Originally Posted by Ash_Smith
Hey Raging - yes I was heavily involved with the RPT for many years before taking my new role, however I no longer tutor their courses on a regular basis (although I did present at the RPT conference and will hopefully do so again). I think the coach education landscape has shifted in the UK since I have been involved with the RPT, whilst previously there probably was and "US" vs "Them" mentality (the Dark Side as you call it!), now there are many coach ed providers offering the core Level 1, 2 and 3 courses with their own particular flavour. The RPT CPD courses are probably still more technically focussed across the board, but there are excellent technical courses from others too, like Evolve 9 or the LTA's 10u course etc. For me, the very best coaches will take all the opportunities for learning they can and put provider bias to one side.
There is also the Wheelchair Tennis One Day course, which is undoubtedly the best CPD course available anywhere in the world (but of course here I am really biased
Agreed on that - I think anyone would be a fool not to benefit from any information being offered.
If you are working/coaching in a country then it is best to know the system that is being taught. If only so you can better help your players work within that system.
I was joking about "The Dark Side". Any information exchange that leads to new ideas or even a new way of looking at teaching in a different way has to be beneficial to both student & teacher. RPT interested me initially because I worked in Spain in the early 80s, went back to Australia to do their coaching levels and then went on later to do Coaching Licenses & extended work in Germany.
The RPT?Spanish system evolved a bit later but a lot of coaches in Spain were operating with hand feeding even back in 1983. I was very much an out of the basket/drill type coach then & that opened my eyes to:
a) controlled hand feeding/footwork patterns
b) up close & personal (I didn't have to shout my message from the other side of the net, I could whisper it). As the student "bought into it/got it", I could move further away, eventually over the other side of the net.
c) when the student really had the movement & swing pattern down I could progress to a more open rallying situation.
It was this progression that I found good for both myself & my students, especially if they had problems initially with complex movement patterns involving the hand/eyes/feet.
Good Luck with your work in this area: actually I am sure that the UK is starting to lead a bit in wheelchair tennis but with esther vergeer now coaching?? It could get interesting in holland (if it wasn't already).
I may even look at the LTA Wheelchair course, ran out of time last summer with coaching committments & had so many credits for licensing that I could have sold them twice on the blackmarket!