The latest batch of candidates attended the LTA Tennis Leaders course held at Totally Tennis’ indoor centre last Sunday run by coach Simon James, himself a young coach who have made the successful transition from player to coach at the club. James started his coaching career on the leaders course whilst still at school and throughout the years many of the Totally Tennis coaches started playing tennis at the club as teenagers working their way up through the performance squads and showing an interest in coaching as a potential career via the LTA Tennis Leaders Award.
Totally Tennis performance player Matt Berry was joined by Costello Technology College students, Queen Mary’s College (QMC) students and the Sport and PE assistant from QMC. As well as attending the first core module, most of the candidates will be volunteering at the annual Primary Schools Tournament being held at the indoor centre on Thursday.
Becoming an LTA tennis leader is a junior players first step onto the tennis coaching pathway and is available for those thirteen and over. The course is modular based with a core module and four additional modules. Candidates learn important communication and organisation skills which are needed to be a successful coach. In addition they learn lesson structures, warm-ups, long-term player development, basic technique, diet, customer care and presentation skills taught through the on-court sessions and course booklets. Candidates are offered support and advice by the coaching team, complete ten voluntary on-court hours and are offered follow-on opportunities at the club, continuing their involvement with the game.
Tennis Director Nigel Long, who founded the club identified a need to retain young players in tennis through both playing and coaching, developing leadership skills and using the existing coaching team to mentor younger players. The tennis leaders course increases the awareness of the coaching opportunities available in sport as a career in this country and is a nationally recognised LTA qualification that is great for a players CV regardless of their choice of career.