The Coaches of Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes Tennis has significantly progressed over the past 20 years and continues to do so. With many clubs around the area, there is not one too far away from anyone wanting to play the game and each club brings their own benefits. But one thing that is amazing about Milton Keynes tennis is the fantastic work that the coaches are doing, which is creating interest amongst others across the UK who are keen to understand what makes the Coaches of Milton Keynes so special!
No, they are not superhumans and no, they are not all producing world ranked players, but they are taking responsibility not only for tennis in their own clubs but for the whole of Milton Keynes by working together under the banner Tennis MK.
Tennis MK is a local league which is ran by a committee who organise fixtures amongst the clubs in the area. In 2019 with the announcement of LTA Local Player Development Centres, none of the clubs in the area were selected to be one, so the Bucks LTA supported a programme that would come under the Tennis MK banner whereby all coaches in the area are invited to be involved in bringing players together to help progress and feed the players into County training. There are squads for those from 8&U to 14&U of which those players who are in the County Squads are encouraged to join to help raise the standards. Each squad is taken by a different coach and they host the training at their club. There are 4 sessions a term, each lasting 1.5 hours, with the last one being a competition.
So doesn’t this sound great??!! It does and only because of the coaches of Milton Keynes. The reason it works is because everyone is working together and collaborating, rather than being protective and possessive of the players. They all have their own business and see errors in players games which come from other clubs but there is a strong ethical agreement amongst us that no one will poach a player from another club and if there is an issue, then the coach of that player is the first port of call and not the parents. This alone, makes the who programme work. There are parents who enquire into programmes at different clubs, but this cannot be instigated by the coaches. If a player does wish to move club, we all agree whether it is in that players best interest but likewise, if a coach takes an enquiry from a new player and another club is local to them, then they will pass them that way. The programme is administered by the coaches, the decisions on what they do and when they do it is done by the coaches and the vision is set by the coaches. They have total ownership of this as a group. Through termly meetings, a WhatsApp group and email communications, they are always in touch.
Unfortunately, many years ago the Tennis MK Junior League collapsed but off the back of the programme, the coaches have revived it. Local team competition is so important, and the coaches agreed that players of all levels should have the opportunity as this will help them enjoy and progress in the game for years to come. There are festivals for the 8&U and 9&U age groups where clubs will congregate at one venue with their players competing as a team against each other and for those in the 10&U to 16&U age groups, teams will visit each other’s clubs to compete.
It’s great to know that Milton Keynes tennis is in safe hands and that clubs and coaches are working together for the benefit of the game. With this in place, more people will benefit from how tennis helps individuals while creating life-long friendships which go way beyond the court.