On Thursday 28th June coaches from across Scotland assembled at David Lloyd Renfrew to take part in the Tennis Scotland National Day with guest speaker Dan Kiernan
Dan kicked off the morning with workshops on understanding and identifying the mental pressures associated with being a tennis player. As a huge believer in connection Dan aimed to instil the idea of connecting, as a coach, with the player being coached.
“The day brought an array of coaches to one place, all from various clubs, with different coaching styles, coaching different age groups and travelling from all sorts of locations, it was great to have everyone together, plus having the likes of Dan Kiernan and Colin Fleming in the room for added experience” - Matthew Dickie, Racquets Manager, David Lloyd Renfrew.
Dan is a great believer that “anytime you get like minded people together, sharing and creating ideas you can’t really go wrong” which is something that definitely shown in the group workshops.
Using the talent in the room Dan displayed court models and drills that were suitable for all levels of players, giving the coaching real value for future coaching sessions. The drills, which Dan uses at his academy in Spain, brought a mental approach to the sport, helping the coaches see the importance of giving each point it’s own merit in every game.
“Today has definitely been a great day, the focus was very much on how to be a coach rather than what to do as a coach” Julie Gordon, Level 5 Coach, Western Tennis Club. “At every point we’ve been encourage to share and participate, which definitely helps the learning experience. It’s also interesting to know what individuals are doing at academy level and how we can implement that at club level.”
Over lunch Dan allowed for Q&A, allowing the coaches present to dig into his career as former British number one doubles player and now Director of SotoTennis Academy based in Spain; as an added bonus Colin Fleming went on the spot for Q&A also.
“I’ve known for a long time, I looked up to him as a player, so it’s been really interesting to hear his journey and learn some of his coaching philosophy” said Colin Fleming. “His philosophies really resonates with mine and further cemented the idea of connecting with a player and foremost.”
Post lunch seen Dan dive deeper into his philosophies of mentality and mindset for coaches and players. The afternoon was spent exploring ways in which coaches ‘create’ our own mindset while normalising competing; the understand and take away from the afternoon was that these thought process can transcend from tennis into everyday life and change our perceptions to further develop our passions.
“Understanding that it’s not just about technic, form or backs but it’s the mindset that can be the missing piece to prepare players, perhaps even make them a bit tougher for competing in tournaments” Mark Malcolm, Head Coach, Giffnock Tennis Club.
Some final routines, match plans and match reporting ideas were conveyed before Dan allowed for final questions or knowledge sharing. Before leaving Dan stated “It was a real pleasure to have been apart of the National Day. I understand the difficulty of giving up work, cost of travel, cost of the course can all be factors not to attend an event like today, however, don’t just think of value in terms of money, think of the value of investing in yourself, the value in building networks, the value in gaining new knowledge or ideas - it all helps keep the passion fresh.”