Judy Murray treated some lucky tennis hopefuls to the experience of a lifetime as she gave them the benefit for her knowledge during a week of tennis lessons at The Campus, Quinta do Lago, in Portugal.
Using some of the techniques that helped to set her sons Andy and Jamie on their way to winning nine Grand Slam titles over the course of their respective careers to date, Murray’s charm was in evidence as she offered up her knowledge to a youthful audience who could not stop smiling as they spent time on court alongside her follow coach Kris Soutar.
Fun and games with beanbags and hula-hoops were an integral part of the session that were designed to develop the mobility required for tennis as well as skills with a racket and ball, as Judy told Tennis365 in an exclusive interview.
“The primary aim is to develop the skill that we need to play tennis because it is a complex sport with a lot of movement,” she told us. “Our sport is difficult compared to others because you have a bat, a moving ball and a lot of ground to cover and an opponent who can put the ball in a variety of positions.
“All of that needs basic learning and we aim to provide that. We look at tennis specific movement. The movement to and from the ball because in tennis you have forward, backward and side to side movement and often we can have that all in one point.
“In addition, we will look at how to compete and a match situation and that has a winning and losing element to it. How to compete, with a recreational competition as part of the programme.
“It’s all about helping to improve at whatever level you are at and whatever level they can aspire to get to. The underlying aim of everything we do is to have fun, to enjoy playing tennis. We have set out four targets for the camp.
“We are always trying to come up with games and exercises that will maintain that enthusiasm and as I have been coaching for 30 years now, I have zillions of games to throw into the mix and huge bags of kit that are essentially toys.
“The key for any junior tennis coach is to keep the kids engaged in the coaching lesson because we want them to stay in our sport. That means the challenges we set them need to be doable and challenging in equal measure and hopefully we find that balance.”
One of the kids fortunate to spend time on court with Judy in Portugal was my own daughter Ana, who loved every minute of her time with the tennis coaching great.
“Judy and Kris made everything so much fun and I especially loved the games we played with the water balloons,” said seven-year-old Ana. “We had to throw the water balloons to each other and try not to drop them.
“I got a bit wet when I let one slip through my fingers, but I learned so much and I just want to thank Judy and Kris for putting on such a fun camp.”
As these photos from Judy’s tennis lessons at The Campus highlight, the techniques she used to help her sons on their way to tennis superstardom are so much more than simply working on forehands and backhands.
Judy Murray will be back at The Campus, Quinta do Lago, in Portugal for more junior and adult coaching clinics in August and if you want to attend, click here for more information:https://www.quintadolago.com/en/the-campus/tennis-camps/
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