A new group of secondary school students attended the LTA Tennis Leaders course held at the indoor centre last week. The one-day session, run by Head Coach James McIntosh, included thirteen candidates from Bishop Challoner pupils and one pupil from Costello Technology College.
McIntosh, himself a young coach who has made the successful transition from player to coach at the club, started his coaching career on the leaders course whilst still at Brighton Hill Community School. Throughout the years the majority of the Totally Tennis coaching team started by 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.
McIntosh said, “The students enjoyed the course and had loads of fun playing in their mini tennis tournament at the end of the day.” he added, “Now the leaders have completed the course they will be helping out with the annual Primary Schools Tournament which is being held at Totally Tennis on Tuesday 8th May“.
Becoming an LTA tennis leader is a young player’s first step onto the tennis coaching pathway and is available for those thirteen and over. The candidates learn a variety of skills including warm-up activties, co-ordination and racket skills, lesson structure and teaching as well as how to run a competition. They also learn important communication and organisation skills which are needed to be a successful coach and are offered support and advice by the coaching team. Voluntary on-court hours are offered as part of the follow-on opportunities at the club to continue 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, coaching and 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.