This month, Senior Coach Nathan Rooney gives us his take on Easter at STA…
So it was not just the ‘conejo de pascua’ that was working his socks off this Easter over in the South of Spain, we had over 45 players from various different clubs around the UK participating in our Easter Camps which made for a fantastic atmosphere in what can only be described as one of the most enjoyable two week camps I have ever been involved with!
Aside from the colourful training kits, funky haircuts and dodgy accents, one thing was astonishing and that was the level of knowledge across the board that all players possessed – massive credit due here to all the coaches back in the respective clubs who are working tirelessly on ingraining fantastic habits and knowledge into all the players! We had players aged from just 7 right up to 17 from clubs such as Solihull Arden, Shotley Bridge, Edgbaston Priory, West Hants plus many more including our very own STA players. Aside from some temperamental weather, at times the camps ran as smoothly as Tiger Tim’s slice and all players seemed to benefit from their experience on the European clay AKA ‘The Dirt’! Everywhere I looked we had players sliding left right and centre, ball marks being circled then guarded by the call bearer like an ancient artefact had just been found, grunts so loud they would make the hair above your eyes stand on end and all this with the upmost respect and sportsmanship on display for all to witness – it really was refreshing to see.
There were very few tears or tantrums from players (and only a few from the coaches) during the camps with only one broken bone to report but it must be noted that the player in question still managed to embark in some serious doubles training even after braving the A&E ward of Gibraltar. For those of you who are unaware, the A&E ward in Gib general is about as reassuring as Michael Fish was in his hay-day when informing us to expect dry weather with sunny spells across the nation…in the month of April!
On a more serious note it was inspiring to spend so much time on court with players from all over the UK who were hungry to learn, compete and mix with other players of varying ages, standards and genders. It really rung true how important it is in this industry to remember the number one rule in Tennis, and that being to ‘love the game’. Not all the players who were with us during Easter will win Wimbledon or reach the dizzy heights of stardom but one thing is for sure, if they continue to listen to their coaches and support teams back home who work day in day out giving all the players the opportunities, support and ingredients to succeed they will all prevail as winners in one sense or another.
I look forward to seeing you all next Easter!
Senior Coach, SotoTennis Academy
Inspiring Excellence | Tennis Academy Spain