Futures Coaching Programs are systematic and sequential offering all players an opportunity to reach their individual potential. Through-out each stage in the program players can see the Pathway [Futures Coaching Pathways] they need to take for their future development and improvement.
Learning the Game
Tennis is an open skill game as each shot is performed in an unpredictable and changing environment, which then dictates how and when a skill is to be performed. Tennis is a game played in pairs who rally the ball back and forward – first you receive the ball [reception] and then you send it back [projection]. The serve is the only closed skill shot in the game as you are totally responsible for the outcome of the shot. Therefore at a young age receiving skills [anticipation, perception, movement, decison making and foot work] are equally, if not more important, than sending skills [i.e. technique]. We sequentially teach tennis skills sets of which technique is just one of many skills sets to be learnt. Some of our coaching may look different to traditional coaching. Gone are the days where a coach artificially feeds, throws or drops balls from a stand still start to a pupils out stretched racquet. Our goal is to teach “real” skills that stay with pupils for life. We try to make kids understand the movement cycle. We practise activities so that pupils learn to work together in pairs correctly reading the flight of the ball [the speed, height, direction, spin] and how to move into a balanced hitting position, execute the shot and finally to recover ready for the next cycle to begin. These things form the fundamental building blocks to a rally.
In each stage of the program red, orange, green, yellow ball the court, balls and skills being taught become more challenging. The diagram descibes the different court sizes we use for each colour ball.
Launch Pad Program [Two stages 1 & 2] for 3-5 year olds.
This program concentrates on fundamental motor skills, stroke recognition and development. By the end of the year pupils will be proficient at doing numerous FMS skills and be able to recognize all the majors strokes. They will also be able perform a basic forehand, backhand, forehand volley and smash combination.
Red Ball program [Three stages 1,2 & 3] 5-7 years is 1/4 court using 25% low compression balls.
Orange Ball Program [1 & 2] 7-9 years is 3/4 court using 50% low compression balls.
Green Ball Program [1 & 2] 9-10 years uses a full size court with 75% low compression balls.
All pupils from 11 year up use full size court and championship yellow balls.