (soccer) or ice-hockey; they were conditioning is a natural part in every practice. But today tennis players from all over the world are doing physical training all the time so that is not a competitive advantage anymore.
“Another reason was the big number of Swedish players at that time, our Grand slam champions were just the tip of the iceberg. We had so many good players as we had so many kids playing the sport and guided by well educated and engaged tennis coaches.
“So abundance of tennis courts, many kids playing and having world class idols as role models, and good training by good coaches, and well organised tennis tournaments, especially the Nationals for 12U and 14U.
“One more thing: parental support is a huge factor in sport, especially tennis, and all our top players can attest to that.”
Coach Tommy Frederiksen will hold a summer tennis program at Casino Espanol from April 7 to May 5, Mon-Wed-Fri 8-9:30. For more info, contact Casino Espanol at 254-2648 or Coach Tommy Frederiksen, 0917-3010338.