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Amy Cairns

Our 2022 Q3 Coach of the Quarter is Amy Cairns! We sat down with Amy and discussed her love for tennis, why she chose coaching and how she began working at Esher Tennis Club. You can contact Amy by clicking the links below.

Amy Cairns

QUESTION: As a child, when did you first become aware of tennis?

ANSWER: My parents both played at our local club. Living near Wimbledon also meant I went to the Championships from an early age. I always had a keen interest in tennis and it was on the TV at home a lot, I guess I just grew up around it and having a sporty nature drew me to it.

"The great thing about my job is no day is ever really the same. There are always challenges but it keeps things fresh"

QUESTION: When and why did you decide to get your coaching qualifications?

ANSWER: When I was still at school I used to help out with the little red ballers at my local club. I did my level 1 and 2 in my late teens so that I could earn some money whilst doing my A Levels before university. When I was working abroad in the summers I got the opportunity to do my RPT qualifications which I had to convert to LTA when I came back to England. Currently I am doing my Senior Performance Coach Qualification which I should complete in the next month.


QUESTION: Where was your first coaching role?

ANSWER: Asides from being an assistant at local clubs before university. After university, I wanted to travel around Europe so I took a job with Neilson Active Holidays and began coaching at their resort in Croatia. I then spent a couple of years working in Croatia, Italy and Greece in the summers and working the winters doing the ski seasons. Covid and Brexit put a stop to this and I landed back in the UK and started at Esher a couple of weeks later.

QUESTION: Were there any aspects of coaching that you found daunting?

ANSWER: The great thing about my job is no day is ever really the same. There are always challenges but it keeps things fresh. Players and parents expect a lot from you and the hours can be long but the relationships you can build and the differences you can make is what makes my job special. You really have to be fully committed to do what we do day in day out. Recently I have taken a more hands on role running the performance side of the programme which has added new challenges to my existing role.

QUESTION: What qualities do you feel make a successful coach?

ANSWER: A successful coach is someone who puts the person first and can build great relationships with players. This enables you to get the most out of the player and help them meet their full potential. Coaches have the ability to build confidence in players and I think this is paramount to being a great coach. Another quality of a great coach is finding a way to deliver to the players in a way that works for them and are adaptable in their approach. Knowledge is key to being successful.

"Surrey Tennis is a great team to be part of. Justin is very supportive of all the coaches and encouraging of our development."

QUESTION: What aspect of coaching is your favourite? Technical side? The mental side? Building relationships?

ANSWER: As mentioned above the relationships is a high priority of mine. Understanding that the players will have good and bad days and it’s not always in their control. I encourage my players to be consistent with their training – 1% better every day. One of my strengths is my coach eye and ability to coach technically. I believe in giving players a really strong technical foundation so they can excel as they go through the pathway.

QUESTION: How did you come to coach at Esher?

ANSWER: I has always stayed in distant contact with Chris, the head coach at Esher Tennis, since I was an assistant and went off to university. After Covid hit and I ended up back in the UK and wasn’t entirely sure what my plan was next. I contacted Chris to see if I could help out or get some hours whilst I decided what I wanted to do. In no time at all I was working full time at Esher Tennis and loving it. All the other plans I was thinking of doing got put on the back burner and I made the decision I was going to coach full time. I’m very privileged to be involved at Esher it has a great atmosphere and is a brilliant place to work and train. What Chris started and we have managed to help continue is something really special. The ethos and the family feel at the club makes it an environment in which players can thrive.

QUESTION: Do you feel Surrey Tennis has helped in your journey so far? If so, how?

ANSWER: Surrey Tennis is a great team to be part of. Justin is very supportive of all the coaches and encouraging of our development. County training is a great environment where the players can go and enjoy sessions in a fun, friendly and competitive environment. The highlight for me has definitely got to be County Cup and representing Surrey in a team environment.

QUESTION: What does the future of coaching look like for Amy?

ANSWER: The future for Amy is to keep doing what I’m doing day in day out working with my players to help them achieve their goals and aspirations. I will continue gaining knowledge and improving my own coaching through new experiences and opportunities. My plan is to continue to help building what we’ve got at Esher and developing county, regional and national players.

By Surrey Tennis

If you would like to nominate a coach to be Coach of the Quarter then click the button below and fill out an application form. Coaches must be working within Surrey.

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