ITF Olympic Solidarity Scholarship Course
Roland Kraut writes about his learning experience during the ITF - Olympic Solidarity Scholarship course he attended in Valencia, Spain held last December, 2011. Roland currently serves as the Captain of the Philippine Davis Cup team and La Salle University Tennis Team in Manila. He contributed this report to ITS Tennis News, Development Section.
"Being granted a scholarship by the International Tennis Federation to attend a Level 3 Course is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. That being said, I treated it as such - and I grabbed EVERYTHING I could possibly learn from this trip.
I read all the books, answered all the tests as well as I could, I did all the practical tests to the best of my abilities, I observed in all the top academies I went to, and I interacted with all the coaches I met. With all this, I feel now that I could impart more not only to the young players but also to my fellow coaches in the region.
I have been around tennis for 30 years. I started playing since I was 4 years old, I competed until I was around 21 years old. I have been coaching for 13 years - for our federation, a university, top junior players, kids, etc., and I have been abroad going to Davis Cup ties, ITF tournaments, seminars, etc.
But what made this ITF Level 3 Course a unique experience for me is that before I left the Philippines, instead of usually having a set agenda or a tennis schedule, it was the first time I set myself to open my mind, absorb, and learn for 6 weeks. I left my country with an empty mind, and I returned with 100 gig flash card in my head full of great information
Photo below L-R: Roland with ATP World No.5 David Ferrer of Spain; With Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ranked World No.8; and with Nicolas Almagro of Spain, World No.10
The course was a great experience. Now I understand the difference of high level coaching.
The Level 1 and Level 2 course was the usual classroom type of learning wherein there was a curriculum to be followed and tutors with great minds talk, teach you stuff, answer your questions, and demonstrate to you the correct things to do in coaching.
The Level 3 course, for me, is there to make you SEE and LEARN, and actually LIVE it day to day.
Now I believe in the saying that EXPERIENCE is the best teacher. Prof. Miguel Crespo was there not to teach us, but to guide us to learn ourselves by living it.
I am grateful to the Olympic Solidarity (OS), to the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the Philippine Tennis Association (PHILTA), as well us Miguel Crespo, Merlin Van De Braam , and Ajay Pathak.
I got to experience being around top ATP players, great coaches, and new mentors. Now it is my obligation to do something for my country – and this course made me ready."
NOTE: Roland Kraut is the first Philippine Coach to be certified as ITF Level 3 and among 20 coaches in Asia. This report maybe downloaded at ITF Tennis - Coaching Section