More advice from the LTA
Fri, 20 Mar 2020 00:00
We all know tennis is a unique sport which has many benefits – the main one being health and wellbeing. While the LTA has suspended its organised activity, the Government have currently indicated that physical exercise (including grass roots coaching) that takes place at a safe distance from others and in safe exercise environments is something that can continue at this time.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has specifically advised us that tennis is in fact one of the best examples of social distancing in practice, and so should be encouraged as long as the guidance permits. Tennis is also specifically identified as currently being a sport that is ok to play.
Adapting sessions to accommodate the advice on social distancing:
- Adopt low player-to-court ratios (such as singles or doubles) or individual coaching as per the Government’s advised social distancing measures (defined by Public Health England as spending no more than 15 minutes and not within a 2-metre distance talking to someone)
- Avoid close proximity when giving feedback, or when players are resting
- Ensure no physical contact between players during warm-ups or games
- No other unnecessary extra-curricular or social activity should take place
Adopting best practice in relation to hygiene, especially before and after training sessions, including but not limited to:
- Players should wash hands before and after a tennis session without exception (or use an alcohol gel if washing hands is not possible)
- Clean and wipe down equipment, including rackets, courtside benches, cones. Do not allow racket sharing or use of communal rackets
- For tennis balls, consider using new balls where possible, and consider using a small number of balls for a lesson so fresh balls can be used for each session; achieve this in a financially feasible way, coaches can consider using a small number of balls (1-2 cans) for a lesson so fresh balls can be used for each session
- Adaptations to drills will be needed, such as the use of live ball drills over basket drills; furthermore, it is recommended that only coaches touch the balls and players avoid touching the balls
- Avoid touching your face
- Outdoor courts and open spaces are preferable to small indoor spaces