Good afternoon Howard Green and thanks for agreeing to being our first ‘Partner’ Interview in this new series of interviews!
Firstly, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in tennis? I do remember us meeting in person and being very interested in how you have become a firm part of the tennis industry!
My entry into high performance started in 2001, when I joined the Royal Marines Commandos, serving for 6 years and completing 3 operational tours. This was my underpinning experience of being an athlete (tactical athlete) and opened my eyes to what is possible to achieve physically and mentally, to allow someone to operate at an extremely high level.
It has also had a big impact on me as a coach and leader, such as having high levels of self-discipline and always striving to work with exceptionally high standards. Some of the other qualities I try to instil in my players are to have courage, be determined and unselfish, and to show cheerfulness in the face of adversity.
After leaving the armed forces I completed a degree in sports coaching, as part of the course I did some volunteering at Bolton Arena Tennis Academy, and effectively never left! It increased from volunteering to some paid part-time work, to being offered a full-time position on completion of my degree. Within a short time. we gained the status of an International High Performance Centre from the LTA (one of only 4 in the UK) and I was offered the position of Head of Athletic Development.
This role encompassed leading a team to deliver fitness sessions to players ranging from Mini Red all the way through to some young Professionals. Each squad session would have a physical session attached, and I also worked with player individually too. Sessions focussed on developing coordination & dexterity, strength & power, speed & agility, endurance and injury reduction.
I had big aspirations, as whatever I set my mind to, I want to excel, so I set myself the challenge of BITB – which stood for ‘Be In the Box’ – which meant working with professional players and being in their box at a Grand Slam! And within 5 years I was given the awesome opportunity to work with Ana Ivanovic in 2016, supporting her at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon. I have gone on to work with British player Naomi Broady in 2018 and most recently and currently Heather Watson. But maintain my role at Bolton Arena working with players of all ages competing at National and International level.
Thanks Howard! You are actually here as one of our ‘Partners’ to promote your online course ‘Tennis SuperMovers’. Please tell us a little about this and the success you have had with this so far?
Tennis SuperMovers is a tennis-specific fitness programme that works on all elements needed to improve the players on-court movement. It focusses on developing the ‘Integrated Tennis Shapes’ – these are the specific shapes that underpin tennis performance, such as the ready position, the ability to start, stop, load & rotate and recover. They also provide a framework for the player, coach and physical trainer to observe footwork, provide common language to discuss the movement and provide solutions to improve players performance.
We have sessions that work on Forward and Back, Side to Side and Multi-Directional movement. Within each session we use the SMASH Curriculum to build a complete tennis athlete – Strength, Movement, Agility, Stability and Honing Coordination. Players will then be able to create strong tennis shapes, have great spatial awareness, be able to move with speed and intensity, have high levels of dynamic balance, as well as boosting their skills tool-box.
The sessions are videoed in ‘real-time’, so I introduce, explain and demonstrate every exercise, so the player is very clear on how to perform them. This allows them to train unsupervised by a coach or parent and allows them to boost their tennis fitness away from delivered group or individual sessions. This lets the player to take ownership and accountability of improving their fitness and footwork.
The Player Programme is a progressive course that provides 3 sessions to be completed each week, with 8 different Levels, each Level takes 4 weeks to complete and then the player completes a 2-week Fitness Block, before moving to the next Level. To complete the entire programme takes 12 months and will produce results that help players win more matches and become harder to beat.
What are the next steps for yourself and Tennis SuperMovers?
Personally, I will continue in my role heading up the physical programme at Bolton Arena, working across all ages, alongside supporting my professional players.
For SuperMovers, the goal is to expand upon the reach we already have internationally via the Player Programme. But I would also love to take the concept on the road and deliver the programme at other clubs and academies worldwide.
I am very passionate in my belief that many tennis players do not achieve their athletic potential, which eventually can lead to them dropping out of the sport. So much time and effort is put into the technical and tactical development of players, while the on-court athleticism often gets overlooked. I want to educate, enable and empower players, coaches and parents to change this narrative.
Tell us about some success stories that you have had with Tennis SuperMovers?
The beauty of the programme is that I have yet to find a player of any level, that cannot refine and improve the basics of on-court movement. I will use aspects of the programme for all players in warm-ups, speed & agility sessions, in the gym and in integrated sessions where I am on court with the player and coach.
We can amazing feedback from our young players who are just starting their tennis journey, as they can focus only developing technique with the coach, then take responsibility for improving their fitness and footwork via the Player Programme.
I love getting messages from parents and coaches saying how well the player is moving on court in tournaments, how they get to tougher ball, they are more on balance when hitting their shot, recovering faster using the correct footwork.
For the players that I have worked with for a few years, it’s awesome to see their progress develop in front of you, seeing how their confidence grows with their abilities on court and ultimately leading to success at National and International level.
How can our readers find out more and sign up to your courses?
The website is https://tennissupermovers.com
SPC Gold Member Profile: https://sportsprosconnect.com/profiles/howardgreen/
And I am very active on Instagram @howardgreensupermovers
Email – email@example.com
WhatsApp – +44 7542875921
Finally, a little about 2024… Who are you looking out for at the Grand Slams next year?
For me directly, I will continue to support Heather and a budding young Pro Marni Banks, who recently hit a career high of 384 – this is a special project for me, as I have been working with her on and off since she was only 8 years old, she has just turned 21, so excited to see what she can achieve.
Outside of these players, I’m happy to see the younger guys starting to achieve success at ATP & WTA level. We have been blessed with likes of Novak, Rafa, Serena, Sharpova – but as a physical trainer its great to see how hard the younger players are working off the court, and starting to realise on-court success. Physically Alacraz is an easy choice, and on the female side, I love the work Sakarri is doing, and showing how being more physical can help players game.
Thanks very much for being part of our series of interviews Howard!