Alison Rubs Shoulders with Judy Murray at Top Coaching Event

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Burton Tennis and Squash Club’s Head Coach, Alison Smith, recently had the privilege to be invited to attend a special coaches’ workshop run by renowned coach and former Federation Cup captain, Judy Murray. The one-day course run by the LTA National Performance Support was a workshop on technical analysis within tactical situations. It was run with the specific aim of developing smart performers.

Judy’s assistant on the day was Kris Soutar who is himself a prominent tennis coach with 26 years’ experience. Kris, who heads up Judy’s Tennis on the Road Programme is regarded as one of the country’s top tennis coaches.

The workshop, held at Loughborough Tennis Centre, saw several specially selected coaches spend the day with the pair who passed on their outstanding and detailed knowledge of the game. However, the day was not spent actually playing tennis, in fact, only half the court was actually used! Instead, the group looked at tactics, particularly controlling a moving ball in a confined area.

This approach stems from the ethos underpinning Judy’s coaching: how to cause trouble, how to get out of trouble and how to avoid trouble. Judy believes that if a player can control an object (not necessarily a ball – it may be a non-bouncing item such as a beanbag) in a small area, it will naturally follow that it may be controlled more easily on a full court. This principle was at the core of both Andy and Jamie’s early coaching, whereby Judy developed their hand to eye coordination through playing a variety of very simple games.

Alison found the day to be both informative and inspirational: “Both Judy and Kris are exceptional instructors, each bringing a wealth of experience to their sessions as well as a great deal of fun. I was extremely fortunate and honoured to have been chosen to be a part of this session.  I am motivated to put into practice all of the advice and enthusiasm in the extensive tennis programme held at the club.”