The Guam National Tennis Federation (GNTF), in collaboration with the Guam National Olympic Committee and the ITF, hosted both an ITF Coaching Beginner & Intermediate Players Course and an ITF Play Tennis Course during the months of September and October at the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort Tennis Complex in Tamuning.
The courses formed part of the Olympic Solidarity Development of National Sports System (DNSS) Project, with the overall objective of strengthening the GNTF’s focus on its four strategic pillars of participation, coaching, performance and funding. ITF expert Michael-Ray Pallares conducted both courses, which were attended by 15 candidates from various parts of the island.
The ITF Play Tennis Course, held 1-4 September comprised 28 hours of on-court and lecture room presentations and was attended by 15 participants. The main objective of the course is the practical approach to introducing tennis to beginner players in an easy, fun and efficient way. The use of slower balls on smaller courts helps coaches to organise players to play the game (serve, rally and score).
Throughout the month of October, seven coaches took part in the 80-hour ITF Coaching Beginner & Intermediate Players Course. The course is divided into 12 days with the main section of the course focused on topics including the Game Based Approach-GBA, tactics, physical conditioning, the organisation of group and individual practice, lesson progression, and the mental aspect of tennis.
The feedback from participants showed that they all enjoyed the concept of the game-based approach and practical ideas that they gained throughout the course. One of the participants commented, “I learned a lot of new things that I can apply to my lessons, and the amount of information that I’ve obtained will be invaluable to me as a coach”.
Mr Torgun Smith, President of the Guam National Tennis Federation was full of praise for the participants, as the GNTF continues to develop a five-year strategic plan to increase participation and improve performance. “On behalf of the GNTF, I’d like to congratulate all the coaches who passed the ITF coaching courses,” said Smith, recognizing the commitment and personal desire of the participants. Course tutor Michael-Ray Pallares added “We have now set up a ‘coaching pathway’ at the Guam National Tennis Federation where the coaches who have successfully passed these courses will now be registered with the federation, as well as being encouraged and recognized for their continued education.”