New coach wants kids to have fun

Tennis is another sport in Cayman that is rebuilding since Hurricane Ivan smashed through the island three years ago. As its popularity increases the tennis club in South Sound has taken on a new coach to help meet the demand.

South African Adam Bayley is the latest recruit having come from a stint in the United States. ‘It’s really good fun being here,’ the newcomer said.

‘I hope to build the client base up with the resident coaches Rob (Seward) and Eduardo (Torres) because their client base is full up and they want to get more and more, that’s why Rob brought me on. And I want to help develop their junior programme. I think there’s even scope for a fourth coach.

‘I like working with Rob because our ideas are the same. I was here last September through to May coaching and towards the end of my stay I met Rob before I moved back to Philadelphia. As my work visa was running out there he gave me a call and offered me a position here. I was thrilled, I’ve always wanted to work in a club like this, outside all year round.

‘When I was working in the States in the summertime was great but because of the extreme weather change you had to move from outdoors to inside in the winter. It’s good fun from maybe March through to November. Then December to February it’s terrible.’

Bayley, 31, is looking forward to working with juniors. ‘I want to instill the fun aspect into them. Too many parents put pressure on their kids to do well. I don’t want that. If you take pressure away and add fun, they will suddenly be getting better without even noticing.’

He had aspirations of being a top pro as a teenager in Johannesburg but found more satisfaction as a teenage coach. ‘After finishing school I went overseas and didn’t play for a year. My dad offered to pay to send me on a scholarship to the States. I refused but if I knew then what I know now I would have gone.

Bayley was already a coach at 18. ‘It was when my tennis coach got me interested in coaching school tennis. After two years at my old high school and at our local tennis club, I decided to go to university and get a degree.’

After four years he qualified as a high school teacher, majoring in geography and sports science. He continued coaching and teaching part time and later full time at one of the leading boy’s high schools in South Africa (Grey High School). His own coaching business based out of the school was started too.

‘When it really started to flourish I was offered a full time coaching position for the Julian Krinsky School of Tennis in Philadelphia. I felt it was a good time to gain experience overseas so I decided to pack up and leave. It was a very good decision, because I experienced a whole new world of tennis coaching.’ He taught camps and gave private lessons at the Picket Post Swim and Tennis club.

‘I’m enjoying tennis more now than ever before and probably playing my best. The more you learn the more you coach and the more you coach the more you learn.’

* Adam is available for private and group lessons. If you are interested please contact the club at 949-9464 or email [email protected].

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