Mental Health Awareness Week

According to the Mental Health Foundation, it is estimated that 1 in 6 people will have experienced a common mental health problem within the last week.

In a recent study based on the UK population, it was found that almost two thirds of people reported experiencing a mental health problem at once stage in their lifetime.

With only a small minority of people (13%) reporting to be living with high levels of good mental health, we take a look at how tennis can help to improve your mental welfare.


Physical activity has been linked strongly with an improved state of mental health. When we exercise, chemicals known as ‘endorphins’ are released in our brain, it is these endorphins that help us to achieve a good night’s sleep, improve our focus and concentration, boost our levels of self-esteem and above all they raise our mood and make us feel better.

So whether you have had a good day or a bad day, if you need to let off some steam or if you simply want a reason to get outside and enjoy the sunshine then why not pick up a racket and join us on court for some tennis!

Here at Tennis Northampton, we are running coaching sessions for all ages and ability levels, so if you want to sharpen up your groundstrokes, put some punch into your volleys and fine-tune your serves then why not book onto a session today?

Mini, Junior and adult competitions coming to Northampton!

 

Playing tennis competitively can be a fun way to test your skills on the court and we have teamed up with local referee Oluseun Durowoju to offer a full competition schedule for players of all ages.

The competitions will be held at Abington Park, Northampton There will be medals for winner, runner up and bronze positions for all mini and junior tournaments. There will also be a best behaved award for mini boys and girls tournaments and a certificate of attendance for mini players that play all their matches in the tournaments.

2017 SCHEDULE (PLEASE ENTER THE TOURNAMENT CODE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE ON THE LTA WEBSITE).

April 2017

·         1st Mini Red, Orange & Green      NTP17S1870

·         8th Juniors 12s, 14s & 16s.             NTP17S1871

·         15th Mini Doubles.                         NTP17S1873

·         22nd Junior Doubles.                     NTP17S1877

·         29th Mini Beginners.                      NTP17S1879

 

May 2017

·         6th Mini Orange & Green.            NTP17S1881

·         13th Juniors 12s, 14s, 18s.             NTP17S1883

·         20th 9U, 10U Doubles.                 NTP17S1885

·         27th 12, 14, 18 Doubles.                NTP17S1887

 

June 2017

·         3rd Mini Red, Orange & Green.    NTP17S1889

·         10th Junior 14s,16s, 18s.               NTP17S1891

·         17th Mini Doubles                          NTP17S1893

·         24th Juniors 12s, 14s, 18s.            NTP17S1895

 

July 2017

·         1st Mini Red & Green.                   NTP17S1897

·         8th Juniors.                                      NTP17S1899

·         15th Mini Doubles.                         NTP17S1901

·         22nd Junior Doubles.                      NTP17S1903

 

August 2017

·         5th Mini Red, Orange & Green.   NTP17S1906

·         12th Juniors.                                    NTP17S1908

·         19th Open.                                       NTP17S1910

If you have any queries, please contact Olu on refoncourt@yahoo.com 

Coach training in Abingdon

Our coaches, Stu and Maddee took part in some CPD training with Growing the Game, supported by the Lawn Tennis Association. The session saw a number of coaches coming together to share ideas and learn from Nick Elliott, Director of Growing the Game. The session focused around delivering adult coaching sessions with mixed ability players and the coaches can't wait to bring their learning back to the parks!

 

 

Coach training 081216

Tennis helps you live longer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, we all knew that, right?  We’ve long known that tennis has all sorts of physical, social and mental benefits, but now it’s official!  Reporting in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, some clever people at Oxford University have conducted a study of the exercise habits of over 80,000 adults aged 30 and above across some 25 years, and concluded that racket sports (and tennis in particular) helps you live longer… yay!

So, as well as being lots of fun, as well as helping you socialise with people, as well as delivering cardiovascular benefits, as well as releasing endorphins that trigger positive feelings, tennis reduces our mortality rate at any given age by almost 50%.  That’s just the best not-so-new news we’ve heard all year.

