CAPTIVE AUDIENCE: Rob Barty speaking to young tennis players and their families. Picture: Jessica Paul
CAPTIVE AUDIENCE: Rob Barty speaking to young tennis players and their families. Picture: Jessica Paul

Warwick kids soak up wisdom from Ash Barty’s dad

WARWICK’S rising stars of tennis seized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity today to soak up wisdom and guidance from the father of one of Australia’s greatest players.

Rob Barty, dad to current world number one Ash Barty, visited the Warwick and District Tennis Association this afternoon to lend aspiring pros and their families some wisdom on exactly what it takes to reach the top.

Warwick was one of five stops on the workshop’s tour of regional towns, and Mr Barty said growing up as a semi-pro athlete in Far North Queensland meant he knew first-hand how tough “making it” could be.

“I grew up in Bowen in North Queensland, and I was a state and national golfer – I’ve told Ash about it, and she knows how hard it was for me to be in the regions and try to play at that level,” he said.

Some of Warwick’s rising tennis stars who attended the workshop this afternoon. Picture: Jessica Paul
Some of Warwick’s rising tennis stars who attended the workshop this afternoon. Picture: Jessica Paul

“Ash wants me to do this. She wants us to help any parents, any kids, understand what the journey is to be at the level she’s at in tennis, or any of the other levels she’s come through.

“Anything we can do to help, we want to, especially in the regions.”

Mr Barty’s golden advice for parents was to step back from the tennis side of their child’s sport, as only a strong player-coach bond would get their rising star the win.

“The message is pretty much about discipline and behaviour – that’s what we were really strict on with Ash,” he said.

“We didn’t have anything to do with her tennis, and still don’t really. All we’re worried about is her being a nice young lady.

“Those are the things that make us the proudest – it’s about what she does off the court, rather than on it.”

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