Within reason any player who shows talent, really enjoys tennis and wants to play and learn more, should have the chance to do so. Coaches can identify these players and invite them (through parents) to join a performance team or engage in a more tailored programme.
It is important to point out that talented players are not there by right, and should continue to commit to the necessary programme and show the required level of improvement in order to maintain their place in the higher level squad or team. Those players who do not do so will be removed and may be replaced by other talented players.
The proportion of players accessing these higher level squads/teams will be small, and emphasis should be on quality rather than quantity. Every player identified would usually have at least 2 squad sessions, an individual lesson and a separate physical training/ABCS session per week. The hours and level of commitment should increase as they progress – see Long Term Player Development Guidelines.
The search for talented players starts immediately and is the responsibility of all coaches. It is best done by continuous assessment in group lessons and in competitions. Additional talent identification may take place through activity within schools, outreach programmes, fun days and holiday camps.
The head coach should ensure that coaches are aware of the criteria for identifying talented players - enthusiasm, agility, coordination, balance, speed, sending and receiving skills, ability to learn, thinking skills, desire, commitment and supportive parents. Coaches should also understand that children change and those who may not appear to be talented at a very young age might be so later.
Find out more information about Talent ID.
Provides advice on where performance players should train
What events you should be entering to improve your tennis and ranking.
How can I get noticed and what is Talent ID?
Find out more about the types of funding available
View a case study of how Riverside Tennis Club in Bedfordshire run a successful performance programme.