29 Nov 2017

ITF course participant appointed Fed Cup Captain

News Article

ITF/OS Coaches with Toni Nadal at the 2017 Mallorca Open

The ITF/OS Coaching Advanced Players course is the second highest qualification in the ITF Coach Education programme and is aimed at giving participants the competence to teach tennis to intermediate and advanced players involved in competition. 

The course comprises several tennis specific and sport science topics including: advanced biomechanics and technique, tactics, teaching methodology, physical training and applied psychology. Throughout the course, candidates are continually assessed by the ITF tutors and undertake several exams including an individual lesson test, a group lesson test, level of play test / demonstration test and a written theory test. 

Earlier this year, Barbados native Andrew Thornton was nominated by the Barbados Tennis Association, the ITF and his National Olympic Committee to attend the ITF/OS Coaching Advanced Players course held in Valencia. Andrew joined a group of likeminded, passionate coaches seeking to take the next step in their coaching career on the intense 6 week course and returned to Barbados having successfully passed all of the required components. 

The ITF were pleased to learn that Andrew has recently been appointed as the new Barbados Fed Cup captain and are grateful that he provided some of his thoughts on his new role and his plans for the team...

What does it mean to you to be selected as Fed Cup captain for your country? 

It's definitely a huge honour to be selected as Fed Cup Captain for Barbados. Coaching is something that I'm very passionate about, and as a former player and coach, tennis has given me a lot of opportunities. I'm really excited to give back to my country in any way possible. 

What are some of the short/long-term goals you have for the team? 

Obviously, the long-term goal will always be to win, but we need to take a measured approach. Our team is primarily made up of college players, so in the short-term we'll aim to go from strength to strength and build a solid foundation for the future, gaining as much experience as we can. We also have a great group of junior girls coming up, so we'll aim to include them in our training wherever possible and mentor them to be in a position to help us in the Fed Cup one day. I'm very confident that the girls will do Barbados proud. 

What were some of the main things you learnt from the ITF/OS Coaching Advanced Players course earlier this year and how did this prepare you for taking on this role? 

The ITF/OS Course in Valencia was integral for preparing me for this role. Being mentored by Miguel Crespo and Pancho Alvariño, who was a former Fed Cup winning coach for Spain, was a unique opportunity and I’ll look to incorporate their methods and insights wherever possible. The theoretical work was obviously very important, but the main takeaway for me was the experience of working on-court with Pancho. He has great experience in the Fed Cup and has a very unique way of working with players, having also coached two world number 1 players and numerous professionals and top juniors. A huge thanks to the ITF Team in Valencia, Pancho Alvariño and his excellent team, the Barbados Tennis Association, the Barbados Olympic Association and Olympic Solidarity for making it all possible!