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Nino Severino: Trip to La Manga was great and now onto working at ITFC Academy

La Manga Resort Photo: NINO SEVERINO

La Manga Resort Photo: NINO SEVERINO

Archant

I've just returned from a few days rest, and I could not think of anywhere better than the La Manga Resort in Spain.

Andre Dozzell in training Photo: Pavel Kricka PhotographyAndre Dozzell in training Photo: Pavel Kricka Photography

If you love holidays and sport, this is a fantastic place to combine the two.

While I was on the WTA Tennis World Tour, La Manga was the go to place for Elena and I to base ourselves for a preparation phase on the clay, in readiness for Roland Garros, the French Slam held in Paris.

La Manga is not only famous for it’s high quality clay courts, it’s also used by Premier League football clubs, British Tennis (LTA) and the European Cricket Association, its also very well known for its golf courses, with many celebrities and sporting stars owning golf bungalows around the course.

I’m very pleased to say that before I left for my short break away, Lee O’Neill officially welcomed me as part of his and Bryan Klug’s Academy Team, in the role of Consultant Performance Coach.

This role will see me working very closely with Lee, Bryan and Jimmy Reynolds in terms of delivering very high quality areas of coach development.

For me, this is a fantastic opportunity, I often talked to Bryan about how frustrating it has been for me in the past to have meaningful and valuable conversations about coaching tennis at Olympic and International level, as we simply do not have coaches with this experience and knowledge in Ipswich and our region.

I also explained to Bryan, to talk coaching at this level I had to travel to London to meet with coaches who had operated at the level I had, and of course this was challenging, as many of the world-class coaches I know are often travelling around the world and are not very often back at base at the home of British Tennis, the National Training Centre (NTC).

As part of the ITFC Academy I am around world class experts in terms of sports science, physiology, strength and conditioning, programme design, nutrition and physiotherapy, to mention just a few areas.

This means I now belong to a fantastic team and have the opportunity to have many meaningful conversations about creating champions with professionals such as Bryan Klug.

During one of my very early columns, I touched on the fact that the young talent coming through the ITFC Academy ranks are very lucky to be coached by some of the legends of the past – players such as Jason Dozzell, Kieron Dyer and Titus Bramble.

For me, this is an incredible opportunity for the young players.

How can you put a value on accessing the experiences of players such as these three, who have performed at the top level.

And this clearly is paying dividend.

Only last week I was with Jason as he took the U12 squad, I mentioned to another coach, that so much negativity is said nowadays.

But these young boys were a credit not only to their families, but also to our ITFC Academy, they were disciplined, committed, focus and hard working, it was very impressive to see Jason coach and the level of training he was achieving with these young players.

They all obviously respect him, his reputation and level of coaching. In terms of my role as part of the ITFC Academy team, what an incredible opportunity for me to be part of the team supporting ex-Town stars.

Over the last 10 months I have spent as part of the academy coaching team, I have built a very good relationship with Jason Dozzell, much of this developed as I was working with his son, Andre,

I had the privilege of benefiting from some very interesting conversations with him, in and around the rehab sessions I delivered for Andre as part of Matt Byard’s physiotherapy team.

Andre is a world class example of the level of footballer the ITFC Academy is creating, and of course, has created in the past.

I am clearly looking forward to being part of the coach development team, and to be honest, this is a golden opportunity for me as a professional to also continue my journey of learning by working along side such great ex-players and very talented academy senior staff.

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