We were delighted to welcome former world No.5 British Tennis player Jo Durie, former coach Alan Jones and professional coach, Stuart Havelock yesterday to deliver a pre-season Master Class to 30 of our Team Tennis players. Jo, Alan and Stuart are all part of UTL – Unique Tennis London, a Tennis Academy which provides coaching and support to talented junior performance players.
The session focussed very much on the traits required to improve as a Tennis player; being disciplined, being consistent, being an athlete and never giving up, with lots of references being made to the exceptional work rate in training of some of the top players including Nadal, Murray, Williams and Djokovic.
Despite the weather being a little inclement, pupils were challenged with 50 stroke rallies, one-minute timed rallies and chasing down quick succession balls over a full court. The importance of always being ready and never taking their eyes off the flight of the ball were also key learning points.
Having reached No. 9 in the world in doubles and having won two Grand Slam titles in mixed doubles with Jeremy Bates, Jo and Alan spoke animatedly about their careers as a professional player and coach on tour.
It was certainly an eye-opening experience for the pupils who will hopefully take on board many of the tips passed on during their court time this summer.
Ms Ward (Head of Tennis, Hockey and Netball Coach)