‘It’s a good workout for your brain, as well’: Meet the tennis coach at East Glos Club – Gloucestershire sport & outdoor


East Glos Membership in Cheltenham is a multi-sports membership that gives tennis, padel, racketball and squash all-year spherical.

Getting your coronary heart pumping and mind working, tennis is the full-body exercise that retains on giving; with an entire host of bodily and psychological well being advantages that can preserve you feeling good after you permit the courtroom.
Not solely that, tennis gamers at Cheltenham’s fashionable East Glos Membership can take pleasure in being a part of a thriving social neighborhood, with common social occasions and alternatives each on and off the courtroom.
To search out out extra, SoGlos spoke to one of many membership’s skilled coaches, Esther Curtis, concerning the well being advantages of the game – in addition to every thing members can sit up for, from smashing opponents on the courtroom to beating them at quiz nights…
Meet the knowledgeable – Esther Curtis, senior efficiency coach at East Glos Membership

Esther Curtis has been teaching at East Glos Membership for over 12 years, serving to everybody from tiny tots to grownup gamers to hone their expertise – in addition to nurturing younger tennis stars within the membership’s junior Efficiency Academy programme. She additionally captains the Gloucestershire women’ and ladies’ 18 and below groups at county degree.
East Glos Membership is a enjoyable and sociable members’ membership in Cheltenham that welcomes gamers of all ages and talents, providing tennis, squash, racketball and padel; with all-weather, floodlit courts, knowledgeable teaching and loads of alternatives for aggressive play.
For extra info, go to eastglos.co.uk.
What do you take pleasure in most about working at East Glos Membership?
Being outdoors, when the climate’s higher! And possibly the range you get to see, working and interacting with a lot of completely different individuals; one teaching session could be fully completely different to the subsequent and there’s at all times a unique problem. I like instructing completely different periods in addition to teaching and group periods, like cardio tennis.
What does the cardio tennis contain? That sounds enjoyable!
Cardio is basically good enjoyable! We do it to music and it’s extra like circuits the place we do a lot of hitting tennis balls however primarily working round. We run by means of ladders and we’ve received a lot of tools on the courtroom. It does contain having the ability to hit a ball however you don’t essentially want to have the ability to play any tennis – nobody is hitting the ball again to you!
Do you participate within the social facet of issues on the membership, in addition to teaching?
I’ve completed! Quite a lot of the time I’m busy teaching however we do issues like quiz nights that are at all times good enjoyable and an awesome probability to combine with the members. It’s an opportunity for them to get to see you in your off-court capability, in addition to on courtroom.

Apart from the quiz nights, is there the rest members can sit up for?
The membership usually runs issues like social barbecues, when the climate’s higher; we do a summer time occasion; additionally, Christmas events and you may e-book to have Christmas dinners and lunches.
There’s a bunch of members who play bridge, so that they have bridge nights; we do wine and cheese evenings and issues like that, so there’s quite a bit occurring socially. It’s a stunning neighborhood.
It sounds it! What do you assume are the advantages of becoming a member of a tennis membership, reasonably than play-as-you-go?
I believe once you be part of a membership, you get rather more of a possibility to combine with members and meet new individuals. You may get concerned in social tennis classes and there can be individuals such as you who you may get to know.
You’ve received the chance to start out making associates who you would possibly organize to play with in your individual time in a extra social setting. And with phrase of mouth, they may suggest new issues to you that they’ve already taken half in and loved.
For those who pay and play, you get an awesome expertise on courtroom with the coach and different group members, but it surely’ll final for an hour and then you definately’ll go. Becoming a member of offers you an opportunity to participate in additional of these actions and meet extra individuals; and in addition, we’ve received loads of alternatives for aggressive play, akin to ladders and league groups. So once more, you get the possibility to satisfy people who find themselves at an analogous degree to you.
As a coach, what would you say are the largest bodily well being advantages of tennis?
I’ve at all times thought-about tennis to be an all-round bodily sport – clearly you utilize your arms lots, however you possibly can’t play tennis with out your legs! So, you’re getting a full-body exercise. It’s good for core energy as effectively, as you’re doing numerous issues above your head like serving and smashing. Bodily, you’re utilizing a lot of completely different muscle teams within the physique once you play tennis, out of your legs all the way in which up.
Typically, it can enhance your total degree of health as an cardio train – particularly one thing just like the cardio tennis; it’s good for health. Those that are inclined to examine their wrist watches or their good watches will let you know that they’re burning someplace round 400-plus energy in an hour.
It’s a great exercise to your mind, as effectively. Tennis entails choice making, like the place to hit the ball or the way you’re going to hit it; and downside fixing, engaged on ways or when you’re engaged on one thing technically, you’re having to focus on the varied bodily features of what you’re making an attempt to do.

