In our experience, most Elite-level youth tennis players are high-flyers across the board so, in addition to an exceptionally intensive training programme, part of my role is to look at each player’s life holistically and ensure they are succeeding in every aspect of their time at School.
Unlike many team sports, there is no one-size fits-all recipe for success with tennis players; every one of our Elite players has a tailored programme which starts in the First Year Tennis Academy, during which players receive additional hours of training and Strength and Conditioning during the School timetable.
From this point onwards, personalised coaching schedules are often a ‘blended offer’ including work between internal Bede’s-based coaching and players working with their own external coaches. Consistently however, we manage each player’s one-on-one care, diet, emotional needs and help them managed their workload, particularly around exam times.
Provision becomes particularly bespoke during the Fifth Form and includes indoor coaching within the Bede's Sports Complex through the Winter and Spring and at the local Virgin Active Centre for Excellence, as well as an extremely high level of tournament support; I will escort pupils to and from LTA tournaments, analyse their performance and provide technical, tactical and psychological assistance.
This process enables instant feedback; I can watch a pupil on a Sunday and be training with them again on Monday addressing areas where there is room for improvement.
All Tennis Scholars receive timetabled group and one-to-one training as well as additional Strength and Conditioning sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, but programmes are varied between team coaching as well as individual coaching based on player need and personality.
With great relationships between Bede’s and the LTA, Tennis Smart and a longstanding link with Tennis Sussex, while our Elite players still compete for the school the main focus for each individual is ranking. The ultimate goal is to earn these players 100% scholarships to US universities, with Bede’s having enabled players to achieve this goal as recently as this year.
For Elite players who fall short of this lofty goal, we work hard to ensure that they are set on the right path to still pursue a career in tennis, whether that be in the media, coaching or tournament refereeing and umpiring.
“ I love coaching and sharing my passion for tennis with the pupils. My aim is to inspire players to learn, dream and achieve more. ”
Julie Salmon, Director of Tennis and Charleston House Tutor
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Elite Tennis staff
“I believe that physical fitness is one of the most important keys to a healthy body, and that it forms the basis of a creative, intellectual mind.”
Tony Morriss, Strength and Conditioning Coach