Monday 6 July, 2020

Jamaican coaches thrilled over selection for ITF’s Valencia training

Tinesta Rowe (left) receives her certificate from Tennis Jamaica President Aswad Morgan after successfully competing in the ITF Level One Coaching Certification course at Eric Bell Tennis Centre.

Tinesta Rowe (left) receives her certificate from Tennis Jamaica President Aswad Morgan after successfully competing in the ITF Level One Coaching Certification course at Eric Bell Tennis Centre.

Jamaica’s tennis coaches, Tinesta Rowe and Joel Jones, are basking in the opportunity to take their game and the country’s to the next level through an upcoming International Tennis Federation (ITF) Level Two Coaching Certification Program, which will take place in Valencia, Spain, next year.


Both benefitted from their participation in the ITF Level One Coaching Certification Course hosted by Tennis Jamaica, which ended at Eric Bell Tennis Centre last week.


The course was conducted by John Goede, the ITF’s Regional Development Officer for the Caribbean and experienced local coach, Evan Williams.


“I will support Tinesta Rowe and Joel Jones to go to the Level Two in Valencia in 2019,” said Goede, whose recommendations will go through a number of channels before the ultimate ITF sign-off.


The regional tennis director explained how he had pushed course participants beyond the norm, an action to be reciprocated in their teachings.


“For those in management, you need to place the bar high for every level of coaching if we want to maximise the level of each individual in Jamaica and the Caribbean,” he said.


Jones said he was excited at the selection and along with Rowe, they plan to maximise their learning in Spain.


“I’m particularly excited and very humbled. I feel very blessed to have been selected to go and do the Level Two. It’s not something that we take for granted because it is an opportunity to take your coaching to the next level. Two of us in the course were lucky enough to be given that privilege, Tinesta Rowe and me,” Jones observed.


“Tinesta Rowe has been a fantastic player, she’s represented Jamaica in many capacities over the years and I’ve been doing my best on the ground to build juniors and to introduce adults to the game. So now that we have this opportunity to really take our coaching higher we’re both extremely excited and we plan to grab the opportunity with both hands,” he added.


Rowe was one of Jamaica’s most outstanding female players, winning championships at every age group – Under-14, Under-16, Under-18 - before morphing into a national champion, with the number one ranking to boot.


“Playing and coaching are definitely two different things. Some people have the perception that the best players are the best coaches, but it’s not just about playing the game, it’s about being able to impart that information to somebody else and then helping them grow and ensuring that they grow in different stages,” she reasoned.


The former Hoolebury All-Age and St. Hilda’s High student started playing at age nine and first represented Jamaica at 13, then went on to earn a scholarship to North Carolina State University. Afterwards, she got involved in coaching in the United States at the Rick Macci Tennis Academy in Florida, before returning home and has been helping to develop talent through Russell Tennis Academy.


“I love playing tennis and if I didn’t have that passion I wouldn’t be here today and I want to see somebody else go out there and play and with the information that I’m getting and that I know through playing, that’s a great combination. But first I’ve to keep learning as a coach,” said Rowe.


“As a coach, we should never stop learning ourselves because once you stop learning everything becomes stagnant, you become stuck. I find that if you get stuck you start losing interest and if you get to that point you’ll probably get bored and repetitive and start doing the same thing over and over again and that’s not beneficial. So it’s good to keep ourselves educated, keep ourselves informed. That’s how we’re going to help the future players,” she added.


Goede said the ITF will maintain its relationship with Tennis Jamaica, while also forming a partnership with the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), to grow the game.


The JOA intervention will include facilitating Tennis Jamaica in hosting more ITF Coaching Courses like the one that was held recently but on a larger scale with regional countries involved.


Also, that synergy will be looking to host advanced coaching certification courses through levels two and three, plus other tennis development activities.

“We also need to understand that everybody else in the world who loves tennis that’s what they’re getting, they’re benefitting from that level of training so really if we want our tennis to grow we’ve to get on par with the world. If we want to be world beaters in tennis, just like we’re world beaters in athletics, we have to world- class coaches just like we have in athletics. So I think this particular programme is a great start,” said Jones.


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