Hunger in paradise

LTA Chief Executive spoke last week on Radio 4 about developing a culture in which you can ‘instil hunger in paradise’ rather than an entitlement culture from too much support. Thought a ‘hunger in paradise’ is an excellent phrase…how does one create it? The England Rugby team responded with a hunger on Friday night against Wales - perhaps a generalisation, but many from privileged backgrounds/public school system….GB rowers perennial success stories, our cyclists….formula 1 drivers, list goes on. The model is there - tennis has just got to find it!

Everyball for everyone! Half-term tennis camps at Halton Tennis Centre - come and join us!


Toddler Tennis

Our “Sporty Tots” (2.5 to 4 years) classes are designed to help your child to learn to run, throw, kick, dribble, hit, swing, and a whole load more besides, introducing them to the fundamental agility, balance and co-ordination (ABC) skills that will then allow them to go on and explore any sport of their choosing.  Parent/guardian must be in attendance as well. - £7.00 in our indoor domes (11.00 am to 12.00 noon)

Mini Red Camp

Fun Mini Tennis Activity geared towards developing a young player’s agility, balance, co-ordination and of course racket skills and technique.  Appropriate for 4-7 years old.
Lunch is included.
Please ensure that participants bring appropriate clothing for the colder weather and a water bottle - all camps indoors. - £24.00 (9am to 12noon with lunch included)

Junior Camp

High-energy instruction, match play and team competition for players 7-17 years, split into new age groups (7-10 years, 10-14 years and 14-17 years) 
Progressive skill development across the 4 performance factors – mental, tactical, physical and technical – guaranteeing great fun and maximising improvement.  Cost includes lunch.
Please ensure that participants bring appropriate clothing for the weather and a water bottle. £40.00 (9am to 3 pm with lunch included at fantastic value of £6.60/hr)

A chat with Flipkins ...

I am at the Fed Cup, Euro Africa Zone in Budapest on a LTA female coach workshop supported by Judy Murray, captain of the Great Britain team.  We were fortunate enough today to speak to Kirsten Flipkins about her tennis journey.  

Flipkins former junior world number 1, Wimbledon finalist and current Belgium number 1 speaks out about playing other sports when young.  

Q. Did you play other sports when you were younger? 

A. 'Absolutely. I played all ball sports until the age of 12. I think it's really important to develop hand eye skills, movement patterns and at a young age you don't know what sport you want to specialise in. I played soccer, basketball, volleyball and tennis.
Playing other sports helped with my anticipation and agility on the tennis court. I was use to adapting on the basketball court and changing direction in soccer and driving up for the high balls or down for the low balls in volleyball so I felt ready on the tennis court.  At the age of 12 I had to make a decision to specialise because the federation wanted to help. I chose tennis because it was the sport I was most passionate about and it was my strongest sport. I would encourage all players to keep playing other sports when young, you will then become a real competitor' 

Great advice and we have a chance as coaches to be creative with our warm ups to include other ball skills. Anyone heard of indiaca?? A good place to start. 

Q. When a teenager did you have individual, squad sessions or both.?
A. I did a mixture of both, maybe 3 individuals a week plus squads. I hit with more boys because there weren't many girls. I hit with players who were weaker than me as well as stronger players. I could work on different areas of my game with both levels of players.  For example I had to take the pace off the ball for the weaker players which I now use on a regular basis as a tactic. I'm only small so I need to try different things to hurt my opponent, slice, short angles, taking the pace off faster balls to give my opponent a ball they don't like. 

As players are you working on being competitive at changing the speed, spin, distance, direction and height of 'everyball' ?