Tennis Talk: Fran Lewis
• 3 MINUTE READ
This month we caught up with 2020’s performance coach of the year, Fran Lewis to discuss her contribution to tennis in Wales over past year.
Here’s what Fran had to say….
What are your reflections of the past year?
The past 12 months have certainly been the strangest I have experienced. I was leaving an international tournament in France with Oliver Page when things really started to take off with Covid. It is safe to say we really had no idea what was about to unfold.
Following this, as we know Wales had multiple lockdowns. It was an extremely challenging time for all but in particular the children I work with who live and breathe tennis. My biggest concern was how they would cope mentally and physically with their sport being taken away from them as tennis takes up such a huge part of their week. Like many places we moved what we could online and tried our best to keep the children engaged physically and mentally. I would like to think we got a little better at this with each lockdown but you cannot compete with the real feeling of being out there on a court. We were fortunate enough to have some great times in between lockdowns where we managed to train a bit and travel to compete. The children’s commitment to get fitter, stronger and finding a way to improve in any way they can has been really impressive.
What was your reaction to winning the award?
This was very unexpected in a year where I felt I did very little on court coaching but it gave me a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the success the players managed to have in that short period of time. Significantly Tennis Europe titles, two British number ones, competing in European Championships, five semi-finalists in the British Youth national Series and on a personal note Captaining the GB team in Belarus.
What do the next 12 months look like?
I am certainly more motivated than ever to push performance tennis to a new level in Wales. It has been amazing to get back on court with the children. We have a busy year ahead if things remain open. The plan initially is to heavily target the domestic calendar once the children are ready to compete. There is still a lot of uncertainty around the international calendar but we will get the children submerged into the tennis Europe circuit as soon as the time arises to do so in a safe manner. We should have some of the hungriest, toughest children out there after the year they have been through - I personally cannot wait to see them compete again.
Good luck to Fran for the LTA Tennis Awards in July.
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