Origin and Background
Once Heron Tennis Centre was opened in 2004, Terry Askey embarked on his ambition to provide a tennis facility that the local people and its visitors could enjoy.
A vital part of his plan was to put in place a coaching programme that provided high quality coaching for all ages and standards so that people could begin learning tennis, improve, compete and enhance their enjoyment of the game.
Ace provides the coaching services at Heron with it's dedicated and hugely experienced team of coaches, and the Ace Academy provides our performance programme.
Ace, and Heron as a whole, have been designed to be unlike other tennis facilities in Britain.
Whilst recognising the problems associated with many other tennis facilities and coaching programmes, we aspire to be friendly, welcoming to all, relaxed, professional, affordable, and provide quality coaching services and facilities.
In many ways, we have modelled ourselves on clubs and coaching programmes you can typically find in Europe, particularly in Germany and Sweden.
Research of successful coaching programmes in the likes of Germany and Sweden, combined with the extensive coaching and playing experience of Ace's coaching team, have led to the coaching services we provide.
We hope you enjoy your time with us and we thank you all for your support!
Ace Tennis Coaching & Academy and the Heron Tennis Centre
Ace Tennis Coaching
To provide a positive, happy, personable and quality coaching environment that people (juniors and adults alike) want to be a part of, and where friendships and a passion and love for the game are fostered.
We take pride in producing good people as well as good tennis players. We are proud of the players who we have helped nurture. Ace strives to instil virtues of respect, honesty and fairness, and foster personal relationships betwen coaches and players.
To provide a unique learning & training environment for talented, committed and aspiring players, that:
- considers the player's all-round development, both as a player and as a young person.
- instils self-discipline, honesty, respect, responsibility and loyalty.
- encourages academic achievement.
- offers personal player-coach relationships.
- avoids being excessively pressuring, spoiling, competitive and rigid.
- encourages players to think for themselves and take ownership of their own development as players
- help players fulfil their potential.
- is ambitious and eager for our players to do well, using Ace coach's collective playing and coaching experience to know how best to avoid failures that can lead to players "falling out of love with the game" and unhappy family relationships.
- is a positive, sensible, realistic & unique approach to helping aspiring players fulfil their potential.
With our vast collective playing and coaching experience, Ace's coaching team advocate what we believe are a realistic, positive and sensible set of unique coaching beliefs and philosophies.
They are as follows:
- to coach players so they develop all round games: players can then choose the style they want to play, have a varied game style to fall back on if need be (e.g. if losing in a match and need to change they way they play), plus developing all round games can increase the player's enjoyment of the game throughout their life and make them play better doubles as well as singles.
- when to compete and when to learn and practice: simply put and if parents and players are stressed or confused, it is best to compete and practice in school holidays, then learn, have coaching and train more in the school term.
- coaching sessions versus practice sessions: coaching sessions are for learning (technique, tactics, strategy, movement and physical attributes, right mentality and thinking), whereas paid hits, practices with other players and practices on the wall are times for players to think for themselves and engrain what have been learning in coaching sessions
- junior vs. adult success: if developing an all round game, expect success later on as so many things to perfect.
- LTA rankings and ratings: best not to over-focus or place an over-emphasis on these as can hinder player development. Players must compete and win sufficiently to enable them to gain entry to events as the get older e.g. Nationals, Grade 2s and 3s.
- "trust us": we have huge collective experience of competing and coaching, the LTA system and how players in other countries have developed.
- Working alongside the LTA: with our combined experience, we are aware of the pros and cons of the LTA's player development. Our job is to best guide players and parents on their tennis journey. If we see any possible pitfalls, then we will provide guidance.
- schooling and academics: vital to continue and strive to achieve at school due to the cross-over of skills e.g. self discipline, using your brain on court! Plus, players need academics for careers if not successful pro careers.
- children playing too much tennis and too many different activities: beware of your children doing too much, which can lead to burn out, falling out of love with tennis, and them switching their minds off in coaching sessions.
- parents treatment of their child after wins and loses: best to not go overboard if they win or lose, to reward effort and behaviour, and to penalise lack of effort and bad behaviour.
- players involved in different coaching programmes: "too many cooks spoil the broth!". When players are young (up to age of 11-13 typically), beware of players having too many coaches from different programmes. It can lead to confusion for the player, for the player to play one coach off against another, and for jealousy/ teasing/ resentment from other players.
- a young player's mind is crucial for success and happiness, both in their tennis careers and in their life: we try to help parents avoid overly pressuring, spoiling, and structuring their child's tennis and lives. Instead, we encourage and try to foster happiness, self-discipline, honesty, respect, responsibility, love of the game, friendships, and intelligence in our players.