sports

Oct. 8, 2021

TEBOHO JAFETA

7 min read

Proficient international tennis coach, Lebohang Tšasanyane

Proficient international tennis coach, Lebohang Tšasanyane

Owner of Net Coaching Academy, Lebohang Tšasanyane

Story highlights

  • NET offers coaching services to all age groups
  • Tšasanyane’s grandfather, Ben was a national tennis champion

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LEBOHANG Tšasanyane’s journey as a tennis player began when he was aged 11 and since then, he has never looked back.

Today he is a very successful lawn tennis coach who is also recognised internationally owing to his mentorship prowess.

 He is also the owner of the New Era Tennis (NET) Coaching Academy, which is located in Sunward Park, Boksburg in South Africa, the club has two other branches in Benoni Lake and Impala, Kempton Park.

The academy offers coaching to all age groups from the age of three to adults and has employed more than 10 people.

During his playing days, in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, Tšasanyane, 38, represented his country in several international tournaments and toured many countries in Africa and Europe, including Spain and Greece among others.

The qualified tennis mentor holds three coaching certificates, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Level One certificate obtained in Swaziland in 2000 and the Spanish Level One certificate obtained in Barcelona, Spain at the Barcelona Tennis Academy in 2015 through a Spanish sponsorship and an ITF Level Two certificate also obtained in Spain.

He represented Lesotho at the 2003 All Africa Games in Abuja, Nigeria alongside Mokoali Eche, Ntsane Moeletsi and Sekhobe Moshoeshoe. All the players competed in the men’s singles tournament.

Team Lesotho had sent athletes in four disciplines including baseball, athletics, taekwondo and tennis. The taekwondo team collected six medals from the games and appeared 16th in the medals table.

Tšasanyane competed in the prestigious Davis Cup which was held in Nicosia, Cyprus in 2001 and was knocked out in the group’s stage.

One of the prominent local coaches that he groomed is Khatebe Makhooane who later attended the ITF Level Two coaching course with him in Pretoria, South Africa.

Born on December 12, 1982, Lebohang Tšasanyane is the son of Irene Tšasanyane of Ha Makhakhe, Matelile in Mafeteng.

He is from a great sporting family. His grandfather Ben Mafoko Tšasanyane was a national tennis champion. His mother is also a former tennis player.

Tšasanyane did his primary education at St James Primary before he proceeded to ’Mabathoana High School but he completed his high school education at Methodist High School in 1999.

After high school, he enrolled at the Pinnacle Business College in Johannesburg and obtained a Diploma in Public Relations before obtaining a Diploma in Cost and Management Accounting from the University of Johannesburg through a tennis bursary.

He started swinging a tennis racket as Form A learner at ’Mabathoana High at the age of 11.

“I first started playing peddle tennis on September 11, 1992 during the national teachers’ strike. I would go to the National Tennis Courts everyday where I met the then national coach, Sekhobe Moshoeshoe who grilled me for four months until January 1993 in lawn tennis.  

He made his international debut the same year at the Under-14 Tournament in Botswana as a national team player. At the age of 16, he was earmarked to be Moshoeshoe’s assistant by the Lesotho Lawn Tennis Association (LLTA) and was among others in charge of the Under-14 team which he led to several international tournaments in Pretoria, South Africa.

He worked as LLTA administrator for two years before securing a tennis coaching job in South Africa.

Kal Davis, who was the Southern Africa Tennis Development Officer and his former mentor, Moshoeshoe contributed a lot towards grooming him into a top coach.

During his varsity days at the University of Johannesburg, his impressive tennis profile landed him a fulltime coaching job which he held until he completed his studies.

He also worked at Hi-fi City before landing a tennis administrator job at LLTA which he only held for two years prior to the job in SA.  

His tennis Point Situation presentation called ‘Perform’ which he made in Johannesburg impressed the proprietor of New Era Tennis (NET) Coaching Academy, Byron Schmidt who invited him for trials at his academy.

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After he passed the trials, he joined the club as a fulltime coach. After three months at NET, his performance had improved even further and he was consequently elevated to the position of head coach.

“At the academy, I managed other coaches who were mostly Europeans, and set their training schedules on a daily basis. I employed several Basotho coaches including Pinki Montlha, Koleile Mokhitli, Charlie Bohloko, Mootsi Kakobe and Reitumetse Bohloko. The latter is the current head coach of the academy,” he says.

Schmidt sold the academy to him after two years when he ventured into a different line of business. 

His worst moment as a player was at the age of 19 in 2001 when he competed at the Davis Cup in Cyprus, where he was beaten by a 14-year opponent who was ranked 20 in the world.

He was not familiar with the clay court and the level he was competing at.

“I had never played in front of a fully packed stadium like that before. I was so embarrassed after the match. I told myself that I would work hard to ensure that other upcoming athletes did not go through the same experience I went through,” he adds.

His worst moment as a coach was during the French Junior open in France a few years ago.

“My player was leading and was supposed to win the match but he turned recklessly and twisted an ankle and could not continue with the game,” he recalls.

His best moment as a player was winning junior tournaments in Lesotho. “I won all the local junior tournaments sponsored by Marotholi Beverages even though I faced tough times in international tournaments.

His best moments in coaching include watching his charges win matches during international juniors ‘championships.

Tšasanyane is married to Mpeoane ’Maletlotlo Tšasanyane and the couple has three children.

His other hobbies include playing pool and volleyball.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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