Intense training regime for Dean Cooper Kirby at Gomez Tennis Academy

Former Totally Tennis performance player and Sherfield School tennis scholar Dean Cooper Kirby is now living and training full-time at the Gomez Tennis Academy based in Naples, Florida. After winning the Spring Tropical Junior event and spending a month training at the Florida academy back in April, Cooper Kirby made the permanent move to the academy in the summer. His parents Brian and Karen visited him at his new home in the sunshine state over the recent October half term to check on his wellbeing and progress.

As well as training for thirty-eight hours a week, Cooper Kirby is studying at the school linked to the academy based in nearby Fort Myers. While resident at the academy Cooper Kirby will be following an intense daily training programme to improve every area of his game including technique, footwork, movement and strategy on an individual and small group basis. The training includes  match play and drills as well as mental training and fitness.

Brian said, “It was great to see Dean and to watch him train but also to understand how hard they are pushed in high temperatures – it was 36 degrees on court when we were there.”

The programme ensures that players are looked after in every way to improve their game, everything they eat and drink throughout the day is recorded and that data is used to analysis performance on court versus food intake to track energy levels.  He needs a massive 8,500 daily calorie intake to cope with a days training, he is weighted in the morning and lunchtime to record how much water he has lost due to the morning training session, so far the most he has lost in a morning session is four pounds.

Dean training with Rene (4)

Cooper Kirby has two tournaments before Christmas, the Eddie Herr International Junior Championships in Florida starting in mid-November and the Junior Orange Bowl International also in Florida in December. He will then travel back to the UK for just a week for Christmas before heading back to Naples to resume training. His performance will be reviewed after his tournaments and training up to to Christmas and a new tournament schedule will be devised to include ITFs in South and North America.

The Gomez Tennis Academy was founded in 2010 by tennis coach Rene Gomez, his wife Leslie Gomez and her son Chase Muma. Gomez Tennis Academy is a boutique tennis training academy situated in Naples, Florida. Led by Rene’s knowledge and experience, the Gomez team practices a training philosophy based on commitment, consistency and individualized instruction.*

Read more about the academy on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

*All information about the Gomez Tennis Academy and court photo were sourced from

Read more about Copper Kirby’s time in Florida in previous posts and

How Does the Cold Weather Affect Tennis Performance?

Jon Snow did warn us… winter is here! Being British we have no other expectations for the winter apart from rain and freezing temperatures which means that the majority of us have to brave the zero degree climate during the winter tennis season. But how does playing in freezing conditions affect for our tennis performance?

Let’s talk dehydration….

A 2% fluid deficit has been shown to affect tennis performance by a visible amount, specifically reducing skill and decision making abilities on court.

Although some dehydration is inevitable, it’s important to keep the fluid deficit to a minimum before, during and after tennis practise or a match to avoid any performance drops.

What does this have to do with the cold weather?

In the cold we tend to wrap up warm, which can mean our sweat rate is higher than normal underneath all the layers.

The cold climate blunts our thirst mechanism – when we play tennis our body temperature rises. For the body to stay in a balanced state it needs to cool itself down, and it does this by releasing sweat. The sweat will be a mixture of water and electrolytes (salt). The fluid lost needs to be replaced during exercise to maintain fluid balance and avoid dehydration. With the combination of the cold weather and a blunted thirst mechanism, it’s easy to forget to take on board fluids and therefore become mildly dehydrated.


So remember when playing tennis in cold temperatures it’s important to monitor your fluid balance, to avoid dehydration you need to replace your fluid losses via sweat by 150%.

There are various techniques that can be used to measure your sweat losses. On average, a tennis player will lose between 1-2.5 litres of sweat per hour. It is recommended that the replacement of fluids is achieved through a mixture of water and electrolytes which can be consumed via sports drinks, coconut water or a mixture of water and salty foods, depending on personal preference.

Don’t let mild dehydration be the deciding factor. Control the controllable!

Yours in Health,


Former Totally Tennis performance player Steph Catlin has founded Food Is Life, a sports nutrition consultancy business based in Basingstoke. If you would like to learn more about how to achieve your personal nutrition goals and for specific personal advice please contact Steph directly via via her website or visit her social media channels FacebookTwitter and Instagram


Read more of Steph’s nutrition advice in previous post Is Nutrition The Missing Puzzle Piece to Your Ultimate Tennis Performance 




First Half Marathon for Head Coach James

Head Coach James McIntosh competed in his first half marathon at the weekend, the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon on behalf of Heart FM Global’s Make Some Noise charity.

McIntosh was signed up for the event by his wife Charlotte after she heard an advert on the radio leaving him only three weeks notice before the race in Oxford on Sunday. With his busy tennis coaching schedule and late notice McIntosh only trained for two weeks prior to the race but still managed an impressive official race time of 1:30:20.
McIntosh said, “I really enjoyed taking part in the Oxford Half Marathon and was pleased with the time I did it in. The biggest challenge was to keep going just after the 11 mile mark as that’s when my body started to tire.” he added “I will definitely look to do another half marathon and see if I can improve on my time.

Global’s Make Some Noise is a national charity that helps disadvantaged children and young people in the UK, supporting small but brilliant charities across the county who help youngsters and their families living with illness, disability or lack of opportunity. Read more about the charity and its fundraising events here.

Well Done James!

Photos used courtesy of Charlotte McIntosh

Player Profile: Joseph Lane

92bda3b9c1fbafe708dcc974cab97491JOSEPH LANE

Age: Seventeen 

Squad:  QMC

How old were you when you first started tennis?


How were you introduced to the sport?

By my uncle

What made you come to Totally Tennis?

It’s local

Who is your favourite professional tennis player?

Mansour Barhamii

What do you like most about the sport?


What do you consider to be your best shot?

Hot Dog

How often do you play?

Four times a week

Do you play any other sport?


Greatest achievement so far

Playing at Wimbledon as part of the QMC college team helping with the ball boys and girls training