Connecticut’s Manick becomes youngest certified coach
CROMWELL, CT – Sharan Manick, a sophomore at Cromwell High School in Cromwell, CT, is not your average tennis player. He competes in USTA tournaments, Junior Team Tennis and high school tennis, and in September, at just 15 years old, he became a Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) Level 1 certified coach, making him the youngest in the country with that designation.
As an L1 coach, Manick can teach beginner to low intermediate players of all ages.
“I am super excited, and this accomplishment motivates me to do more. I am hopeful this motivates other junior players to get certified as well,” Manick said.
When Manick is not training with his father, he’s playing at the Tennis & Fitness Center of Rocky Hill under the guidance of Angelo Rossetti and Ron Goodman.
Miguel Garcia, Manick’s former coach, first exposed him to coaching in fifth grade where he volunteered at red ball clinics. His passion for teaching others only grew from there, and his mother, Manick’s biggest fan and motivator, convinced him to take his hobby to the next level and become certified.
We spoke with Manick and asked him some questions about his coaching journey.
What made you want to act on your coaching passion and get certified?
I loved interacting with the kids and the energetic atmosphere on the court. I always want to give my best in everything I do. To be a better coach, I felt that my experience as a coach was not enough. I wanted to learn and improve my skills, so I decided to pursue my certification to learn the tools and techniques that I needed.
What did you learn through the certification process?
Through the certification process, I learned many strategies on how to coach young players. I learned what I was doing well and what I was missing. I received valuable feedback during the workshops to improve.
Have you coached anywhere during or since becoming certified?
While getting my certification in the summer, I coached the young kids in my neighborhood at our town courts. I raised and donated $500 to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. I want to shout out to the kids in my clinic and their parents for letting them participate!
What do you enjoy most about coaching?
I love getting to know the kids, teaching them, laughing with them, and having fun with them! Coaching tennis is not only teaching players how to play tennis but also teaching them to love tennis. To teach players how to love tennis, you need to be fun and inspiring. That is my goal. I see coaching as an opportunity to introduce and teach the sport I love. I am also trying to make tennis more accessible to everyone in my community.
In your opinion, what makes a good coach?
Every player is unique. I think a good coach needs to be understanding and able to adapt quickly to young players to suit their needs. You need to be able to understand if the players don’t like a game or if they are just in a bad mood that day, especially with young kids. To be successful, you need to be able to switch up the games and entertain the kids, while still teaching them important lessons.
What are your future coaching aspirations?
I want to coach at my local tennis club soon during the indoor months and continue to coach kids in the summer through my clinic. I plan to expand my clinic to incorporate more kids from surrounding neighborhoods. I believe continuous learning is important, so I will start the process to get Level 2 certified as I get older.
What advice would you give other young players thinking about getting into coaching?
My advice to other junior players would be to just get out there and look for an opportunity to assist a coach! As you spend more time on the court with the kids, I’m sure that you will fall in love with it, just like I did! Once you decide that you want to coach, you should talk to your coach and parents about getting your certification.