Tennis Jamaica made a big serve towards raising the standard of the game with its staging of an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Level One Coaching Certification course at the home of the sport, the Eric Bell Tennis Centre, in Kingston.
“Part of our development programme at Tennis Jamaica is to enhance, cultivate and improve the level of coaching at a technical standpoint to be able to administer the development of the game. Without proper coaching, instruction and education I don’t think we’re going to go anywhere,” said Aswad Morgan, President of Tennis Jamaica.
He added: “We’re building a strong infrastructure to be able to move the development to a totally different level. Our mindset is we want to change to a very high-performance organisation in every respect. Our Board is very keyed in on that, we’ve set forward a 10-year strategic development plan.”
The course, which ran from October 26 to November 6, was conducted by the ITF’s Regional Director for the Caribbean, John Goede, a Surinamese who has been involved in the sport for 35 years and served in several ITF capacities, and Evan Williams.
It included athletic and academic content, with about 75-80 percent of on-court training, plus studying ITF manuals at home and covered four main areas: coaching the coaches to teach beginners of all ages; developing tennis lesson plans to both teach and coach players; working on group and individual athlete's tennis development; and adding more quality tournament formats and systems in play for the various tennis levels.
“The ITF has a strong syllabus on teaching this course, a well-balanced number of hours and items gathered from the best tennis coaching education system in the world and that is what we use worldwide, so the quality of this course is a worldwide-recognised ITF course wherever you go,” explained Goede, noting its emphasis on beginners and intermediates.
“It’s for everybody who starts the game. The emphasis is 80 per cent on kids and the rest is on adults,” said Goede.
The Surinamese also said he will recommend course participants Joel Jones and Tinesta Rowe, who dominated and won every age-group to the senior national title as a player in Jamaica, for the ITF’s Level Two course in Valencia, Spain, next year.
Tennis Jamaica is positioning itself to collaborate with the ITF and Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) in an effort to stage development projects over the next year and beyond.
Read more at Loop Jamaica.