When it comes to your mind, there’s psychological well being advantages to taking part in tennis as effectively. How do you assume the bodily advantages feed into that?
General, any sport is sweet for wellbeing. You’re releasing endorphins and your power ranges are going up. Train goes to raise your temper and make you’re feeling higher – particularly at a membership like East Glos the place the tennis is all outdoors within the contemporary air.
We’ve had numerous new members for the reason that pandemic who’ve reassessed what they need to do with their spare time after being cooped up of their home for thus lengthy. Lots of people who’ve joined the membership or come to become involved with a few of the teaching, they’ve modified their mindset about how they need to spend their free time. They need to be outside they usually need to be lively – it’s been fairly an enormous distinction during the last 12 months.
I believe it additionally helps when you’re taking part in socially, or particularly when you’re taking part in competitively, you’re form of specializing in one thing completely different, so it offers you an opportunity to take your thoughts off no matter your day-to-day stresses is likely to be in life. For those who’re specializing in the best way to beat your opponent as an alternative then it offers you a little bit of a launch – and it could assist with frustration as effectively, when you’ve received any aggression increase inside you then it’s fairly a great launch of power to bash the ball.
You’re at all times on the courtroom with another person – even when you’re taking part in singles, you’ve at all times received an opponent, so there’s at all times a social side to the sport as effectively.
You’ve talked about aggressive play just a few instances. Are you able to inform us extra about how one can help members in the event that they need to get into aggressive play?
Inside the membership, as a member, you could be a part of the ladders. So, when you had been simply beginning out, you’d be put within the backside field of the ladders with 4 or 5 different individuals – and also you get given a month to rearrange to play these gamers. After which, when you’re extra profitable, you progress as much as the subsequent field otherwise you would possibly find yourself staying in the identical one, however every month the ladders have a tendency to maneuver up and down – so every month you’ll find yourself taking part in completely different individuals.
You get an opportunity to play completely different individuals and also you’ll fairly rapidly begin to discover the place your degree is. So, when you are available in and also you’re a comparatively competent participant and also you begin within the backside field, you’ll most likely end up over the primary couple of months shifting up a few instances. And also you’ll begin to discover your degree, the place the gamers you’re taking part in towards are an analogous capacity.
Clearly, the teaching workforce is at all times readily available when you get somebody who’s fairly new to the membership and by no means actually performed tennis earlier than, then we might be capable to advise the very best locations for them to suit.
We’ve additionally received all of our league groups on the membership – I believe we’ve received eight males’s groups and eight women’ groups in the summertime and winter league, with weekly alternatives to play towards different groups within the county on a aggressive degree every season.

And that’s appropriate for gamers of all talents to become involved in?
Sure, from the A Crew proper the way in which all the way down to the G Crew. As a result of it’s fairly a big membership with numerous members, numerous the groups are of a comparatively comparable degree. So yeah, there’s undoubtedly a possibility for all ranges to become involved – within the ladders as effectively, you don’t want to satisfy a sure standards to enter the ladders if you wish to play aggressive tennis.
It’s a good way to start out off your aggressive journey as effectively. And also you’re assembly fellow members who’re having the identical experiences, so hopefully you’re having enjoyable attending to know individuals in addition to a aggressive sport.
Additionally, annually we maintain our Membership Championships in order that’s one other probability for any member of the membership to enter. We’ve received all ages teams, all the way in which as much as our over 70s class; taking part in singles and blended doubles all all through the summer time. Then Finals Day is at first to mid-September, the place everybody comes alongside to look at and we’ve received a barbecue on the go.
That sounds beautiful! So, if somebody who’d by no means performed tennis earlier than got here to you for teaching, what can be your prime ideas for an entire newbie?
I’d at all times suggest you’ve got some type of teaching session initially. It may be a good suggestion to have a person lesson to get that undivided consideration and personalised tips on what you would possibly need assistance with.
Having somewhat little bit of assist initially with the basics of method, like the best way to maintain a racket, the place your hand is, the place your grip is, the positioning of your ft and your physique. Nailing the basics will actually assist once you’re stepping on a courtroom correctly in a extra social setting. It can provide you a bit extra confidence as effectively, simply to be a bit clearer on what you’re making an attempt to take action you possibly can go away and begin placing it into apply.
We do grownup teams for full learners, too – the good thing about being in a bunch state of affairs is it tends to be with different people who find themselves in an analogous scenario as you.
How lengthy would it not take a novice participant to start out seeing enhancements of their method?
It’s a bit subjective however when you’ve received a whole newbie who actually hasn’t picked up a racket earlier than, it’s a lot simpler to make new habits than break previous ones. You will discover that you just make that preliminary progress fairly rapidly – whether or not it’s a bunch or particular person session, it’s best to discover that by the top of your first hour to hour-and-a-half session that you just’ll see some enchancment.

I do know you’ve got numerous junior gamers too. What would you say are the primary bodily and psychological well being advantages of tennis for kids?
For teenagers, we have a tendency to search out that numerous youngsters that come into our growth programme who haven’t performed numerous tennis earlier than are actually on the lookout for it to be initially one thing that may be a enjoyable, leisure exercise outdoors the classroom.
The primary objective for us, once you get children coming in for the primary time, is that they go away they usually’ve had enjoyable and need to come again.
Once more, you’ve got the social side for teenagers being in group teaching periods; but it surely’s actually good for kids who don’t essentially take pleasure in workforce sports activities or discover it troublesome to be in that workforce setting. So, once they come into tennis, they is likely to be in a bunch setting with different youngsters, however tennis is a person sport and their success at it’s solely all the way down to them reasonably than counting on different individuals. For some youngsters, that’s what they reply to finest. You get children who actually take pleasure in the person features of taking part in tennis reasonably than it being a workforce sport.
Once more, it’s a manner of getting them outdoors and away from their computer systems at dwelling. They’re getting out within the contemporary air and getting the possibility to run round.
They’re additionally challenged in the identical sorts of how we’ve already talked about; we apply a lot of elementary expertise with them, like hand eye coordination by means of throwing and catching; a lot of expertise that we attempt to get them to develop like downside fixing and choice making.

In partnership with East Glos Membership | eastglos.co.uk

By Annabel Lammas

© SoGlosTuesday 22 March 2022

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