Ghana tennis received a shot in the arm when some of the country's young and promising coaches underwent a two-week intensive International Tennis Federation (ITF) regional level II course in Accra.
The May 14-25 programme was handled by two experts from the ITF's Development Department, Messrs Miguel Crespo of Spain and Briton Keith Reynolds.
The course was facilitated by the Ghana Tennis Association (GTA) with funding provided by the international Olympic Committee (IOC) through the Ghana Olympic COmmittee (GOC).
In all, 12 Ghanaian level I coaches were joined by four others from Nigeria and a Sierra Leonean who were taken through various workshops, which emphasis on the practical aspect of the game. About 25 per cent of the course was devoted to theoretical aspect of the game after which the instructors held practical demonstrations on the Accra Sports Stadium courts in the mornings.
The course, according to the ITF experts, is the highest certification being offered in Africa at present, and it equips the coaches with the requisite know-how to handle advanced tennis players. Unlike the level I course that emphasise on the basic drills in the sport, the participants in the two-week programme at the Accra Sports Stadium spent time on analysing the various tactics in the game, physical conditioning, psychology, medicine and first-aid, and the prevention of injury and the game's biomechanics.
National coach, David Churcher, who already holds a level II certificate, told the Daily Graphic last Saturday at the closing ceremony that the course was highly beneficial, as it has prepared the young coaches, most of whom were active players, on modern methods of coaching that would impact positively on the domestic game.
“Good coaches produce good players. If we produce very good coaches then it implies that the future is bright for ghana tennis,” Churcher said.
Another course participant, Richard Gyebi, a regional coach in Takoradi, said that the course has broaden his horizon in the sport as his training methodology would now take more scientific approach.
At the end of the course, all the participants took an examination after which the ITF experts would award certificates to successful candidates.