Photo: Tennis Xpress Latvia Seminar (May-13)
Following the publishing of the official ITF Tennis Xpress course and supporting material in April 2013, the uptake of the programme across the world is very positive.
Tennis Xpress is an easy, active and fun coaching programme for starter adults and recommended by the ITF as the best way to learn the game. The aim is to help starter adults to serve, rally and score (play the game) from the first session and to ensure that by the end of the course, 1. all adults will know the basic techniques, tactics and the Rules of Tennis; and 2. all adults will be able to play competitive points using the Green ball on a full court. Tennis Xpress is a supporting programme of the ITF Tennis Play and Stay campaign.
Many member federations of the ITF have expressed their intention to implement Tennis Xpress into their national development programmes. Some nations have already translated the resources and supporting materials under the Tennis Xpress brand and have implemented the programme:
The Lawn Tennis Association are currently piloting Tennis Xpress in 80 tennis facilities ahead of a national roll out later in 2013, alongside a major promotional campaign to encourage more adults to start playing tennis in Great Britain. Alongside Mini-Tennis and Cardio Tennis Tennis Xpress is a core programme for introductory tennis in Great Britain.
In Latvia, the Latvia Tennis Association held a national seminar for the leading club coaches who will lead a sponsored campaign in their respective clubs promoting the Tennis Xpress programme and a scheme that will provide the first lesson free to participants.
As one of the pilot nations for the ITF Tennis Xpress programme in 2011, the Dansk Tennis Federation has continued to develop the programme and to date have over 100 tennis clubs coordinating Tennis Xpress and over 1,000 new club members as a direct impact of the starter adult programme.
Tennis Ireland recently completed a national roadshow with Tennis Xpress a key part of promotion and linked to the National Tennis Day. The programme has been integrated within the National Level 1 Coaches Education Programme.
In May, the first Tennis Xpress session was held in India by the Advantage Tennis Academy, Hyderabad with the course being received very positively by the starter players.
The Polish Tennis Federation has translated the ITF Tennis Xpress resources and are about to implement the programme nationally to their clubs and coaches. In 2010, the Federation followed the same process with the ITF Tennis10s programme for 10-and-under players.
ITF Executive Director of Development, Dave Miley stated, “Research has shown that health and exercise benefits, and learning and improving at something new, are of particular importance to adults when choosing their leisure activities. The Tennis Xpress course ensures that adults learn to play tennis quickly while having a great workout and a sociable and fun experience. We believe that this programme will have a big impact globally in both attracting and retaining new players in our sport.”
Tennis Play and Stay is the ITF’s global initiative launched in 2007 aimed at increasing tennis participation worldwide. Tennis Play and Stay centres around the slogan of ‘Serve, Rally and Score’ and seeks to promote tennis as an easy, fun and healthy sport. Fundamental to the campaign is the use of slower balls by coaches working with starter players, ensuring that their first experience of tennis is a positive one by serving, rallying and scoring from the first lesson.