The two-phase ITF National Level 1 coaching course organized by the Nigeria Tennis Federation in conjunction with the International Tennis Federation is currently underway in Lagos.

The first phase, which is taking place at the tennis section of the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, began on the 14th of April, with Coach Rotimi Akinloye as the lead instructor.

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Coach Rotimi Akinloye during one of the coaching lessons.

The course is for state coaches, private coaches, physical and health educators, as well as individuals, who are interested in becoming tennis coaches, and Coach Akinloye reveals considerable progress has been made.

“It’s going pretty well,” said Akinloye when asked about the coaching course. “When coaches come together like this, it’s a lot of anxiety and uncertainty, until they actually settle down after like two days.

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Coach Akinloye (L) speaking with some of the participants.

“They’re understanding different methods that suit different age groups and different performance level. They’re also understanding the difference between certain things like biological age and chronological age.

“From what I observe, the coaching course is going to end well.”

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Coach Akinloye (L) and a participant during one of the lessons. The others in the background look on.

The instructor also spoke of the daily schedule and assessment, saying, “We have a continuous assessment and a one hour exam which comes last. They have about 3-4 hours of group and individual lessons daily.”

The initial plan was for the coaching course has 30 slots for the two phases- 18 for Lagos and 12 for Abuja- but due to the high level of interest, the organizers had no choice but to admit more participants.

“We have 30,” said Akinloye on the number of would-be coaches taking the course. “The interest was so high, so we cannot take more than that. 18 slots were approved for Lagos, but the pressure became so high, they paid ahead of time. I had to ask the ITF Development Officer for North and West Africa for permission, which he granted the power to me.”

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12 slots were approved for Abuja, but if the interest level shoots up again, then more than 12 participants will be taken.

“For the Abuja version of the course, if we have more than the expected 12, we have to also allow,” Akinloye stated.

Luis de Sousa will be in Lagos to join me to work on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday so the would-be coaches can acquire some other knowledge,” he added.

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Course materials were given to participants and certificates will be awarded to successful coaches at the end of the program.

The Lagos phase will end on the 24th of April, and the second, which will be in Abuja, will kick-off on April 28th – May 8th.