Next coach to share some details is Ballinlough's very popular coach, Martin Higgins.
Name: Martin Higgins
Club(s): Ballinlough TC
1. How long have you been coaching?
1.I’ve been coaching almost 20 years. I started out helping out my coach when I was 15/16 and absolutely loved it, never looked back since.
2. What got you into coaching?
2.I love the thought of everyday being different. When I started working with kids, I was having way too much fun (because I’m a bit of a child myself), I knew it was for me.
3. Who is your favourite coach?
3. Favourite coach is a tough one as I’ve been lucky to have had some great coaches and I feel they’ve all added something to my game and as a person. So thanks to Don Ahern , John o Rourke , Ger Flynn , Declan Bray.
4. What was your favourite tournament to play in growing up?
4. Loved every tournament to be honest but based on results I loved the Irish closed in Rushbrookealways had a good track record there.
5. Who is your favourite player now and all time (if they differ)?
5. Favourite player growing up was Marat Safin he was an absolute nut job but very entertaining and on his day he was unbelievable. Favourite player now is Federer tennis looks so easy and effortless to him.
6. What is your favourite Grand Slam?
6. Favourite Grand Slam is definitely Wimbledon.
7. What are your strengths as a coach?
7. Strengths as a coach I think is my understanding of the different variables in tennis and then fitting in the possible solutions. I have a great connection with the kids and adult clients I work with. I’d also say I’m personable and very approachable.
8. What areas do you need to improve?
8. I hope to never stop learning and always open to improving. I’m not shy in asking other coaches for there views on something or running ideas pass them. I’ve no ego whatsoever so I’ll ask the questions if I think it’ll help me help my clients.
9. What has been your best moment in tennis so far as a coach?
9. I had loads of great moments of all different sorts as a coach, but one stands out. I won’t name the girl but this girls was a late starter to tennis her younger sister was a good player. Long story short she worked her backside off not being blessed with natural talent some 4 years later she’s playing in a B event in Ballinlough her first ever tournament. She wins this extremely tight match falls to her knees like she just won Wimbledon comes off court in tears of joy and hugs her mum. As a coach seeing this girl work so hard for that moment what a feeling being there to see her achieve it and how much it meant to her best feeling I’ve ever had as a coach.
10. What is the best advice you have received so far?
10. Best advice I’ve ever received was at a tennis clinic with Greg Rusedski said “you don’t need a hammer to break an egg” as a young fella I felt I had to hit every ball as hard as I could especially volleys.
11. What was your first racket was?
11. First proper racket to memory was a Fischer I remember going into Maher’s sports every week for a few months just to see this particular racket pick it up get a feel for it. On Christmas morning there it was for me under the tree I was thrilled.
12. What was the first tournament you played in?
12. First open I played in was the Rushbrookeopen I was under 11 and I played the number 1 seed under 12 Martin Black he beat me well on the day but I was hooked from that day on.