LTA Head of Coach Education and Qualifications, Jo Ward has been kind enough to give us feedback on Game4Padel’s Certified Padel Coach course that she attended last weekend.
The course – the first of three to be held at our Edinburgh Park HQ in 2023 – was presented in conjunction with PadelMBA, the market leading padel coaching platform.
Jo is a GB Seniors Padel International who coaches in East London. She was one of 12 students who attended the course in the Scottish capital and has no doubt about the benefits she enjoyed.
The new PadelMBA CPC graduate said: “I would encourage any coach who asked me to come and do the course, so that is definitely a big positive. If you want to be a good coach the most important mindset you can have is a developmental mindset and so I would encourage coaches to get out there and do courses like the CPC.
“Really it is about doing anything they can to improve themselves as it is the only way we will grow padel in the way it deserves. Padel is very new in the UK, so for it to get to the level where it has really high-quality coaches driving high-quality programmes to help explode participation, we need the best coaches we can and that’s where courses like this are vital.
“So I would say, for sure come and do the CPC course, do the LTA course and do any course that is available to you.”
Of course, Jo is also a tennis player of international standing who was once ranked No.2 in GB, was also a former British National Champion and competed in five Wimbledon Championships between 1994 and 2000.
The 47-year-old was also a fulcrum of the GB Ladies seniors padel team who competed at the inaugural Nations Cup in Amsterdam last month and her passion for padel was palpable as she reflected on her experience of last weekend’s CPC course.
Jo said: “I did really enjoy the course and for me the enthusiasm that everyone has for padel really came across. There were 12 of us on the course plus two course tutors (Vincent Hivert and Nino Sanchez-Alcaraz Martinez) and James Rose (Game4Padel National Development Manager) and actually it was phenomenal that we completed our training at 5pm Friday and Saturday but everyone stayed on afterwards to hit.
“We also had an Americano tournament and played a set afterwards, and a padel clinic and when you are around people who share your passion for something then it lifts you and fuels your enthusiasm.
“There was just a great vibe on the course which was a very positive experience overall and one I very much enjoyed.”
Sharing her padel coaching experience, Jo has no doubt that her weekend in Edinburgh has helped expand her knowledge in a positive way which will in turn benefit others and she said: “I am actively coaching padel in East London but the problem for me is that I travel a lot so it has to be ad hoc. That said I am involved with the GB seniors and I have helped coach the Radar Ladies which is a group of ladies who are pushing hard for inclusion in the seniors’ teams.
“So, I have coached quite a bit but the great thing about courses like the CPC, plus the others I have been on, is that every time I am on one I pick up something new and of value and that is the way it should be.”
We are also grateful to Jo for sharing with us a little of her role as LTA Head of Coach Education and Qualifications and she explained: “The LTA gets requests from companies who want recognition both in tennis and padel and for me it is always nice to see it for myself, also as somebody who is really keen on padel and coaching padel, it makes real sense for me to go through it as a learner.
“Who knows what the future will hold. It’s all about establishing new contacts and networks and really strengthening the bonds between all the different padel stakeholders and seeing how we can all drive padel coaching standards forward.
“There are lots of really high-quality coach education providers and the LTA are at the moment assessing the landscape to see what could happen and we will see what the future looks like in this respect.”