The Lawn Tennis Association
) is the national governing body of tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...
in Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...
, the Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are an archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two separate bailiwicks: the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey...
and the Isle of Man
The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...
As the governing body, the LTA is responsible for the coaching and development of junior players, offering courses and qualifications on coaching, as well as the organisation and administration of the senior game. Through working with the different groups involved such as clubs, coaches, parents and players the LTA aims to grow the base of the sport and get more people involved in tennis. It organises coaching and tournaments for junior players, as well as senior events throughout the UK.
The LTA is predominantly dependent on the Wimbledon Championships for its income. Over half of the governing body's funds come from the championships, which gives all its profits to the LTA. It also receives a multi-million pound grant from UK Sport
UK Sport is the UK Government's organisation for directing the development of sport within the home countries.-History:The Sports Council previously had been formed in 1972, and had the motto Sport for All. There was also the Central Council of Physical Recreation. In July 1994 it was decided to...
, and has various commercial sponsors.
The organisation is regularly strongly criticised by the media, politicians, people in British tennis who are not on its payroll, and foreign tennis stars such as Pat Cash
Patrick Hart "Pat" Cash is a retired Australian professional tennis player who won the men's singles title at Wimbledon in 1987.-Early career:...
and Martina Navratilova
over its poor track record of producing top quality players. Before 1985 the LTA was run by an amateur committee. In that year it appointed its first professional chief executive, with a remit to improve the standard of British tennis. Since that time, it has been through several chief executives, each of whom has changed the top team, and relaunched the coaching programme, in each case to date without any significant success.
Timothy Henry "Tim" Henman OBE is a retired English professional tennis player and former British Number One. Henman played a serve-and-volley style of tennis that suited the grass courts of Wimbledon. He was the first player from the United Kingdom since Roger Taylor in the 1970s to reach the...
, Greg Rusedski
Gregory "Greg" Rusedski is a British Canadian former tennis player who turned professional in 1991 and played until his retirement on 7 April 2007, at the age of 33...
, and Andy Murray are the only British men who have been ranked inside the top 50 in the past twenty years, and of those, only Henman was brought through the LTA junior set-up (and he came from a tennis family that organised much of his development themselves), with Rusedski learning his tennis in Canada, and Murray moving to Barcelona at the age of 15 to train at the Sánchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona. A parliamentary All-Party Tennis Group was highly critical of the LTA, stating that 'given the remarkable level of expenditure, in excess of £60m annually, it should be possible to deliver better outcomes than at present'. Elena Baltacha
Elena Baltacha is a British professional tennis player of Ukrainian background. Being a four-time winner of the AEGON Award, she is also the long standing British number 1, a position she has held intermittently since 2002. As of 24 November 2011 she holds a current world ranking of No. 50. Her...
and Anne Keothavong
Anne Viensouk Keothavong is a British professional tennis player. She is a former long-standing British number 1, however she is the current British number 2, behind Elena Baltacha and is ranked 71st in the world...
are the only British women to make the top fifty in recent years, but neither has made the top forty, and the latter has been publicly critical of the LTA's role in her development.
The National Tennis Centre (NTC)
The National Tennis Centre (NTC) opened in 2007 and is a focal point for Britain's top players. It has 22 courts, player accommodation and a world class sports science centre.
The NTC has 12 acrylic hard courts (6 indoor, 6 outdoor), 6 clay courts, and 4 grass courts.
: The NTC's 12 acrylic courts are a GreenSet Grand Prix Acrylic surface. The indoor courts have a sprung timber sub-frame, while the outdoor courts are laid directly on asphalt. This GreenSet surface is used at many international tournaments including Davis Cup, Fed Cup, WTA and ATP Masters Series events.
: The National Tennis Centre boasts two different types of outdoor clay courts which have been designed to brave the elements of the UK climate and allow for the longest possible clay court playing season and maximum use. 4 Northern European Clay Courts (These are identical to the courts used at the Båstad ATP Tennis Event in Sweden) and 2 FRENCH-COURT® synthetic clay courts.
: The LTA consulted All England Lawn Tennis Club head groundsman Eddie Seaward to advise on the installation of its four outdoor grass courts. The quality and playing characteristics replicate those found at the Wimbledon Championships.
