Yellowknife Tennis Club players had the chance to hone their skills over the long weekend as a series of clinics were held with a high-quality instructor from July 29 to August 1.
Coach Uros Budimac, a Tennis Canada Level 3 coach from Vancouver, came to Yellowknife to host sessions for the NWT’s Canada High Performance Team, who will play at the Canada Summer Games in Niagara next week.
Budimac also helped adult players build their skills on the McNiven Beach tennis courts.
“Over the weekend we focused a lot on singles and doubles and we talked a lot about things like the psychology of performance,” said Budimac. “With NWT players mainly going to Ontario to play with the best players in the country, in some cases they will be playing stronger opponents.”
Tamara Jovic, one of the Canada Summer Games coaches, said Budimac’s guidance made a big difference as the NWT prepares for next week’s competition.
“Saturday we mainly worked on singles with a focus on things like volleys and bases and serving, while on Sunday we worked a lot on doubles,” she said. “I thought it was really good to have another coach’s perspective.”
In addition to the six youth attending the national games, Budimac also oversaw three adult sessions this weekend, with 13 participants on Friday and nine on Saturday and Sunday.
Budimac is specialized in doubles tennis. Last March he published a book on the subject of Mine.
Skills around this style of play were the main focus with the older players, which he admitted he enjoys. This is largely because he is used to running adult camps in southern British Columbia, including in Whistler, Vancouver, Kelowna, Vernon, and Okanagan.
“I enjoy working with adults and I found Yellowknife players extremely enthusiastic, even if it is recreational,” he said. “They were thoughtful and very hard working developing their points game. I love that part and I really believe anyone can improve, so all of that was really nice to see”
Slavica Jovic, a director of Tennis NWT, said the club had tried to get Budimac twice in June, but was unable to arrive in Yellowknife due to canceled flights.
“It didn’t work out, but this worked even better because it happened right before the Summer Games,” she said. “The kids really enjoyed him and he really enjoyed playing.”
Budimac trained tennis players in Yellowknife in 2016 and it was important for the club to get funding through Sport North to develop the sport here, she added.
Completion of NWT Open
The NWT open mixed doubles final was held on August 1, with Tamara Jovic and Cole Clinton beating Alex Godfrey and Anita Ogaa in straight sets: 6-4 and 7-5.
Madeleine Kapraelian and Anita Ogaa also beat Maureen McCabe and Hiro Kobayashi in the women’s doubles final.
The next club tournament will be held on the weekend of August 20-21.