Each month here at David Lloyd Clubs we like to recognise some of our brilliant tennis players from different clubs. Whether they’ve just started playing, compete competitively, or just enjoy a casual game with friends, we like to highlight someone special.
This month is the turn of Phillip Ashworth who plays tennis in Bolton at the David Lloyd Club. Take a look below to find out about his game, how David Lloyd Bolton’s tennis facilities and coaches have helped him, and how playing tennis helps with other aspects of his life.
Phillip Ashworth | David Lloyd Bolton
Name: Phillip Ashworth
Club: David Lloyd Bolton
Occupation: Managing Director
Years playing tennis: 4 years
Favourite player: Roger Federer
Coach: Alex Jackson
What is your favourite thing about playing at David Lloyd Bolton?
David Lloyd Bolton offers us as members access to superb facilities. We have the benefit of indoor and outdoor courts all year round, as well as access to great coaching staff. There is no better place to be!
Why did you take up tennis?
I was too old to carry on playing rugby, and I was probably a bit tired of squash. So, when I joined David Lloyd Bolton, tennis seemed the right thing to do.
What would you say your individual style of tennis is?
Coached. I have always been of the opinion that you can’t play any sport without the right coaching. I am coached and have learnt to play what I think is ‘proper’ tennis. So, that is probably my style, with a bit of smash out of the club added in.
How has tennis helped you in other aspects of your life?
Learning anything new is a relief away from the stresses of normal life. Tennis takes a huge amount of mental concentration and you can’t afford to be thinking about other things. So, in a way it relieves you totally from anything other than hitting that ball back over the net.
How has your tennis coach helped you improve your game?
I had never played tennis before coming to the club – I never had access to such great facilities. So, coming to the sport totally new I have had to rely on the coaching staff both in group and private lessons. Some coaches are better suited to me than others, but overall they have taken me from a complete novice, to a reasonable club player in a short period of time. I can’t thank them enough!
What tips do you have for people wanting to get into tennis?
Fitness and coaching to start with. Once the ball has gone past you, or bounced twice in front of you, that point is over. It is a horrible sport if you can’t move, or can’t get the ball over the net. The only way to tackle that is to get fit. That will give you the ability to move around the tennis court. Secondly, get some lessons either individually, or in a group.
What is your best tennis shot and why?
First serve, medium pace, loads of movement. It’s a totally coached serve, and I just love seeing players two metres away from the ball as it passes them.
What is your weakest tennis shot and how could you improve?
Volley. I could improve it by using the strings instead of the frame! More coaching is the only answer.
What is your favourite method of training and why?
I have played rugby and squash over the years for some pretty good teams, and I have had the pleasure of training with some great athletes and amazing trainers. Over the years the sprint sets and interval training on the treadmill have become part of my life. This helps with explosive running and quick recovery. It keeps the legs strong, core muscles working and it’s not too hard on the knees. Timed rows on the concept rowers also give a quick total body workout and it’s a good challenge for daily training.
If you’re interested in playing tennis, find your local David Lloyd Club here.