School teacher Michael Phipps has always had a love of tennis, now he is back in Kiama Downs to share that passion with other aspiring players.
Phipps, who is an Advanced Level 2 Coach with the Australian Tennis Professional Coaches Association, was most recently coaching students at St Josephs at Albion Park.
“I’ve always had an interest in and loved tennis, now I am part-time teaching I wanted to do something else, this is one of those things I wanted to pursue,” he said.
“I’ve played division one since I was at university and overseas as well, I spent a couple of years in England with clubs over there and had a great time.
“I’ve coached successful school teams, I’ve had three teams from the Catholic system take out the local area and twice take out the state championship – I really enjoyed the experience.”
Phipps offers customised individual or group tennis sessions, including a boot camp style experience to music, with groups of no more than six people.
“I can basically customise my lessons to lots of different levels,” he said.
“I’ve got tennis racquets for beginners, if they want to hire them from me to see if they like it. I’ve got racquets from as small as you can get for four and five year olds up to adult racquets, people can borrow and use them until they are comfortable and ready to buy their own.
“You can play tennis at any level, if you’re not as good you can play at a lower division if you want to play comp, or you can play in a higher division if you are better, or you can play socially.”
You get a full body workout naturally, you’re using your legs, arms, shoulders and mid section, it’s great for your abdominal muscles.Michael Phipps
Phipps said tennis also had many health benefits for players.
“Unlike some sports where you are just intensely using mostly your legs or your arms, in tennis you use everything,” he said.
“You’ve got different types of fitness in terms of what you’re playing, with a lesson you can do a real cardio workout or a bit more technique or both, and naturally when you get better and you can play a game, you have the option of singles or doubles, which suits anyone.
“If you’re an older person and don’t want to run around as much you can still get fitness from playing doubles, obviously with the singles, you can get a really intense workout one-on-one.
“The better you get, the better the workout in the rallies.”
Phipps said it was important people used correct technique and kept their equipment updated.
“I like seeing people get the skills so they can go out and have a hit and know what they’re doing and improve, rather than practice bad habits, practice good habits, it’s such a technical sport,” he said.
“You really need to have lessons so you know what you’re doing, otherwise when you go out and have a hit, you’re not going to improve that much.
“”If you are hitting the wrong way it can lead to more injuries.
“Racquets now have a much larger sweet spot, and you have longer racquets, which started with Michael Chang, they’re all his length now, because he was shorter. They’re so much lighter, easier to use and they have better vibration control, so you are less likely to get tennis elbow, even people who have played years ago and had tennis elbow or shoulder injuries aren’t as likely to have those.
“I’ve coached a few older people and they’re noticed the newer racquets have made a huge difference and taken away their tennis elbow, that they had years ago.”
Phipps has played tennis competitively since he was 13 and attended clinics at the Iluka Reserve courts as a child, which is where he is running his lessons.
“It was a full club at one stage and now we’re trying to get it back on its feet,” he said.
“There are people who come down here on the weekends and use the courts, Sundays are quite busy.
“Council have updated the courts, fixed the fences, replaced some posts, put in a brand new net and trimmed the trees so they’re not hanging over the court.”
Details: Michael Phipps 0413 996 516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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