HELP PLAYERS GROW KINGSTON: Local tennis coaches, Tinesta Rowe and Joel Jones, are basking in the opportunity to take their game and the country’s to the next level through an upcoming International Tennis Federation (ITF) Level Two Coaching Certification Programme, which will take place in Valencia, Spain, next year. Both benefited from their participation in the ITF Level One Coaching Certification Course hosted by Tennis Jamaica, which ended at Eric Bell Tennis Centre last week. The course was conducted by John Goede, the ITF’s Regional Development Officer for the Caribbean and experienced local coach, Evan Williams. “I will support Tinesta Rowe and Joel Jones to go to the Level Two in Valencia in 2019,” said Goede, whose recommendations will go through a number of channels before the ultimate ITF sign-off. The regional tennis director explained how he had pushed course participants beyond the norm, an action to be reciprocated in their teachings. “For those in management, you need to place the bar high for every level of coaching if we want to maximise the level of each individual in Jamaica and the Caribbean,” he said. Jones said he was excited at the selection and along with Rowe, they plan to maximise their learning in Spain. “I’m particularly excited and very humbled. I feel very blessed to have been selected to go and do the Level Two. It’s not something that we take for granted because it is an opportunity to take your coaching to the next level. Two of us in the course were lucky enough to be given that privilege, Tinesta Rowe and myself,” Jones observed. Rowe was one of Jamaica’s most outstanding female players, winning championships at every age group – Under-14, Under-16, Under-18 – before becoming national champion, with the number one ranking to boot. “Playing and coaching are definitely two different things. Some people have the perception that the best players are the best coaches, but it’s not just about playing the game, it’s about being able to impart that information to somebody else and then helping them grow and ensuring that they grow in different stages,” she reasoned. The former Hoolebury All-Age and St Hilda’s High student started playing at age nine and first represented Jamaica at 13 years, then went on to earn a scholarship to North Carolina State University. Afterwards, she got involved in coaching in the United States at the Rick Macci Tennis Academy in Florida, before returning home and has been helping to develop talent through Russell Tennis Academy.