A moment with Anna Britton...

Regarded as one of Britain’s talented coaches, Anna started her career as a professional tennis player competing in Junior, National and international events.

She has worked with players in both senior and junior Wimbledon. Anna went again this year as part of a female coaching group with the Great Britain women's team to the Fed cup in Hungry and Sweden in previous years.

We've taken time to sit down with her and ask her a few questions about her life!

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Meridian: Hi Anna, hope you're well! So we'd like to know how you first became involved in the sport and what keeps your passion flourishing to this very day?

Anna: My sister started playing tennis before me as I was busy show jumping and playing national netball. She needed someone to practise with so that is really where it all started. My father then use to take us to the local court and started to teach me. There was international sport on my mothers side of the family so I think there was always sport in our blood!

I still love playing tennis and I miss it if I have a couple off weeks without playing. I was never very good at sitting still and always liked to be active. I hope to inspire players through my coaching and passion for the sport,I have always been very proud of what I do for a living and get a thrill out of watching young players that I have been involved with progress with their career. It's great when you have been working really hard on an element and you start to see them using it in a match.

Meridian: As a professional coach, what characteristics do you look for in a player that uniquely defines their ability and potential for the long-term?

Anna: The modern game is so physical that I need to see players who can be an athlete first,they need to be able to move well and also love to do the gym work . I need to see they have a tactical brain and can convert their play to different surfaces. They need to have a strong serve and return and I need to see that they can observe a players weakness and see how to expose that rather than just play one game style. To reach the higher levels they need to be very driven and always want to better themselves. When a player is young and you see them having a professional attitude for example always doing their warm up and cool down, going to watch their next opponent, this means they are thinking ahead. Understanding yourself emotionally is also a big advantage.

Meridian: What is a typical day in the life of a Tennis coach?

Anna: If you are working a lot with junior players the majority of your work is done in the afternoons and evenings.  Breakfast (usually one of the fantastic nut butters on toast or in a smoothie to give protein to start the day off!) then I will spend quite a bit of time on the computer planning future tournaments for the players,planning the content of their lesson and how we are going to move forwards, then I will also look at their fitness plan. I will also spend quite a bit of time on the phone talking to the players and their parents. In the weekdays I will be coaching and doing fitness training in the afternoons and evenings usually finishing about 9.30 pm.

Saturdays I start coaching at 8am with an academy squad and then individual lessons and fitness sessions for the rest of the day. Sundays will often be spent going to a tournament . So as you can see the hours are not particularly social!

School holidays are different where the majority of the time  is spent going to tournaments and some training around that. In between all of this I try to find time to do all my own gym training!

Meridian: What advice would you give to someone who aspires to either play or coach on the professional circuit?

Anna: To try and play on the circuit you need to work hard on the court and in the gym,you also need to love playing the sport.

Make sure you have a rounded game,I think some players loose out because they can only hit one style,the more shots you can execute the harder you make it for the opponent as they have fewer weaknesses to pick on,staying strong mentally and looking positive on court is a huge bonus. 

Try to keep goals,have positive people around you who can guide you through both the ups and the downs as tennis is very much a mental game as well as technical and tactical . Plan your tournaments and training well and save up money as it is very expensive when you are starting out!

It is so important to look at your nutrition. All the modern processed foods can really hinder your performance the purer the food the better.That is why meridian is so good,the nut butters are high protein and the nut bars are 7gr protein.

If you look at Novak Djokovic he has changed his diet so much and this has had such an amazing effect on his performance.

To become a coach you have to have knowledge in all areas of the game,understand the way the player that you are working with  thinks as no two players are mentally the same. Be dedicated to the lifestyle as it's long hours and you have to deal with a lot of emotions!

Meridian: Thanks for you time Anna!

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anna britton

Anna Britton, one of Britain’s talented coaches and one of our lovely ambassadors!