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Immerse yourself in tennis to unlock your potential


Originally published on: 25/07/13 00:00

As with learning a new language, immersion is often the best way to develop a new or existing skill, and five hours of coaching a day is arguably more profitable than the equivalent time spread over a few months.

“On a club course it is a technical thing just trying to improve your tennis,” Matthew Cooke, managing director of Jonathan Markson Tennis explains. “Camp experience is about making friends, feeling more confident, enjoying playing tennis more and without realising it your tennis will have improved but it’s not the be all and end all.

“Even within a single day you can see a change in the way that everyone plays. You’re building confidence and relaxing with each other. In a club you’ve got your little group  that you know well but here you are playing with everyone so you are dealing with all types of shots – you are playing the hackers, the people that can only hit forehands and all types of players so at the end of the week you’ve really built your tennis."

Founded in 1981 by former Scottish international Jonathan Markson, the company’s tennis camps are renowned for their quality of coaching. Markson died in 2011, but he left a legacy and a company with a commitment to helping people unlock their tennis potential.

“Jonathan had a fantastic reputation as Scottish No. 1 he was an Oxford Blue and ran the Oxford team,” says Cooke. “I could never replace Jonathan because he was an amazing guy. I chose to look at his qualities and the good things that he did – primarily that was the energy he brought to the court – he used to do the demo at the start of every camp.

“You can’t replace that personality; he encouraged everyone and his passion was clear for all to see. Everyone came out at the start of the camps wanting to learn and play like him. One of the challenges is trying to recreate that – not to recreate the man but to recreate the energy.

“It’s not just about improving your tennis, but it’s about coming away with a fantastic experience, feeling they were treated like an individual, feeling good about yourself,” says Cooke. “Fifty per cent of tennis, or any sport, is mental – how you are feeling, do you look forward to going onto court and playing tennis?"

Residential and non-residential camps are available in Oxford and Yorkshire, with non-residential camps also available in two London locations. To book your place or for more information, visit or call +44 (0)20 7603 2422


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.