Born on June 3, 2000, in Bopal, Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, to parents Akash Anil kumar Dave and Purvi Akash Dave, Kamaksh Akash Dave is something of an aberration. A 17-year-old tennis player who hit the practice courts at 11 years of age but has managed to trounce the predictions of every pundit to secure a career high AITA ranking of 72.
Tennis is an unforgiving sport. To succeed you must possess several elite abilities in order to compete and survive at the highest levels. This is revealed by the fact that the average height of the most successful tennis players is around 187 cms and the average weight is a 85 kilograms.
Standing at 157 cms and weighing less than 50 kilograms, Kamaksh isn’t an imposing presence on the court and doesn’t measure up to the average tennis pro. But he is incredibly hardworking and never gives up. This is what sets him apart from his colleagues and competitors.
From the moment he picked up a racquet, the passion for tennis was clear. The court is a place where he feels free and completely at peace.
Fighting through adversity:
Since the very first day, Kamaksh knew that tennis was no ordinary sport and that the challenges would be many but the rewards most worthwhile. Tennis has not only kept him in optimal physical condition, but also sharpened his focus and heightened his emotional and mental acuity. He has learned many valuable lessons such as the tremendous power of composure, persistence even for seemingly unachievable tasks, the setting of short and long term goals, and an unyielding work ethic.
There was a time when he lost every singles match in the first round against opponents who clearly weren’t superior to Kamaksh in any measurable way. He was feeling very upset, mentally depressed and emotionally frustrated. These were hard times in his career. He had almost given up on his dreams.
But his coach Suresh had other ideas. He went about reassuring his ward that everything would work out fine. His priceless words that day would stick with Kamaksh forever, “Kamaksh, Don’t worry! Our plan is for the long term. We have to keep fighting, keep digging, no matter what comes our way. If you lose, I lose with you and if you win, it’s like I won the title too. Don’t give up now. We’re all with you.”
There is a special drive in Kamaksh, a spark that lets him believe he could do anything if he just tried. And even if he hasn’t turned pro yet, he isn’t failing, because continual self-improvement-both on the court and off-was part of being a winner.
To Kamaksh, tennis is a driving force, a channel for emotion, an underlying quest for excellence that demands just a little more each and every day and settles for nothing less than the very best he can be. There is no cover and there are no excuses, and this ideology is the source of his inner strength.
One step at a time…
The methodology to Kamaksh’s remarkable success is the precious mantra his coach taught him.
“Try to improve 1% every day and watch miracles happen. One day or Day One – the choice is up to you. If your mind refuses to co-operate, ignore it and try again one more time.”
Kamaksh was motivated by his coach’s words and found the strength to keep going through troubled times. Tennis has taught him the true meaning of sacrifice and to appreciate not only success, but to learn from setbacks.
Late start but just on time…
Kamaksh was a relatively late entrant going by the usual tennis terms. He started playing tennis at the mature age of 13. Tennis pundits claim that it takes 5 years at the very least to learn the game, but Kamaksh has proven his naysayers wrong by breaking into the Top 10 rankings in Gujarat and onto the list of the Top 70 players in the whole nation.
In a short span of 3.5 years, his tremendous talent and unparalleled hard work and dedication has made him a force to reckoned with on the tennis circuit. He was ranked as high as #6 in Gujarat and #72 in all of India, winning 7 championship titles and reaching the finals of 6 other major tournaments.
Kamaksh continued his brilliant start to his career and performed to the fullest extent of his potential in 2016. He has bagged the scalp of Former Indian Number 1 and has represented Gujarat in the national school games, where he was the winner up again. Kamaksh was also a finalist at the Admired championship series tournament held in Ahmedabad.
Hard work and determination are what brought Kamaksh great success in such a sport span of time. And it’s easy to see why. This is what a typical workday looks like, in the life of Kamaksh Dave.
|Dawn practice||5:30 am to 7 am|
|Morning practice||8:30 am to 11 am|
|Lunch break||12 pm to 2 pm|
|Evening practice||3:30 pm to 6 pm|
|Evening Fitness||6 pm to 7pm|
The Future looks bright…
Kamaksh is working extremely hard with his coach to make in big in the main circuit. His coach takes 100 percent responsibility for his training and fitness.
However, a pro player will incur costs upwards of Rs. 25 lakhs a year, simply to participate in major tournaments all over India and abroad. However, this is the expense that his family falls short in facilitating him with.
We would be highly obliged, if you could spare some time to watch his game. I am confident that you will find his talent and mettle worth sponsoring.
Message from the coach:
Four years ago, I saw a boy struggling with his tennis and having a hard time mastering the technique and footwork. He didn’t know the ins and outs of the game.
But the one thing he was very adept at was following instructions. He placed his faith in my words and believed in the effectiveness of the process and enjoyed the journey. Thanks to his commitment and focus, Kamaksh has achieved so many milestones, within a very short span of time.
He has won 3 Gujarat state championship titles, 2 All-India tournaments, and numerous local championships. And he’s not done yet! His biggest milestone to date will be his participation in an ITF (International Tennis Federation) level this month. And to think he has done all this in four years is remarkable!
It’s a proud moment for Neon, and a testament to our work ethics and our passion. From holding a tennis racquet for the first time, to playing an ITF tournament in this month is something we could only have dreamed of.
As a coach, I can see his potential. His work ethics, passion and dedication are tell-tale signs of a future champion. But, imagine already having everything you cannot attain easily – a BMW, a free express-way, an awesome atmosphere, but having no fuel to power your engine.
This sums up Kamaksh’s situation now. He needs financial support to play tournaments. It takes close to Rs.1.2 lakhs to participate in an international level tournament. The fact that he needs to play at least 5-7 tournament to maintain his ranking means that his family cannot afford to pay for his expenses out of their meager income.
We, at Neon Tennis Academy, are trying our best to support him. He is also sponsored by reputed tennis brand Technifibre. However, ITF tournament expenses are beyond our capacity and we request you to join hands with us and support his tennis career.
If you are aware of a person or organization that would be able to help him progress in his career, please contact us through phone or email. Your assistance could make all the difference in Kamaksh’s life.