Former STA player Lloyd Glasspool has reached the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Finals.
Lloyd was coached by STA Director Dan Kiernan from age 11-17 before heading off to the University of Texas on a tennis scholarship. After graduating, he teamed back up with Dan at SotoTennis Academy to kick-start his pro career.
Now age 28, Lloyd has reached a career high ranking of 14 in the world in doubles, and is making his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, Italy with partner Harri Heliovaara.
Dan has flown out to support and sent his reflections on coaching Lloyd.
“When you start out coaching a young player, you want to help give them technical, tactical, mental and physical foundations, but more than that, you want to facilitate and nurture a love of the game.
This love of the game is what will keep them in tennis, and it’s what will help them get lots out of the sport.
Lloyd Glasspool was no different to all players – he had good days and bad days. However, where Lloyd was different was that he didn’t speak a lot – without his parents’ reassurance that he loved working with me, I might have developed an insecurity!
Did I think he was going to play at the very highest level? You just don’t know.
Lloyd was very good, but there are too many variables out of our control as coaches to know that answer when a player is 10-11, 12-13 years old.
However, Lloyd loved tennis, and, here is the important part: he kept going despite many low days, many doubts, and many fears.
This week, Lloyd is in Turin playing at the very highest level event you can: the ATP Finals. In a standout season for the British-Finnish team, Lloyd is here to win with his partner Harri Heliövaara, and to continue this amazing journey 18 years later!
To conclude, stay patient kids (and parents), stay committed, keep smiling, and see where your tennis journey takes you.”
Dan Kiernan, SotoTennis Academy Director
Lloyd and Harri have booked their spot in the doubles semi-finals on Saturday, with wins over 3rd seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos and 3rd seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Roger.
Good luck Lloyd and Harri, everyone at SotoTennis Academy is behind you!