Totally Tennis’ indoor centre was a hive of activity last weekend with coaching candidates participating in Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) level 1 and 2 courses. The club itself has an excellent track record for developing homegrown coaches with several of the current coaching team making the successful transition from player to coach. The club offers its own mentoring programme as well as LTA coach education courses held throughout the year. This weekend was no exception with yellow squad player Harry Feast starting his LTA coaching journey on the Level 1 course.
Totally Tennis’ Director Nigel Long, who is also a director of UCoach and a LTA Master Tutor, said, “It was fantastic to see so many people at the indoor centre this weekend starting their journey into coaching.” He added, “Candidates come from all over the country to take courses and we hope that their introduction to coaching will inspire them to continue their journey as well as benefitting the players at their respective clubs.”
Totally Tennis is one of three coach education centres operated by UCoach, the others being Batchwood and Sutton, that deliver LTA courses on behalf of the country’s national governing body of tennis. UCoach, the largest coach education provider in the UK trains over 1000 coaches a year from level 1-4. Alongside fellow LTA tutors Long delivers a variety of courses across the various levels at Totally Tennis every year.
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.
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, whilst still at school.
Long identified a need to retain young players in tennis since he started Totally Tennis over twenty years ago. Players are retained through coaching and playing, as well as developing leadership skills and the coaches has always mentored 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.
Long said ” My philosophy has always been to assist and mentor players to give them an opportunity to develop into coaches. All of the current coaching team are home-grown coaches who has made the successful transition from player to coach, working hard to gain their qualifications and progressing through the LTA coaching qualifications.”
Becoming an LTA tennis leader is a junior’s first step onto the tennis coaching pathway and 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.
When? Sunday 26th October (10.00am – 1.00pm)
Where? Totally Tennis, War Memorial Park, Basingstoke. Telephone 01256 358816 for more details
To book one of the few remaining places on the course, please call Totally Tennis 01256 358815 or e-mail email@example.com.
Totally Tennis performance player and coaching assistant Nick Dingwall has passed his Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) Level 3 coaching award.
Dingwall started playing tennis at the club when he was just four years old, working his way up through the development and performance squad programme. He won the Boys Schools Doubles Tournament while representing Brighton Hill Community College and at the age of fourteen starting assisting at the club as part of the Totally Tennis Tennis Leaders Programme.
Dingwall was a volunteer coach at the club between the ages of fourteen to sixteen and took both his LTA Level 1 and 2 coaching awards. He gained lots of experience coaching juniors, adults and people with disabilities as well as some performance players under the mentoring scheme working with all the coaches at the indoor centre.
Dingwall said “I am pleased to pass my Level 3 award which I worked hard to achieve. I hope to go to university when I finish at QMC to study Sports Coaching and Development.”
Dingwall (last on right) with teammates (L to R) Ali Olrog, Loic Armstrong and PE teacher Sarah Goldson
Last year, Dingwall was part of the highly successful Queen Mary’s College (QMC) tennis team where he played as number two seed and was unbeaten in all his singles matches until the last match of the season. He won every doubles match when paired with fellow coaching assistant Ali Olrog.
Dingwall (3rd Right) with (L to R) coach Ben Clarke and fellow coaching assistants Jordan Hughes and Olrog
Dingwall recently completed his voluntary hours at Wimbledon for his Community Sports Leaders Award working alongside QMC PE teacher Sarah Goldson in her other role as Ballboy/Ballgirl (BBG) Manager at the annual Wimbledon Championships. Dingwall assisted with general operational duties and supervising of the BBGs, learning about some of the key aspects of their on court work.
Dingwall at Wimbledon earlier this year
Tennis Director Nigel Long said “Congratulations to Nick! It’s another success story for the Totally Tennis mentoring scheme facilitating player to coach transition. I am pleased that we are continuing to motivate players and retain them in the game in their career.”