Our 2023 Q1 Coach of the Quarter is Jono Ward! We sat down with Jono and discussed his passion for tennis, what influenced his coaching style and some of his biggest challenges.
QUESTION: During your playing career did you always want to move into coaching?
ANSWER: The principles of coaching have always interested me. I was lucky to have engaging coaches who made the game and environment really fun. I always felt supported and encouraged. I stopped playing very early due to a bone condition injury in my right elbow which fully healed many years later.
"I would say my coaching style has continually evolved over the years"
QUESTION: How do you feel you have benefitted from coaching in a school environment?
ANSWER: As the Head of Tennis at St George’s College for the last 10 years I have been very fortunate to work alongside so many inspiring teachers, sports coaches and leaders across a variety of fields. I have seen the benefit of skill acquisition from other sports at school and the importance this plays in developing all levels of tennis players.
QUESTION: What is your coaching style?
ANSWER: I would say my coaching style has continually evolved over the years. I am always looking to learn and bring fresh ideas linked to what I see when travelling at the top junior level to my coaching. I have always explored and encourage game based situations, where I try to simulate as many different situations a player will need to face in competition. Technique can then be a product of their ability to figure out how to play the desired shot. This helps the players find solutions to problems and builds resilience under pressure in competition. I enjoy finding innovative ways to coach players who love the game and work hard.
QUESTION: Has anyone had a big influence on your coaching career?
ANSWER: Justin Sherring has had and continues to have an instrumental impact on my coaching career. Having worked with and alongside Justin for over a decade, he challenges, supports and encourages all that I do. He has been an inspirational coaching role model and very much shaped the way I coach and learn.
QUESTION: What do you find most rewarding about coaching?
ANSWER: Just to be a part of an athletes journey is hugely rewarding. I enjoy collaborating and building strong teams around people. Coaching holds me accountable to not be complacent and inspires me to seek the most effective, efficient and sustainable methods to support players.
"My goal is to equip the next generation of juniors with the skills, knowledge and confidence to be leaders both on and off the court"
QUESTION: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your coaching career?
ANSWER: Managing expectation is always the biggest challenge but with clear and open communication this can be navigated in a positive way.
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.