Updated: Oct 23
ABERDEEN’S first attendee at our Padelmba CPC (Certified Padel Coach) course has described the course as a superb experience he couldn’t fault.
Despite being hearing impaired and wearing hearing aids, Graham Ross – a fit 69-year-young tennis coach – loved every minute of our latest CPC course, held at Edinburgh Park last weekend, and is now hoping his success will inspire other older players or those with disabilities.
One of 47 CPC students to have come through the Game4Padel pipeline to date, Graham will be the first to practise the Padelmba CPC principles at the Granite City’s new Westburn Park facility.
Reflecting on his CPC experience and the difference his new training has already made to his coaching Graham’s enthusiasm was palpable: “The quality of the coaching was very good and Nino (Sánchez-Alcaraz: lead tutor) was an exceptional person who was very driven.
“For me it has been quite difficult as notwithstanding I am 69, I am also hard of hearing and that adds difficulty to it all, but the team were aware of that on the course and they dealt with it well and I got through it just like everyone else and really enjoyed it.
“I do wear hearing aids although with background noises it can be tough, but the fact I got through the intensive in-person training part of the course will hopefully encourage other older people, who perhaps have issues, to have a go. People with disabilities shouldn’t be dissuaded from being whatever they want to be in sport.
“The whole course just had a good pace to it and a bit of an edge – we covered a lot of stuff in two full days of training (with on court exams on day 3) and it was fast moving but at the same time you still had the time to absorb it all.
“What I particularly liked was the way Nino went about things. It is very, very good how he does it: ‘This is the stroke and this is how we correct it,’ and I felt like all that was absolutely superb. Really, I just couldn’t fault Nino.”
Graham started coaching padel at Westburn Park after Sport Aberdeen, the LTA and Tennis Scotland opened a two-canopied court facility there in June. A keen tennis player who still plays competitively in his age bracket, Graham also notched up 1,000 football matches for his local amateur football team when he was between 40 and 65 years-old.
Now, four months after its opening, Westburn is flourishing and Graham is excited about bringing his new padel wisdom to bear in order to help grow the game in the North East of Scotland.
He said: “When Westburn started in June coaching classes were soon added and now there is a winter league and a lot of the tennis clubs have entered a padel team and that is encouraging people to come along and play competitively.
“They’ve also held some LTA competitions as well so there are ranking points up for grabs for those that want to play events and take their game to the next level competitively speaking.
“Personally, I am really looking forward to sitting down with the Ops Manager and explaining to him some of the stuff I hope to introduce now I am nearly CPC qualified – I still have some online exams and project work to complete. Then I will be the only coach up in Aberdeen with that qualification, which is something I am very proud of.
“Quite often I work at Westburn in isolation as there aren’t many padel coaches in the area and I tend to work on my own quite a bit. So, it was really nice to meet other people and learn a recognised way of teaching by going through the CPC course.”
Graham’s attendance at last weekend’s Edinburgh Park Padelmba CPC course was even more impressive given that he is still in full-time employment and had just completed 14 consecutive 12-hour shifts before getting up on his day-off the next morning to travel to Edinburgh.
But thanks to Padel Pros, Nino Sánchez-Alcaraz and James Rose who ran the Edinburgh Park CPC, Graham says that he has returned to Aberdeen with renewed coaching vigour and an enhanced knowledge which has already added significant value to his coaching approach.
He explained: “I just saw different ways to do things and there were various drills I am now able to incorporate into my lessons and that really has added value to them.
“I am also able to make my lessons flow that bit better and my awareness of how important accurate feeding is has really changed.
“I will never be as efficient and smooth a feeder as Nino – he was able to keep 10 or 12 people adequately busy and that is a skill within itself, but I’m hoping I can feed 10, that is my target and I’ll be happy if I achieve it!
“But there was just a really good vibe to the whole course and I think people appreciate that padel is very much on the up and the whole experience was positive for me.
“I may only have been coaching for four months, but I’ve never seen anyone come off the padel court without a smile on their faces. I have no doubt padel will become a major sport in Britain.”
Congratulations to all of our 12 students who completed last weekend’s course.
If you are interested in training with us – to become a qualified coach, or simply to take your padel playing to a higher level – CLICK HERE