High Performance Training Facilities
Along with its 22 tennis courts, the NTC is equipped with a state-of-the-art gymnasium, outdoor sprint track and hydrotherapy and plunge pools. The NTC has overnight accommodation for up to 54 people, along with a player lounge and recreation room to be fully equipped to host high performance players from out of town.
Sports Science Centre
The NTC provides highly professional services in Performance analysis, fitness, psychology, physiotherapy and rehab, strength and conditioning, medical support and nutrition, led by Head of Player Support - Simon Jones
Simon ensures that his team of highly qualified specialists, work in an Interdisciplinary way bringing an applied, player centered support service to Britain’s top players and coaches
The Sports Medicine and Science Centre at the National Tennis Centre offers Britain’s elite players:
- Physical therapies – physiotherapy, osteopathy and massage
- Tennis Functional Movement Screening
- Sports medicine – general practice, sports medicine and specialist review
- Sports nutrition
- Sports psychology
- Exercise physiology – Physical testing
- Monitoring of training loads
- Daily monitoring of hydration and physical readiness
- Cardiac screening
- Educational advisory service including Anti Doping
- Performance analysis including fixed on court camera system
As the Lawn Tennis Association has a responsibility for all aspects of tennis within Britain, they have created a strong coaching structure to ensure that Britain have a very strong body of coaches that meet national standards.
The current structure which was recently updated is as follows:
Level 1 Coaching Assistant (Level 1)
- The Level 1Coaching Assistant is an introduction to tennis coaching. Level 1’s are qualified to assist accredited coaches in groups of Mini Tennis.
Level 2 Coaching Assistant (Level 2)
- Level 2 Coaching Assistants are qualified to coach groups of beginners of any age, on their own, under the umbrella programme of a Licensed Coach.
- The Coach Qualification covers the key coaching skills required to be an
effective coach to work with beginners and improvers of any age in groups or individually. At this level they are then elligiable to gain a license, this license ensures they are up-to-date with the latest tennis knowledge, they are First Aid qualified and have a satifactory Criminal Record check.
Performance Coach (PC)
- Performance coaches have attended an additional 6 days of performance coach education and are qualified to work with U10 performance players.
Club Coach (CC)
- Club coaches have attended an additional 6 days of club coach education and
are qualified to work across the range of players within a club programme.
Senior Performance Coach
- Senior Performance coaches have completed a 1 year course with over 400 hours of learning and practicing in a performance environment. They are specialists in working with the 10-14 year old performance players.
Senior Club Coach (SCC)
- Senior Club coaches have completed a 6 month course. They are qualified tomanage club programmes and teams of coaches in small to medium sized clubs.
Master Performance Coach
- Master Performance coaches have completed an 18 month individual learningprogramme in working with top performance players. They are able to work with high performance players.
Master Club Coach
- Master Club coaches have completed extensive training in all aspects of clubmanagement. They are qualified to manage club programmes and teams of coaches in large clubs.
Other qualifications such as the PTR (which operates tennis through a US methodology) and the RPT (which operates tennis through a Spanish methodology) are also recognised by the LTA as they have the same or similar competency levels to the LTA.
Due to the LTA coach structure being updated regularly there are still coaches that still have the old coach qualifications for example: the Development Coach Award
(DCA)- The DCA was formerly a Level 1 of the licence scheme. DCA coaches were trained to deliver group and individual lessons for beginners and improvers; the Club Coach Award
(CCA)-The CCA was formerly a Level 2 of the licence scheme. CCA coaches were trained to deliver group and individual lessons for juniors of a county standard; the Tennis Development Award
(TDA)- The TDA was formerly a Level 3 of the licence scheme. TDA coaches were trained to deliver lessons to all players within a club environment and to manage that club programme; and the Performance Coach Award
The PCA was formerly a Level 3 of the licence scheme. PCA coaches were trained to deliver group and individual lessons for players of national standard.
LTA Tennis Clubmark
Clubmark was introduced by Sport England in 2002 and is currently being implemented across 34 sports. The LTA administers its own version of Clubmark based on the National guidelines for best practice combined with real life examples of successfully run places to play across the Country.
There are over 600 Clubmark accredited places to play in the UK, with a further 600 working towards the best practice accreditation.