Tennishead goes talent spotting in Sutton
Tennishead blogs from the Monte Carlo Tennis Academy talent assessment day in south London
Its not often we get to witness an event that is specifically geared to the development of British tennis. Sure, theres lots of talk about how our juniors are a priority and that theyre getting all the help they need, but in reality the question for many parents is simple My kid wants to be a professional tennis player and they believe theyre good enough, but how the heck do we go about it?
Do they need to remortgage the family home, sell the car and eat baked beans three times a day for the next ten years until Johnny or Joanna crack the top 10 and the millions start to roll in?
One way of trying to minimise the risk is by turning to experts that can assess a juniors potential, and that is exactly the aim of tour coach Dave Sammel and tennis fitness expert Jez Green during a Monte Carlo Tennis Academy assessment day.
Dave, Jez and their team have been around the performance end of tennis long enough to know if a player has anything like what it takes to be a potential champion. An assessment day is broken down into fitness and playing ability tests from which they are able to write a detailed and constructive report on exactly how good a players prospects are and what they need to do to achieve results on court.
The day was organised with military precision and the kids and their watching parents all seemed to have a really good time. The youngsters have the opportunity to hit with some of the best young pros in Europe and then work with Dave and Jez themselves. Its fun, but at the same time a pressurised environment where every attendee has to perform and show what theyre capable of.
The assessment took most of the day and everyone was pretty worn out by the time Dave gave his de-brief at 3.30pm. At the very least, every kid benefited with advice from some of the UKs top coaches as well getting their hands on some goodies from HEAD at the end of the session.
There were just 12 places on the assessment day and, not surprisingly, it was hugely oversubscribed. There is clearly a real need for parents to find out the truth about their childs chances of making it and that is exactly what they get.
Dave and Jez compile a detailed report on each player after the course finishes which is posted a couple of days later. The report doesnt seek to flatter the players get a detailed and 100% honest assessment of their game and what they need to do to significantly improve their tennis.
All in all, its a cracking day for the kids and a very worthwhile investment for the parents. I would definitely recommend it to any parent with an aspiring Rafa or Serena in the family