Following recommendations from an independent professional review of our tennis programme, the club is creating the new role of Head of Player Development.
The tennis coaching programme survey that was carried out last year produced generally very positive feedback but we scored lower on comparisons against other centres in relation to feedback from parents of “performance” level juniors. (Performance was identified as players attending two or more squads a week and regularly competing in tournaments)
The action that we promised from the survey was ”to look at the performance element of the programme, compare content and off court support with that at other clubs to see if there are things we can incorporate here that will improve our programme”. We were not satisfied with the progress made in this and decided to engage the services of an independent professional who would look at our tennis programme and give their recommendations.
Nick Elliott, Director of Tennis at the White Horse Centre in Abingdon, and senior LTA coach Tutor, subsequently carried out a review of our programme. Nick was immediately impressed with the scale of our programme and the number of children attending and complimented the club on the range of squads that we offered. Armed with all of the feedback and information that he felt he needed, Nick came back to us with a number of recommendations most of which we will be looking to implement.
The key recommendation was the creation of a new role within the tennis coaching team – Head of Player Development.
The Head of Player Development will focus on delivering a quality programme particularly in the “performance end” , managing aspects such as talent id, player movement, fitness links, competition planning, tournament visits.
The programme has now grown so big, particularly as a result of the excellent work of Alison with the support of the coaching team that it will benefit from the Head of Player Development and Tennis Manager working together.
The Head of Player Development will be responsible for further improving the offering for competitive players as well as optimizing the potential of players at all levels. i.e. Player Driven
Alison, our Tennis Manager, will continue to be responsible for the overall running of the programme. i.e. Programme Driven
The benefit in separating the day to day running of the tennis programme from the development of players is that there can be a much more focused approach to both parts of the operation. Both roles are time consuming and by spreading this load over two roles each role will get full focus and attention.
The position has already been advertised with internal and external applications being invited. Target date for the appointment is September 2013
This is a really exciting development for the club and the introduction of this role will, we believe, enable us to achieve our aim of offering the number one tennis programme in the area across all standards and age groups.