Cork Tennis Blog

Welcome to the Cork Tennis Blog.

This blog will, hopefully, keep you up to date on the tennis scene in Cork, both socially and competitively. Whether you are new to the game or an experienced player I hope you find the information and posts here, useful and interesting.

You can contact me by email at

As well as local tennis news, there are also some very good articles written by local players and I am always looking for people to contribute to the blog, so don't be shy.

Please also feel free to comment on individual posts, or alternatively through the comment box on the right of the blog. I hope you enjoy reading through the blog and that it was of some use to you.

Enjoy your game, Rob

Rob's Racketrestringing

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tips for Parents of Performance Players - Conor Twomey

This is the first article from our resident coach Conor Twomey.  
It's a very interesting read and if you want to leave any comments below for Conor or you want to ask him any questions you can email the blog and I will get them answered for you.
Thanks Conor.

Here are my 5 tips for any parent of a performance player from Cork / Munster.

1- Players mature physically / mentally / emotionally at different stages.  Their results and performances can change as they move up through the age groups.  Usually post puberty players begin to find their true level and with the right coach reach their potential.  Don't be too caught up in results up to under 14 as it all changes as they get bigger and stronger and emotionally mature.

2 - Good technique is great but not the be all and end all.  Style over function.  Games literacy is the one Criticism I would have of all our juniors at the moment.  Why?  Simply put our players just don't play enough matches and build up match experience.  The one thing that was constant from attending the national and world conference recently was how lots of the top players played loads of matches. Furthermore , they played all levels which gave them experience of playing different spins and tactics. Some kids do so much coaching that they don't have time to play ..... nuts.

3- Slightly related to the last point. Make sure the cognitive load is not too much for your child.  If they are told one thing on a Monday and another on a Wednesday and something else in a private on Thursday and then another coach again on Saturday or Sunday giving information has one outcome ... overload.  Keep it simple and relevant and hopefully everyone is working off a plan. LTDP is a good guide for parents and coaches.

4- Don't follow the crowd.  If you want to stand out and be different and excel.  Sometimes you have to travel a different path. This is not easy but can be very rewarding if the player has the talent /drive and you have the means / time.  Never before have options been so available to parents and players as now. Provincial squads, private squads, club squads, national squads, international academies.  If you look at the Munster players who won in Fitzwilliam this year,  they all travelled and developed their game in very different areas.  From Dundalk to Dublin to France.  The last 10 years have taught me that there is no one formula.  Success can be achieved in many ways.  Find the right road and you will reap the rewards.
NOTE OF CAUTION, time and time again I've seen very good players not achieve their potential because of the poor decisions made by parents who felt they were doing the best.  A bit more research and conversation and this can easily be avoided.

5- This, I feel is the most important.  Who is driving the whole thing?  If your child is not bugging you constantly to play games and go training and wanting to do more then he/she is not a performance player but a very good recreational player.  I've seen countless talented players not succeed because they liked tennis but didn't love it.  When I was young, the first thing I did in the morning was open the window to see if it was raining and if it was I'd be gutted, as that meant no tennis .  Ask yourself the same question and if your child is not gutted then accept performance is not the path.

Please read my article next month when I will address the 5 things we need to fix to improve the tennis experience for everyone in the province.

Conor Twomey

Level 2 Performance coach and Provincial coach of the year.