Will named coach of the year

July 25 2022

Will named coach of the year

Henleaze Tennis Club are thrilled to learn that Avon Tennis have awarded Head Coach, Will Hardiman, Development Coach of the Year.  In just two years Will has built a thriving coaching programme at the club and some of the adults and children on the programme thought it was about time to ask him a few questions!


We know you were a junior national player.  What did you enjoy most? I loved playing tournaments. We travelled to match plays, indoor series and events most weekends in the winter and then played the outdoor tournaments in the spring/summer including the nationals and clay court series at venues like West Hants and Solihull. 

How many hours each week did you train?    15-18 hours a week, maybe more? I played pretty much every day for 3 or 4 hours. I started tennis relatively late, at 9 or 10 years of age and won my first Avon County Championships at 12 so I improved very quickly. I was very enthusiastic and intense about the game. 

What was your favourite court surface and tournament and why?  I enjoyed playing on grey clay and hardcourts because it was slower. I had more time in the rally to organise my shots and move my opponent around the court. When I won the Road To Wimbledon in Avon I played on the grass courts at Wimbledon - playing at SW19 was fun and a bit of a novelty! My favourite tournament was the Cheltenham Open at East Glos in the first week of the Easter holidays and the Torbay Open in the summer (they were quite big events then). 

What do you enjoy most about coaching?  I enjoy combining technique with tactical outcomes in the context of singles. I get satisfaction from helping a player improve their mindset on the court and seeing their confidence build to a point where they can begin to resolve problems with their game themselves. Tennis is a very psychological game and that is something that interests me a lot. 

Which stroke do you like teaching best? Why?  I enjoy teaching the serve and have had most success teaching this shot. It is the most important playing situation in tennis and therefore if it is done well it can win lots of easy points.  

What is the difference between going to one of your general groups or a select group?  Our general groups are fun and a great introduction into tennis. Perhaps the mindset in our select groups is the key difference? The select groups have more emphasis on progression and training to compete.  We work them harder!

What is your philosophy behind the delivery of camps?  FUN! Our camps are a great first step into tennis and the aim is for everyone to leave inspired to play more tennis. Our camps are very social! 

Who do you most like watching play today and why?  My favourite players today are Carlos Alcaraz for his sheer athleticism and Simona Halep for her superhuman ball striking abilities. I also enjoy watching Kyrgios for the entertainment value! 

When on court coaching for long hours, what do you like to eat to keep your energy up? Flapjack, bananas, coffee... I eat light when I am coaching to avoid feeling lethargic!

Will you encourage your children to be tennis players? I have reservations about pushing my child into tennis...I have played tennis all my life so I would be relieved if he did something else. But he is only three months old so time will tell...I could quite easily become a tennis parent!

Are you a comedian? Why did you ask that? You make us laugh!