ISLAMABAD - Mahboob Khan, tennis programme director, MKTA, USPTR member pro since 1992, has returned to Pakistan after attending the PTR's international tennis symposium held at Hyatt Grand Cypress, Orlando, FL, USA, from February 22 to 27.

In an exclusive interview with TheNation on Saturday, Mahboob Khan said that in view of the fact that the players, their training, equipment and technique are constantly evolving it is important for the coaches to stay abreast with the latest technical developments in these areas.

During the course of that symposium which was attended by 800 coaches from around the world, world's best coaches conducted a total of 100 presentations. The topics covered included technical, tactical, physical, mental and marketing aspects of the game.

“Dave Miley, the ITF's development boss, during the course said that tennis should be an easy, fun, and healthy sport. Through "Play and Stay" or "Quick Start" programmes, we can involve more and more players into tennis. He demonstrated that using a modified court, equipment, and foam balls, it is possible to train 24 to 36 players on one court.

The coaches should try to give instant success to the first timers so that they were able to play the sport on the first day. They should be able to serve, rally, and keep the score. The game-based approach basically encourages the players to play on their first lesson, and the coaches should then give them some technical advice about grips and swings as their interests unfold. 

Mahboob was part of his on-court demonstration. It may be mentioned that the national coach was the first in Pakistan who had started this programme at his academy about a year ago.

Commenting on Chuck Kriese of USA, Mahboob said, he talked about fundamental physical, mental and emotional training. He emphasized the importance of shadow drill stroking without ball. He used progressions to go from dead ball to live ball exercises.

During the course of the symposium, the parade of nation was also held in which Mahboob carried Pakistan's flag. At the end of this parade he talked about peace in the world by saying: "As citizens of the shrinking world each one of us has a responsibility to world's peace. We will generate more revenue from our coaching programmes if there is peace in the world. Therefore, we should strive to wage peace in the world."

The highlight of this trip was Mahboob Khan's semi-final win in three sets over Ken Dehart who is the director of tennis at San Jose Swim and Racquet Club in California. Ken is both USPTA and USPTR master professional, a USTA high performance coach, national trainer for recreational coaches, a member of the Cardio Tennis speakers team, as well as Wilson's advisory staff and speakers bureau. He co-authored the international book of drills with Dennis Van der Meer. Ken has written extensively for TennisPro, and has been published in Tennis. He is Associate Editor of, and is on the Advisory Staff for In this context, Mahboob's victory over Ken was the talk of the symposium.

"It is an honour for me that I represented Pakistan in this prestigious coaches' event. In 1994, I was the first and only Pakistani who had completed Dennis van der Meer's TU-I/certification course at Hilton Head Island, SC USA. I am glad that I was able to sponsor myself to bring new knowledge and training equipment to be used by our players," he concluded.