71 pilot courses in nine nations around the world during 2011 were invited and agreed to pilot the Tennis Xpress programme. Based on the success and the feedback received from the pilot programmes, the ITF would then refine the Tennis Xpress programme course structure. Feedback was received by piloting nations during June and July 2011, and compiled by Mark Tennant (ITF Expert / Inspire 2 Coach, GBR) during July 2011.
The following Federations piloted the Tennsi Xpress course. The number of pilot courses is stated:
- Tennis Australia (AUS) - 2
- Tennis Canada (CAN) - 2
- Chile (CHL) - 1
- Colombia (COL) - 1
- Denmark (DEN) - 51
- LTA (GBR) - 2
- Ukraine (UKR) - 5
- PTR (USA) - 5
- USTA (USA) - 2
Total number of Adult Tennis Xpress courses piloted: 71
Summary of Feedback received
The following is a summary of feedback received for a series of ten questions asked of each piloting federtion to complete following the pilot.
1. Please detail which parts of the Tennis Xpress course were successful, and why?
- All very positive feedback, though clear that many of the pilot courses were not done with total beginners, which distorted some of the feedback
2. Please tell detail which parts of the Tennis Xpress course were not successful, and why?
- Very little negative feedback.
- Comments about the need for differenting due to ability of players points to need for coaches to be flexible and to modify their delivery based on players needs, though clear that many of the pilot courses were not done with total beginners, which distorted some of the feedback
3. Please detail whether the Tennis Xpress course should use Red, Orange and Green balls, or just Orange and Green?
- Very strong support for all 3 balls.
- Issues were more to do with when the progression of the ball should happen, and whether the coaches could recognise when was the right moment to progress
4. What observations were made about the progress made by the players during the 10-hours?
- Reinforced the need for a play-based and not overly technical introduction to tennis for starter players.
- Lots of evidence of progress, being able to play a match by the end. Lots of support for showing rules and scoring as the course progresses.
- Lots of evidence of players wanting to continue with tennis after the end of the course
5. What is preferred - 5 x 2hr sessions, or 10 x 1hr sessions, and why?
- Most feedback favours 2 hr sessions, although US and Canada favoured 1.5 hrs, which is worth considering.
- Mixed views about whether 8 or 10 hours is best.
6. What changes would be expected to be made by your national federation for the Tennis Xpress to be implemented in the nation? Please explain the changes and the reasons.
- Lots of reference to federations needing to promote the new product.
- The ITF will inevitably need to help with this, although the major nations will do this themselves
7. Would the national federation prefer fewer or more hours of delivery within the course?
- Majority of the comments agreed with 8-10 hours being the best duration
8. What (if any) additional resources could be provided to support coaches delivering Tennis Xpress. Please list or suggest any resources which the national federation believe could help in this respect.
- Common feedback was video clips for players and coaches, and better diagrams for how to set up the drills
9. Was the main objective of the course, to have the players playing competitively at the end of the course, achieved?
10. What relevant feedback on the course did the national federation receive from the particpants?