To enhance the quality of tennis coaching in the Pacific Oceania region, the recent ITF Coaching Beginner and Intermediate Players Coaching Course proved to be a transformative experience for ten dedicated coaches. Hailing from four different nations – Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu – this diverse group of coaches came together with a shared passion for the sport.
The coaching course, which took place from August 9th to 20th in Fiji, marked a significant step forward in advancing the skills and knowledge of coaches in the region. The group consisted of six female coaches and four male coaches, contributing to a well-rounded and inclusive learning environment.
Representing Fiji were Saoirse Breen and Sumit Lal, while Papua New Guinea was represented by Omega Ivuyo Noah and Glenn Cabasug. The Solomon Islands delegation included Dorrine Ningalo, Elizabeth Tesimu, and Zinnia Leamana, and Vanuatu was represented by Keanu Dinh and Teva Maurice.
Under the guidance of ITF Development Officer for Pacific Oceania, Gary Purcell, the coaches covered a comprehensive syllabus that encompassed a blend of online learning and face-to-face interactions. With 80 hours of direct contact with Gary, participants delved deep into various modules and topics crucial to tennis coaching.
The course content covered areas including strategy and tactics, decision-making, court geometry, biomechanics and movement, player analysis and improvement, physical conditioning, psychology, and more. Throughout the course, participants were consistently engaged in a combination of classroom and practical sessions that challenged their thinking and expanded their coaching skills.
To evaluate their progress, candidates completed four assessments that gauged their understanding and practical application of coaching principles. The assessments included a written paper, a level of play assessment, an individual lesson assessment, and a group lesson assessment. These assessments ensured that coaches not only absorbed the material but also gained the ability to effectively translate it into actionable coaching strategies.
Reflecting on the course, Gary Purcell shared his thoughts,
“The coaches demonstrated a commendable level of engagement, and every participant within the group displayed great growth over the intensive two-week period. My hope is that these new skills can be put to good use back in the coaches home nations.”
The realization of this coaching course was made possible through the collaborative support of key organizations. The International Tennis Federation, the Oceania Tennis Federation, and Tennis Australia joined forces to facilitate this opportunity for coaches to hone their skills and contribute to the development of tennis in the Pacific Oceania region.