Unsurprisingly, sports science support is a central strand within the volunteering offer, with performance analysis, performance lifestyle and sport psychology being some of the disciplines that students can get involved in. Our students’ engagement in performance analysis within the tennis programme this year is one which has resulted in some exciting external opportunities being afforded to them.
The performance analysis pathway in tennis benefits from the strong relationship that Loughborough Tennis have with the Lawn Tennis Association. This means our students not only gain two days training on performance analysis software, delivered by the LTA in Loughborough, but they also have the opportunity to visit the National Tennis Centre during the Easter break to learn from and shadow the LTA Performance Analysis team.
Loughborough’s Director of Tennis Helen Reesby commented:
“The partnership with the LTA, combined with the exceptional support through the Loughborough Sport Performance Analysis Lead and tennis team, is providing first class opportunities for our students to gain a unique insight into performance analysis. In addition to bespoke training opportunities and real-life experience in Loughborough, they also get external opportunities with the governing body who oversee the sport. This strand has gone from strength to strength over the last few years and is providing a unique and invaluable experience for our students, whilst providing networking opportunities and enhancing their employability and upon graduating.”
During the academic year the team of analysts support Loughborough Tennis 1st and 2nd Men’s and Women’s teams through their BUCS season. This involved filming the matches, tagging the footage and feeding back their analysis to coaches and players. Loughborough Tennis see a further contributor to the success of their performance analysis pathway to be their Student Lead role, which is occupied by a student that has been through the tennis performance analysis the previous academic year, and acts as a mentor, technical support and liaison with the LTA team.
For their efforts, three of our students – Jake Moon (Student Lead, 3rd year Sports Science), Jasmine Warner (1st year Sports Science) and Conor Raleigh (MSc Physiology, who was also awarded the Coach and Volunteer Academy Sports Science Volunteer of the Year for 2017/2018) – have been rewarded with positions supporting the national team at the LTA over the Wimbledon period. The remaining analyst involved with the tennis programme this year, Caomhan Daykin (2nd year Sports Science) has gone on to secure a Sports Science placement with the Welsh Rugby Union, which he begins this summer.
Loughborough Sport Performance Analysis Lead Andy Rhys-Jones remarked:
“One of the keys aims of the performance analysis service at Loughborough is providing further development and experience to both our volunteers and placements. Therefore, it is hugely pleasing to see Jasmine, Connor and Jake gaining roles at Wimbledon with the LTA this year. This is a great reward for all the hard work they have put it in and is a brilliant opportunity to experience analysis at the very highest level.”
You can find out more about the Loughborough Tennis programme and the coaching and volunteer in the video below.