CELEBRATE NET GENERATION COACH ELLEN
Ellen Miller is the Director of Coaching Education and Player Development for the Houston Tennis Association (HTA) NJTL in Houston, Texas. In this role, she provides training and coaching education for nearly 60 coaches at local Houston Parks and Recreation sites and also directs the Tournament Player Group (TPG) for motivated junior players. The idea behind the TPG is to provide a pathway for players who otherwise might not have access to
The Net Generation team asked Ellen to share more about her experience with tennis and Net Generation. Here are her thoughts:
Net Generation has impacted not only my own coaching but also my ability to coach our instructors at our sites. This summer, we implemented the Net Generation Community Curriculum at all 30-plus sites. The curriculum was well received, and the kids really enjoyed the fun activities and games. The well-described and clearly depicted activities made it easy for even our newest staff members to get started right away. Our TPG utilized the Net Generation Coach Curriculum with great success. Our ratios are lower in this group, so we were able to use the curriculum red through
I love coaching young players because I see such tremendous progress, not only in their hitting
The best part about Net Generation is that it is the result of a culmination of years of hard work to improve junior tennis in this country. It’s funny. From time to time, I hear allegations that “this and that program came on the scene, but then later it was scrapped because it didn’t work.” I look back at “Quickstart” and “10 and Under Tennis” not as programs scrapped, but rather as programs that were improved upon over time and ultimately absorbed into the larger, more encompassing Net Generation. The way I look at it is we have been on the path of trial and error. There was no blueprint, rather just ideas, and we added to them as we went along.
Under this new youth tennis “umbrella,” we now have corresponding youth tournaments, school programs
My favorite part of Net Generation is that there is a curriculum to meet every need, from beginning to advanced players. As mentioned, my job spans community to high performance, and I can easily switch between the two curricula. Many of the activities are the same, but they are adapted to fit the diverse needs of each program. This leads me to another aspect I love – the ability to progress and regress lessons to meet the needs of the kids. Any coach who can teach this curriculum will be able to adapt and coach any level player and any size group.
I see Net Generation continuing to change the way we deliver youth tennis. There has been so much progress already to benefit our young players, such as getting them away from hitting high-bouncing yellow balls that are heavy on the racquet and hard to control. We now have courts sized to the players with the full complement of appropriately sized equipment. Tournaments now match ball designations and provide opportunities for more young players to be successful in our sport.
Our next step will be getting coaches across the country on board with Net Generation. There is so much to gain. Coaching in this country is lopsided. We have some outstanding coaches and then others who resist adapting to our changing sport. We need to get more coaches trained, even re-trained, and certified to provide quality programming. Net Generation will help with free background checks and opportunities for coaches to receive additional training.
With so much focus