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Games, set and match

Lewis Burns, Modern Apprenctice

Modern apprentice Lewis Burns, 19, explains how he has developed his coaching skills through a legacy scheme.

Being a coach of any sport is always a great privilege. Being able to wake up every morning and going into a job you love with all your heart is something to be proud of.

Since starting my apprenticeship at Prestwick in September 2014, I have worked alongside some great people, also meeting some great idols who have been a part of the game for years and getting knowledge of the game.

I applied for the position in July 2014 through Tennis Scotland and met by my new boss Matt Hulbert and my centre boss Janice Rogerson as well as other people from Sports Academy of Scotland and my tutor Colin Ireland to help me with my course and paperwork for another course I do as part of it.

The support I have had from all the coaches and staff is amazing and they have helped me get to where I am today. Being a modern apprentice, I work with different people every day.

Every day unfolds a new challenge. Whether it’s working with a really experienced adult group, through to wheelchair tennis, to schools, to top players at each age group or even to development classes, every challenge always has something new to unveil. You have to put your head into the mindset of that person: make it challenging enough but fun for the children so they want to come back and play more tennis. You have to picture coaching like steal and distribute, seeing ideas and making it your own. Seeing players get better, seeing players move up and knowing how to play, it all falls as part of the job.

As new challenges unveil, there are also other sides to the job. Planning tournaments, making sure equipment is organised and safe to use, making sure balls are ready and the courts are safe before any lessons are carried out. All these things are part of my daily routine at the club and with the help of the staff all these procedures are carried out on a daily basis.

Since I have started, I have now reached my Level 2 coaching badge. This qualifies me to take classes with a coach observing me. I feel now I am ready for the next challenge. The final badge: Level 3. This qualifies you to work independently. All the training and knowledge I have taken in will work towards this badge. I am due to sit this badge in February 2016 so I still have lots of time to prepare as of yet.

I hope to see myself working within an indoor centre when I’m older. Or maybe even working abroad when I’m older. Coaching is such a competitive job and so you really must have the experience, the knowledge but also sometimes knowing the right people through your work who could maybe help you into work. My goal for the next 12 months is to get fully qualified and see what options lie ahead and go that way. Taking every step one at a time.

Find out more about the Legacy 2014 Young Persons Fund and the modern apprenticeships