Life and the world changed with a pandemic that also strongly impacted tennis, a sport that stopped since mid-March and that went through moments of uncertainty for several months. But fortunately the discipline has returned, under security measures that will last for a long time, but that will allow us to continue working and doing what we like the most.
In our house we have put into practice every indication of the authorities, complying with the health security measures that protect our students and each member of our team. In addition to this, our players and coaches have already been able to travel to compete, which has undoubtedly been an experience that will mark not only the history of humanity, but also our discipline and our academy.
Chinstraps or face masks, masks, antibacterial gel, are part of the great luggage that we must carry every day to be able to continue with our particular daily routine, optimistic with a present that has already brought us good news in the midst of the worrying reality and that drives us to keep working for a bright future.
A return under the tennis player’s vision
For the player there is now one more factor to handle in a sport as mental as tennis, where everything influences and where concentration is key to putting into practice what is worked on week after week on the courts and in gyms. “Coming back to tennis has been exciting, but a bit frustrating at the same time, trying to get back to the mentality of competing again and getting fit for the match,” confesses Sinead Lohan, who was quarantined in country, Ireland.
“I was lucky to have a court to play with, so I played there with my brother 3-4 times a week and also did a lot of exercise, since we were lucky enough to be able to leave our house”, adds our player about the times of lockdown.
At Lozano-Altur Tennis Academy we have fostered a safe environment, but also full of confidence and positivism so that all the members of this family continue working with the same will as always, so that they can continue working in the best possible way, which has stood out They have. The atmosphere has been encouraging from the coaches regarding the return to tennis at the academy”, he reveals. “I think this year will be a huge challenge and probably next year as well until we find a vaccine. We have to learn to always follow the guidelines and do everything in our control to stay safe”,says Sinead, a reasoning that lives in the minds of each one of us, prevention and care above all.
The feeling has been different for another of our young students, Caitlyn Portella, who lived a different reality during confinement. “The comeback has been mentally tough and slow”, says Caitlyn, who was unable to do any kind of sports practice, but was able to relax and enjoy time at home. “I see that the virus continues but we must learn to play under security measures because this will be the new normal for a while”, he concludes, aware that at no time should we lower our guard.
The coach’s experience in returning to tournaments
Beyond the opinion of our young athletes, the vision of our work team gives off optimism and joy in the face of adversity and if, if tennis is a sport where the mental influences, in times as hard as these, a focus must also be maintained like that of our coach Miguel Fragoso.
“The return to competition has been good, the players really wanted to compete and I really wanted them to play tournaments. It has been very good to feel the adrenaline of the competition again”, tells us the Portuguese coach, who has already been making trips to different tournaments with several of our athletes.
For Fragoso, the racket sport struggles to adapt in order to continue training and going to the championships, a coronavirus that has led to a total rethinking. “For example, I have been in Portugal in a $ 15,000 tournament and we had to fill out a form every day, they took our temperature and we had to wear a mask in closed spaces”, he details.
The first comeback of tennis occurred in Germany and the United States amid everyone’s expectation. The players entered empty courts, without ball boys, without linesmen, without cameramen, each with their towels, hydration, and all the time with the mask in place.
Such images impacted and the professional circuit has continued after the first trials, rules that must be maintained at all competitive levels and where care comes from everyone. “We ask them to keep their distance, not to touch your face, not to share bottles, rackets and other types of material. In addition, they have to disinfect their hands regularly and of course always use the mask when they are not training”, Fragoso tells us.
These are moments of adaptation, fortunately our profession is one that practices social distancing, which has allowed us to return to work and go to competitions in countries where conditions and authorities have allowed us to return to the courts.
All of us, students and coaches, have enjoyed returning to the Academy, a reunion that generated happiness and produced an atmosphere of optimism, with renewed energy despite the moment, happy to be able to enjoy our passion, tennis again.