Emma Wells is Head of Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) for the UK. She also runs two tennis coaching clubs in Wimbledon and is a Primary & Secondary Schools Tutor for the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). Here, she talks to us about her career and how she incorporates Red2Blue into her coaching.
The desire to win!
Emma’s tennis journey began at an early age with a simple dream: at seven years old her biggest goal in life was just to beat her brother at the game! That passion for tennis led to an exciting career in both the public and private tennis sectors, where Emma’s worked for more than 15 years.
Specialising in working with U10s, Emma has become a regular speaker, coaching across four different continents and sharing her knowledge with organisations such as USPTA, Evolve 9, and WTCA. She has also trained and tutored coaches for various institutions, including the LTA and GLL.
Building a community through tennis
A passionate advocate for connection and community through tennis coaching, Emma has become a driving force in bringing people together. Working closely with the LTA she helped to develop their Tennis For Kids programme and managed the implementation of LTA programmes for the largest public outdoor tennis provider in the UK.
Her dedication to creating a strong tennis community is evident in the thriving club she’s built up from scratch in Wimbledon Park, which now boasts an impressive 700 players participating on a weekly basis.
The power of Red2Blue
It was after a meeting with Gazing’s CEO Martin, and tennis and sports coach Gustavo Granitto (who is also and Advanced Red2Bue coach) that Emma became a fan of the Red2Blue technique.
“I immediately saw the clear impact and benefits it could have on my coaches at PTR,” she says. “I now use Red2Blue in every area of life – both on and off the court. Controlling the controllable and finding positive ways to navigate and grow in stressful situations is essential to success,” she explains.
Why a strong mindset is essential
Looking back on her earlier years, Emma acknowledges the potential impact that Red2Blue could have had on her younger self. She believes that with the tools and confidence gained from Red2Blue, she would have been better equipped to handle stressful situations and face challenges head-on.
This importance of developing mindset including the principles of Red2Blue, is something she now passes on to the kids she coaches at a very early age. “Physical skills alone can only take you so far,” she says. “If you have a strong mindset, you can build on the physical skills and positive training habits.”
Like any successful journey, Emma’s coaching career has had its fair share of challenges. Navigating the pandemic proved to be a significant hurdle: “I had to open and close my tennis businesses three times,” Emma explains. “I was having to deal with clients who were impacted by the pandemic in many ways, so it was important for me to keep my business’s values intact whilst being as flexible as possible.” Despite these uncertainties and disruptions, Emma’s core principles – a strong mindset, resilience and flexibility — helped her adapt to the ever-changing circumstances.
Be kind to yourself
Emma has received many valuable pieces of advice throughout her coaching journey but one quote that stands out for her is “If you’re working in your business, you can’t work on your business and you can’t grow your business.” That means knowing when to take a step back, to strategise and to nurture the growth of the business – advice that she believes is particularly pertinent for coaches in Director or Head Coach roles.
As for the advice that she gives to the players she coaches: “Be kind to yourself. Learning is hard and requires physical skills to improve, but also the mental toughness and positive energy to get better.”
Inspirational role models
When it comes to her favourite tennis player of all time, Emma holds Steffi Graf in high regard, admiring her humility and exceptional footwork. “One thing I always tell my clients is, ‘Your feet hold your body, your body holds your racket.’ We always blame the racket but we need to look at the bigger picture!”
As for current players, Emma has enjoyed following the success of Carlos Alcaraz: “He’s so much fun to watch with his unique game style and he displays remarkable mental toughness at such a young age. After Sunday’s final, it’s clear we’re only just beginning to scratch the surface of his ability – what a great inspiration for the next generation of tennis hopefuls!
You can find out more about the work Emma does with PTR here.