Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Woody Is Called on to Help End Faults in Tennis

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Woody Is Called on to Help End Faults in Tennis

Article excerpt


BRITISH tennis chiefs have turned to Sir Clive Woodward to help drag the sport out of the doldrums. The coach who guided England to the Rugby World Cup in 2003 and is now director of football at Southampton has met with Britain's leading players and will hold further talks with Roger Draper, the Lawn Tennis Association's new chief executive, during Wimbledon.

Draper is undertaking a root-and-branch approach to changing the face of the sport and is determined to involve experts he believes can help.

Woodward met Tim Henman, Greg Rusedski, Andy Murray and Britain's leading women players Anne Keothavong and Elena Baltacha at Queen's Club last week.

He gave a demonstration of the Eyethinksport online system developed by Sherylle Calder, one of the experts England used during the World Cup, who is now working with the South Africa rugby team.

Calder specialises in training the eyes for sport - helping people with their perception and awareness skills - and her system may be used by the tennis players.

Woodward said: "I like to talk to players rather than the coaches because it has to be their decision to get involved.

"I was very pleased with their reactions to something that was new to them and it's very important that a player and not a coach decides to use the system.

"The players are bright enough to decide if it's good enough and world champions have to think for themselves.

You are never too old to learn something new and the key is to undertake the work 20 minutes every day and we can monitor who is using the system.

"Sport starts with your eyes and it comes down to identifying those one per cents that when added together can make the difference in international sport.

"Just by using this system you are not going to win Wimbledon, but it all adds up. …

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