Why don’t you read the full article for yourself, we’re heading out on court to hit some balls and enjoy life to the full…

US Open 2016 - Watch the pro's to learn how to play like one!

How watching tennis on TV can improve your game

So, the US Open has just begun, and with it, the temptation to plonk my backside down on the sofa and commandeer the remote control for the next two weeks. I don't need much additional encouragement, but in case you do, have you ever thought about how watching the pros (even on TV) can help to improve your own game?

Here's the Parks Tennis guide to making the most of your sofa-opportunities by targeting exactly what to watch when you are busy watching the tennis on TV.

FOOTWORK

Looking at the feet of a professional tennis player is like watching ballet. Notice how they get set up early to hit the ball and remain still and balanced through contact with the ball. Can you predict where they are going to hit a shot by looking at how they position their feet - open stance, closed stance, weight on the front foot to hit a slice?

Also, can you follow their style of movement to the ball? Are they using simple, sideways steps or crossover steps. Can you notice a drop step for more explosive movement to a wide ball or even a carioca step to remain balanced and penetrate the court on a sliced approach or a volley.

Think of the footwork drills you have practiced on court during coaching sessions and try to identify them during a match.

 

COURT POSITION

Where on the court are the players standing to receive serve?

What point are they choosing to recover to after they hit a shot? Can you spot the different recovery positions when they hit cross-court or down-the-line?

When do they decide to approach the net and where do they position themselves when they do?

TECHNIQUE

This one is a biggie. But it also pays to be realistic. I'd love to hit a single handed backhand like Stan Wawrinka, (it's sublime) but that's not going to happen in this lifetime.  Instead I look to watch a specific element that I am working on with my own strokes and see if I can isolate the pros doing it.

For me, this could be the perennial 'left hand across' on my forehand, to help me with my balance, tracking the incoming ball and improving my shoulder rotation. But for you it might be your split-step, or having a more compact backswing, really getting your contact point out in front, making sure your follow through is consistent or keeping your back straight and your head still. Actually, if truth be told, I could use some work on all those things.

But the point is this - choose one specific element that you are working on and watch like a hawk for that. Chances are, there is a great role model to be found on your TV screen.

SHOT SELECTION

Can you identify patterns of play and how a player is using them to target their opponent's weaknesses?

What shots are the 'go to' choice for a player to hit when they are in trouble?

What selections give them the opportunity to close the net? This week, in one of our coaching sessions we have been working on using a sliced backhand to approach the net for a volley. If you've been working on a pattern of play like this, can you identify it during a match?

One of the simplest situations to look at and notice, is when a player opts to run around their backhand. Where do they hit from when they do this? Do they choose to go inside-out or inside-in. Is the shot they hit a winner?

Who can resist a little game of 'what shot would I hit next' or to try and figure out what the highest percentage shot to go for in a break point situation might be.

USE YOUR EARS

Yes, you are probably listening to the commentary and there's plenty to learn from there, but also take a moment to crank up the volume and listen to the sound of the ball on the strings. Can you pick up the difference between the sound of a hard, flat serve (crisp and deep) and a sliced or kick serve (a longer, and more rat-a-tat sound).

WATCH JUST ONE PLAYER

When you are looking to isolate movement or technique, try to forget about the ball and just watch a single player for a while. You can get even more specific and look at a single body part. Suggestions might be:

  • the non-dominant arm - so vital for balance
  • shoulders - see how relaxed they are and watch the rotation on serves and groundstrokes
  • head - that quality of stillness when the player contacts the ball and how steady the head is, even when the player is running
  • hips - how side on hips are for smashes and how good hip rotation lends power to groundstrokes
  • knees - as I've been told many times 'if you straighten your knees, you're dead' - too true. Watch the athletic position of the pros, with knees bent, throughout even the longest rallies. Feel your thighs burn in sympathy.

