Tuesday, 7 November 2017

David Earl: "I wanted Tennis to be affordable, with high quality and get all ages playing"

David Earl, Head Coach at Redhill Lawn Tennis Club and Simply Sports collaborator, has been awarded the prestigious Coach of the Year Award by Reigate & Banstead District Sports Council. The organization concluded that David has been "a highly active member of the local community, inspiring many people across all age groups to start or return to tennis".

He started his coaching career at Sanderstead in Surrey before taking on abroad "to learn more about the different styles of coaching". In the UK, he has worked at Parklangley, Surbiton Rackets Club and Reigate LTC. "My goal at Redhill is to make sure the club reaches it's potential but more importantly I want every member to be on court having great fun and improving all the time". Now, he has started the LTA Level 5 coaching award, the highest Tennis coach qualification in the world.

- Did you expect to receive the Reigate & Banstead and Sports Award 2017 like coach of the Year? 

No and I went to the awards evening with a terrible case on "man flu" so I thought i'd just sit at the back quietly watching the winners go and up get the awards! I was really happy to hear my name read out and I think I look shocked in all the pictures. The last year at Redhill has been hard work but really rewarding so getting an honour like this was icing on the cake.

David Earl receiving his Sports Awards.

- According to the organization, one of the reasons to reward you are “inspiring many people across all age groups to start or return to tennis”, do you see yourself like a tennis inspiration?

I'll let others decide how I'm seen but my goal was pretty simple when I first moved over to the area to start Boom Coaching. I wanted Tennis to be affordable, high quality and get all ages playing, learning and competing at a sport that's given me so much. We've managed to get 10 schools playing and have huge plans for 2018 so watch this space whatever age you are!

- Why should kids play Tennis?

Tennis assists coordination more than any other sport so at a basic level Tennis will give young athletes a better chance of being a rounded athlete. When a child first comes to our coaching our first goal is to give them skills in a sport they can play for the rest of their lives, some will take to it quickly and others will have to work harder but the lessons learnt about themselves and the technical, tactical, mental and physical side of a demanding sport go much further than the court, there's lots of key life skills.

- Another reason for your award is that you've increased membership at Redhill Lawn Tennis Club. How have you done this?

Good quality service and good results. We have a 7 day per week coaching programme with our youngest participants being 4 years old and our oldest nearer 74 years old (I won't tell you who though!). Every school holiday we have junior courses and they start at £10 per day, adult groups are £10 for 90 minutes and our monthly junior coaching programme is £30 per month for 3 sessions per week so we always aim to keep our prices at a realistic level.

- Do you think people need a little push to play tennis?

I hope we can cater for everyone but in 2018 we have some very exciting plans to get everyone on court. We know that there are a lot of people who are rushed off their feet and don't have a long time each week to dedicate hours to learning the ins and outs of tennis. We are planning on launching a new service at Redhill Park and Redhill Tennis Club where we get some hardcore cardio and coaching points in a 40 minute session. Keep an eye on Boom Coaching.

- What do you need to play tennis?

I would say Boom Coaching of course but the truth is you don't need much. The courts in parks are free to use, Tennis Club membership is often around £20 per month and then a friend and racket. At a club there'll often be sessions for people to walk up and play as well as tournaments but if you're looking for a partner you can always call us and we'll help

- Many people say that your tennis training system is enjoyable. How important is have fun in your sessions?

Very! We keep our sessions sociable so everyone can have a laugh but all sessions have strong teaching points because there's lots of fun in getting better

- Tell us about your new qualification.

I'm on the Lawn Tennis Association Level 5 Master Club Coach award at the moment. It's a two year course and the highest qualification possible for a Tennis Coach so it's not easy. I'm only at the start but it's been great to be pushed and as someone who is always trying to get better i'm loving the challenge.

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