The 2019 D’Arcy Slater Boys Grand Slam Camp was held at Lawley Park TC in Albany with 14 participants aged between 10-16 taking part in technical & tactical squad lessons,strength & conditioning, nutrition sessions and even a sailing experience with Southern Ocean Sailing
Camp leaders were Tennis West staff; Paul Oldfield (Participation Leader) and Ardian Fazliu (Program Pathway Leader), along with assistance from Darren Foss (Head Coach – Esperance Tennis Club).
The aim of these camps is to show junior tennis players the work, commitment and professionalism it takes to be professional tennis players and compete at the Grand Slam level.
With a full schedule of activities across the two days, camp participants received nine hours of on-court coaching. The coaching focused on; consistency, cooperation and competition of groundstrokes and rallying, transitioning to the net and volleying. The camp ended with doubles tactics and match play, before playing a ‘Davis Cup Playoff’ where the boys were able to use their recently acquired tactical knowledge, and put it to the test in live match play.
“All the activities that involved tennis enabled us to trust our partner ” – Regan Mott, Esperance (camp participant).
Throughout the two days, camp participants were educated on the importance of a physical warm-up, and even put through their paces utizling the steep hill at the venue.
“The best thing that I took out of this camp was the fitness training with our coaches”
– Toby Jones, Esperance (camp participant).
All participants received; skipping ropes, resistance bands and a foam roller and were taught the importance of, strength and conditioning, and how to use the equipment correctly.
“I learnt a lot of new tennis skills and stretches, which I hope I remember to do.” – Will Kirchner, Esperance (camp participant).
The camp included a session with a guest speaker, Nicole Forgione (South Coast Sports Medicine) on ‘Healthy Eating for Sports’. Nicole presented on what athletes should consume, pre and post physical exercise, and together the group prepared healthy lunches for the participants and coaches. Nicole conducted an activity that asked participants to match the number of sugar cubes found in soft drinks, which came as a shock to many.
Working with others is vitally important in developing a child’s leadership skills and nothing is possible without teamwork. Participants were able to develop their communication, leadership and team working skills by learning how to sail a 40ft yacht, under the instruction and supervision of Southern Ocean Sailing.
“Tennis wasn’t everything, the team building activities were fun”
– Regan Mott
All participants received a ‘Player Handbook’, which outlined; Player Agreement (signed by participant), Regional Player Pathway, Tennis West Player Values (Compete, Commit & Respect), Mindset Check Up (Fixed v Growth), resistance band exercises, dynamic warm up activities, stretching routine and hitting ideas/games for the tennis court. This is a great take home for the players, and they are encouraged to keep these in their racquet bags for reference at future competitions/tournaments and coaching sessions.
Before the camp concluded, Tennis West, spoke with parents regarding; the two days of camp activities, talked through the ‘Player Handbook’, and the next steps for their children and their tennis development in the region and Western Australia.
As always, Tennis West is grateful to Christina Slater and the Board of the D’Arcy Slater Foundation, for your ongoing support and funding for tennis in regional Western Australia.