WATCH THE BALL

Yes, I know it sounds obvious, but can you really focus on how the ball moves and what spin does to it. Can you spot the ball kicking up after the bounce when hit with heavy topspin, is it swinging out to the side after a sliced serve? Does the backspin on a perfect drop shot have the ball die or even move backwards? Now can you predict how the ball will move from watching how it is hit?

So grab that remote control, quick! It's not just idle watching of the box - you are really working on improving your game. And when you've absorbed what you can, get out and join us on court to see what difference it has made!

Happy tennis :)

Summer Tennis Camp 2016 at Caroline Chisholm School

Our first tennis camp at Caroline Chisholm School proved to be a huge success!

We organised a 2 day tennis camp, which was completely sold out both days! 

Campers receive a free t-shirt, along with prizes throughout the day for those putting in a big effort. we have received lots of positive feedback here's what one parent emailed us: 

'Hi, i just wanted to say thank you - Lilly and Grace really enjoyed the tennis and said they had so much fun at tennis camp and want to do it again!'

with lots of team games, fun competitions, prizes, indoor backup, table tennis tables, classrooms for lunch, why not give us a try in our October half term tennis camp! 

 

 

 

July 2016 Great British Tennis Weekend

What a fantastic weekend we had. With over 170 people attending for a free coaching session, free play, and the chance to play former British doubles No.1 James Auckland (Andy Murrays former doubles partner). 

Participants who pre-registered and attended all received a prize, whether it was a free T-shirt, wristband, sunglasses, free coaching lessons, there was something for everyone! 

If you would like to come along to the next GBTW, add your email in the sign up box at the bottom of the website and we will email you when the next event is! 

Parks Tennis CIC now heading up Rushmere Tennis Club

Our Community Tennis Manager, Stuart Seery, has just been appointed head coach of Rushmere Tennis Club, along with Maddee Blair as Programme Co-ordinator. They are tasked with the job of starting a new coaching programme for Adults and Juniors. We're really happy to be working with such a pleasant and inviting club and sure it will continue to grow! With membership available for £99, come and join us! Book your place on the coaching page! 

Caroline Chisholm School through to the County Finals!

In our last post we told you about how CCS made it through the first round of the Schools Tennis Competition, I can now confirm they have progress through the next round, finishing 2nd, meaning they have qualified for the County Finals! We wish them the best of luck! Time to bring home the gold! 

Together we made it! Caroline Chisholm School advances to regional school games-

Over the past few months, we’ve been working closely with CCS teaching as many children as possible our sport, and they seem to have taken a likening to it! Not only did they progress to the next round, they only lost 1 match! With 8 other schools all competing they held off stiff competition. Amazingly 3 of the players were brand new to the sport, and now not only know all of the strokes, they can put them in a match! We wish them the best of luck in the next round of the Competition and are pleased to work with such a sporty school! 

15th May 2016 Abington Park GBTW and Bands in the Park-

Another fantatic day with glorious sunshine in a beautiful park- Abington park GBTW was a massive success! With over 120 people attending and another 40 people signing up for a free tennis lesson, there was something for all! Great prizes for Kids, and plenty of space for the adults to have a game! We had coaching sessions available for all ages, and abilities, as well as launching our brand new Womens only classes (This girl can, for Beginners and Tennis Tuesdays for Improver onwards) AND our New Mens training session (Advantage Tennis Improver onwards) Feeling inspired? Want to give it ago? Book your free coaching session here  using code NTONFREE16 once you’ve added your session to the basket!

 

14th May 2016 – Beckets Park GBTW and food festival

With a day of sunshine and the Great British Tennis weekend on offer the flocks of Northampton Community arrived for a morning / afternoon of free tennis, and great food. Around 100 people came and played free tennis for the day, receiving lots of free prizes and having lots of FUN! 30 People signed up for a free tennis lesson and are now learning a fantastic new sport! For more information on our next GBTW and to book on follow this click this link! 

Sport Relief – Beckets Park

With Runners at the ready, we thought it would be a great idea to come down beckets park and offer a free day of tennis, providing equipment to anyone and everyone who fancied a game. We had Tennis factory for the kids, and space for adults to give it ago!