The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is the national governing body of tennis in Great Britain, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The organisation was founded in 1888 and seven-time Wimbledon champion William Renshaw was elected as its first president.
As the governing body, the LTA’s overall purpose is to grow and sustain the sport. The success of British tennis is tracked by five headline measures of success: 1. Number of members of registered places to play 2. Number of British tennis members 3. Number of regularly competing juniors 4. Number of International A Matrix juniors 5. Number of players in the top 100. These measures of success gives a regular snapshot of the impact of work the LTA does and helps the organisation understand through trends the progress over a long period of time. The LTA’s focus is to develop participation growth to help more people play tennis. The approach to growing participation is based on investment in four main areas: 1. Places – Investing in places to play at parks, clubs, schools and tennis centres 2. People – Supporting the people who make tennis happen, including coaches, volunteers and club officials 3. Programmes – Developing programmes including LTA Mini Tennis, Cardio Tennis and Tennis Xpress 4. Promotion – Bringing together the places, people and programmes to show how tennis is a fun affordable, family sport which is a great way to get fit
The National Tennis Centre (NTC)
The National Tennis Centre (NTC) is located at Roehampton in south-west London not far from the All England Club in Wimbledon. It opened in 2007 and is a focal point for Britain's top players. It has 22 courts, player accommodation and a sports science centre.
The NTC has 12 acrylic hard courts (6 indoor, 6 outdoor), 6 clay courts, and 4 grass courts.
Hard Courts: The NTC's 12 acrylic courts are a GreenSet Grand Prix Acrylic surface. The indoor courts have a sprung timber sub-frame, while the outdoor courts are laid directly on asphalt. This GreenSet surface is used at many international tournaments including Davis Cup, Fed Cup, WTA and ATP Masters Series events.
Clay Courts: The National Tennis Centre boasts two different types of outdoor clay courts which have been designed to brave the elements of the UK climate and allow for the longest possible clay court playing season and maximum use. 4 Northern European Clay Courts (These are identical to the courts used at the Båstad ATP Tennis Event in Sweden) and 2 FRENCH-COURT synthetic clay courts.
Grass Courts: The LTA consulted All England Lawn Tennis Club head groundsman Eddie Seaward to advise on the installation of its four outdoor grass courts. The quality and playing characteristics replicate those found at the Wimbledon Championships.
High Performance Training Facilities
Along with its 22 tennis courts, the NTC is equipped with a state-of-the-art gymnasium, outdoor sprint track, hydrotherapy, plunge pools and relaxation 'egg'. The NTC has overnight accommodation for up to 54 people, along with a player lounge and recreation room.
Sports Science Centre
The NTC provides services in Performance analysis, fitness, psychology, physiotherapy and rehab, strength and conditioning, medical support and nutrition.
The Sports Medicine and Science Centre at the National Tennis Centre offers Britain’s elite players:
- Physical therapies – physiotherapy, osteopathy and massage
- Tennis Functional Movement Screening
- Sports medicine – general practice, sports medicine and specialist review
- Sports nutrition
- Sports psychology
- Exercise physiology – Physical testing
- Monitoring of training loads
- Daily monitoring of hydration and physical readiness
- Cardiac screening
- Educational advisory service including Anti Doping
- Performance analysis including fixed on court camera system
The LTA is also responsible for administering and implementing tennis coaching at all levels in the UK. The current structure is as follows:
Level 1 Coaching Assistant (Level 1)- The Level 1 Coaching Assistant is an introduction to tennis coaching. Level 1’s are qualified to assist accredited coaches in groups of Mini Tennis.
Level 2 Coaching Assistant (Level 2)- Level 2 Coaching Assistants are qualified to coach groups of beginners of any age, on their own, under the umbrella programme of a Licensed Coach.
Coach (C)- The Coach Qualification covers the key coaching skills required to be an effective coach to work with beginners and improvers of any age in groups or individually. At this level they are then eligible to gain a licence; this licence ensures they are up-to-date with the latest tennis knowledge, they are First Aid qualified and have a satisfactory criminal record check.
Performance Coach (PC)- Performance coaches have attended an additional 6 days of performance coach education and are qualified to work with U10 performance players.
Club Coach (CC)- Club coaches have attended an additional 6 days of club coach education and are qualified to work across the range of players within a club programme.
Senior Performance Coach- Senior Performance coaches have completed a 1-year course with over 400 hours of learning and practicing in a performance environment. They are specialists in working with the 10- to 14-year-old performance players.
Senior Club Coach (SCC)- Senior Club coaches have completed a 6-month course. They are qualified to manage club programmes and teams of coaches in small to medium-sized clubs.
Master Performance Coach- Master Performance coaches have completed an 18-month individual learning programme in working with top performance players. They are able to work with high performance players.
Master Club Coach- Master Club coaches have completed extensive training in all aspects of club management. They are qualified to manage club programmes and teams of coaches in large clubs.
Other qualifications such as the PTR (which operates tennis through a US methodology) and the RPT (which operates tennis through a Spanish methodology) are also recognised by the LTA as they have the same or similar competency levels to the LTA.
Due to the LTA coach structure being updated regularly there are still coaches that still have the old coach qualifications for example: the Development Coach Award (DCA)- The DCA was formerly a Level 1 of the licence scheme. DCA coaches were trained to deliver group and individual lessons for beginners and improvers; the Club Coach Award (CCA)-The CCA was formerly a Level 2 of the licence scheme. CCA coaches were trained to deliver group and individual lessons for juniors of a county standard; the Tennis Development Award (TDA)- The TDA was formerly a Level 3 of the licence scheme. TDA coaches were trained to deliver lessons to all players within a club environment and to manage that club programme; and the Performance Coach Award The PCA was formerly a Level 3 of the licence scheme. PCA coaches were trained to deliver group and individual lessons for players of national standard.
LTA Tennis Clubmark
Clubmark was introduced by Sport England in 2002 and is currently being implemented across 34 sports. The LTA administers its own version of Clubmark based on the National guidelines for best practice combined with real life examples of successfully run places to play across the Country.
There are over 600 Clubmark accredited places to play in the UK, with a further 600 working towards the best practice accreditation.