Backwell Tennis Club set new scheme for Ladies
- Credit: Backwell Tennis Club
Backwell Tennis Club have set up a new scheme for ladies to try the sport after lockdown has come to an end in December.
In these difficult times, there is growing recognition that outdoor sports especially tennis, can offer a route to a more fulfilling lifestyle and improve physical and mental health.
However, there is sometimes a perceived barrier to joining a tennis club for people who may lack confidence initially.
Backwell is strongly committed to removing these barriers and making tennis a more attractive sport for all in the community.
Building on it’s well-established junior and adult coaching programme under head coach Ben Tilling, a new coaching initiative has been introduced to expand the coaching programme for ladies wanting to start the game.
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Headed up by Bryan Daly, who recently joined the Backwell coaching team, the club has focused on bringing new players into the club and building their confidence to join social tennis groups.
“The system Backwell Tennis Club has adopted, under Ben’s guidance, is absolutely spot on in making it easy for non-players to start on their journey to club tennis," said Daly.
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"To give one example, a lady who has subsequently become a full time member at Backwell Tennis Club, was turned away from another club simply because she could not play tennis”.
Anyone showing an interest in learning to play tennis is filtered through Tilling who will discuss their situation and advise them to join a group appropriate for their level or have a free trial to ensure a chosen group fits their needs and ability.
Anyone who is unsure or lacks confidence is offered a short set of private lessons with a coach where they are assessed as to which is the most appropriate group for them.
This ensures that everyone is made to feel welcome and placed into the right group where they can feel relaxed.
At this stage an individual may have no aspiration to actually join the club but by building relationships with individuals and arranging end of term social event, the club increase their chances of players staying in the coaching programme long enough to move from beginner to intermediate, where they are a step away from being able to play at club level.
In addition, through an annual competition, Backwell allow pairs to play against pairs from different groups which boosts their confidence in competing against people they don’t normally play against.
It was recognised very early on that this was one of the key reasons holding people back from turning up to mix in with people they have never met before.
And since adopting this strategy Backwell have seen a marked increase in players from coached groups joining the club as either a full-time or part-time member.
Tilling said: “With the recent concerns caused by Covid-19 we have increased our advertising to attract beginners who want to exercise in the fresh air and learn a new sport at the same time. I am proud to say that through recommendations and referrals we have established two new groups for beginners.
"We now have 16 new ladies who no doubt will progress through to our improvers and intermediate groups at some stage. This is in addition to our existing groups where we are coaching in excess of 70 adults.”
If you are interested to take up tennis after the lockdown ends or to find out more, contact Tilling at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Backwell Tennis Club’s website at www.backwelltennisclub.co.uk