The 2009 Worldwide Coaches Conference was held at the Velodrome Lluis Puig in Valencia, Spain, from October 30th to November 3rd this year. The event happens every second year, and this 16th Conference attracted 750 coaches from over 100 countries.
Six coaches from Ireland made the trip – myself, Garry Cahill, Liam Cassidy, Tadhg Lambe, Conor O`Callaghan and Aistis Slajus. David Wilson also flew in half way through the Conference to make a presentation on the Game Based Approach. As far as I am aware this made him the first coach based in Ireland to present at this most prestigious of all the tennis coaches conferences around the world.
Two further Irish presentations were also part of the Conference. Garry Cahill`s work on video analysis structures at the National Tennis Centre was shown as a video presentation. David O`Connell has carried out research on grip strength, and the result of this work was shown at the ITF Medical and Science Conference, which ran alongside the coaches meetings.
This was a tremendous Conference, and a great opportunity for everyone present to learn from the worlds top experts. It was also an amazing logistical achievement by the ITF Development Team, a small but extremely efficient group of people who made everybody feel welcome and made sure everything went according to plan.
Most of the material presented at the Conference will eventually find its way to www.tennisicoach.com, but I thought it would be useful to summarise the content of some of the presentations I attended. I also want to thank Tadhg Lambe, Conor O`Callaghan and Aistis Slajus, who have been kind enough to provide me with their thoughts on the event, which are presented here. Keep an eye on www.tica.ie over the next few months – Liam Cassidy spent time at the Conference video taping interviews with some of the worlds most respected coaches, and these will start to appear on the site soon.
All the best,