March 23rd 2020; the day that the government imposed a lockdown on the UK, kick serving us straight into this strange and uncertain time and drastically impacting sporting events around the world. Tennis has had to make efforts to survive and, as a result, the demand for trusted resources through new technology that supports its players whilst not on the courts, is vast and expanding. The modern, connected world has encouraged large numbers of coaches and players to engage with new, online communities devising multiple creative strategies in order to further players’ learning, physical development as well as mental well-being. ‘Cultiv8 Tennis’, based at John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds, has done just this.
Yorkshire Tennis benefits from a healthy collaboration with its newly formed Regional Player Development Centre. Richard Crabtree heads up a coaching team at ‘CV8’ alongside the two County Head Coaches, Tom Loughton and Elliot Chang. Both set-ups have worked together to provide a comprehensive series of webinars to reach out to players, coaches and parents within the county and beyond.
With Yorkshire boasting a healthy network of experienced coaches, the team have been fortunate enough to be able to lean on this network as an alternative resource proving new and exciting educational opportunities. Many have invested time to deliver high quality ‘Coach Education’ webinars and have come together to share their experiences, ideas and best practice. Topics so far have ranged from top level ‘International Juniors’, to ‘Adult Improver’ sessions with a focus on a ‘person-first’ approach to coaching as well as insights into county training sessions and standards.
The county network has also benefitted from exploring ‘life on tour’ experiences of numerous professional players from Yorkshire as they have been keen to talk with players and coaches sharing stories of their personal journeys and all they have learned along the way. The value of having tangible role models within the region cannot be underestimated and there have been some refreshingly honest and informative discussions amongst the groups. Sessions are available to both players and coaches in the hope that they continue to inspire and enthuse others in developing key skills on and off the court.
Strength and conditioning advice and support has also been offered in an effort to increase the collaboration between these coaches to further support the wider Tennis coaching network and to embed key strategies to develop their players, athletically. As a key area for development, given the current circumstances, it has been incredible to see ‘S&C’ coaches coming together to support and improve ‘S&C’ provision to all players in the county.
Overall, the feeling within Yorkshire Tennis at present is one of optimism and – whilst time away from the court has been an undoubtable set-back – players, parents and coaches are set to come back further educated, better informed and with a real sense of teamwork for progression within the county. The Webinar series continues to run with more opportunities being announced every week. Make sure to stay up-to-date via social media (Twitter @YorkshireTennis / @CV8Tennis & Instagram @cv8tennis) or get in touch with the County Head Coaches for more information.
Tom- Loughton.firstname.lastname@example.org Elliot – email@example.com