David Hall (AUS) and his long-term coach Rich Berman
Launched towards the end of 2012, ‘Let’s Roll - Learning Wheelchair Tennis with the Pros’ is an online resource produced by six-time ITF World Champion and Sydney 2000 men’s singles Paralympic gold medallist David Hall and his long-term coach Rich Berman.
‘Let’s Roll – Learning Wheelchair Tennis with the Pros’ can be viewed at www.wheelchair-tennis.com, www.wheelchair-tennis.org or www.wheelchair-tennis.net.
New for 2013, the video tutorial can now be loaded on a smart phone with a web app at www.letsrollwheelchairtennis.com. A native app for the resource is being developed.
With over three hours of information covering basic strokes and mobility, advanced strokes and mobility, mental toughness, wheelchair selection and injury prevention, the online resource is available at no cost, has been translated into 20 languages and can be viewed on mobile devices, making it readily accessible to the instructor, coach and player.
Over the course of a 15 year career Hall won over 80 tournaments worldwide on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, including nine Australian Opens, eight US Opens, seven British Opens and won a total of six Paralympic medals, all with Coach Berman at his side, providing his knowledge and guidance.
ITF Wheelchair Tennis Ambassador Hall, who was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2010, says: “Rich is the master at teaching the wheelchair game, it’s a real honour for me to be involved in this project with him. I remember when I first started playing wheelchair tennis, to have something like this available would have been so helpful. Also, with tennis you never stop learning and ‘Let’s Roll’ covers all areas.”
Berman, who runs Rich’s Tennis School near Boulder, Colorado, has almost 20 years experience teaching tennis to wheelchair players. As to the reason for ‘Let’s Roll’, Berman states: “Over the years we both have had many players, parents and organisations ask us for guidance about coaching wheelchair tennis. When David agreed to collaborate with me on this project, I said “ok mate, let’s do it”.
As a learning resource for both coaches and players, Berman’s goal is that the tutorial will have far-reaching appeal. “Our hope is that all current and future wheelchair players and coaches worldwide will use ‘Let’s Roll’ as the foundation for learning and teaching this wonderful sport," he says. "That is the reason we have two primary sections – one for the novice and one for the advanced player.”
As for how rewarding wheelchair tennis has been in Berman’s coaching career, he says: “Anyone that has volunteered their time and effort for a worthwhile cause understands that they receive more than they give. I remember the first time I was asked to coach someone in a chair, I declined to do so, at least at first. Then I gave it a go and I’m so thankful I did."