Carolyn Healey with Tennis Perfections

Carolyn Healey

About Carolyn Healey

It’s a joy to reflect upon how much tennis has embraced my life.

I was very fortunate that my childhood home backed on to a tennis club.  The club outside Wellington, New Zealand, had six hard courts, four grass courts, and a substantial hit-up wall.  Formal proposed-membership was required, only whites were worn, and both inter-club matches and inter-provincial tournaments were played there.  Aside from watching many of those matches, I also spent hours watching the club coach giving lessons.

As we’ve all discovered, there are three questions life invariably throws at us:

“What is your first memory?”

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“What would you have been if you hadn’t been a……..?”

For me the three answers are: tennis, tennis, TENNIS !!!

My first memory, at the age of two, is two-handedly holding my mother’s lighter-weight racket and persistently trying to hit a ball over the net, all the while encouraged by my bemused parents who were both players at competition level.  Further to their amusement, at the age of nine over dinner, in answer to an inquisitive visiting aunt, I stated that I was going to be a tennis coach.  My answer to her has never raised any regrets or enabled me to answer the question of an alternative career.  Tennis has been my all.

As further fortune would have it, in my school years Chris Lewis, runner up to John McEnroe at Wimbledon in 1983, lived just three doors away. We both lived and breathed tennis and played virtually every day after school. I can still hear him saying: “Come on Carolyn…..let’s go to Wimbledon!” In those pre-Google days, when Encyclopedia Britannica was all we had, I remember looking up “Wimbledon” and learning that barely 90 years earlier Major Walter Wingfield had invented lawn tennis, and that about this time the All England Croquet Club found it was severely short of funds so added the term Lawn Tennis to its title and several grass courts to its facilities.  I was fascinated that the first of all championships was held there in June 1877 with all Wimbledon championships won by British players until 1907 when the Australasian Norman E. Brookes became the first overseas player to win the title.

In 1967, just prior to moving to Australia (my mother’s homeland), Victor Edwards, coach to Evonne Goolagong Cawley, came to New Zealand scouting for promising juniors.  He offered one boy and one girl the chance of special coaching back in Australia.  I was honored to be that girl but unfortunately timing, location, and my secondary education prevented me from accepting his offer.  As fate would have it, years later I was taken on to be trained as a professional coach by Victor’s head coach of twenty-five years, Faith Martin, who had discovered Evonne.

I’ve been privileged to hold some memorable positions over my thirty-six years in the profession – Head Coach, Presbyterian Ladies College, Strathfield; Head Coach, Strathfield Recreation Club (8 years); Examiner of Coaches (8 years); and after moving to Brisbane in 2004 working for LAFFS – one of the best known academies in Queensland. In 1994 at the Coaches Conference in La Quinta, California, I was honored to be asked by the USTA to remain on after the conference to test professionals-in-training.  I was recently surprised to learn that I’m the only coach in Australia to have attended every National Tennis Coaches Conference.

The origin of the word tennis is quite obscure but probably derived from the French word “Tenez” meaning “Take it! Play!”  That I chose to start it as a game and then take it up as a profession has brought me not only the challenges of the game’s discipline and knowledge, but also the rewards of a fulfilling career, travel, and life-long friendships.

Having recently launched the website  www.tennisperfections.com.au for the promotion of tennis-training products, I have reduced my coaching hours.

Incorporating Point of Contact Training

As a coach, I have found The Eye Coach is a remarkable innovative piece of equipment that enables the learner to get the concept of how it feels to hit the ball crisply, but also at the same time synchronizing their shoulders, torso, and hips into transferring the body weight into the swing without taking their eyes off the ball.

– Carolyn Healey

To learn more about Tennis Perfections, click here.