Etusivu > Ajankohtaista > HVS Girls: Synergy between players, coaches, club and parents is the key to success

HVS Girls: Synergy between players, coaches, club and parents is the key to success

HVS Girls Project started in August 2022.   The head coach of the HVS Girls, Boris Chernov, tells more about the project. Follow the project on HVS Instagram @hvstennis #hvsgirls

What is the present situation of Female tennis in Finland?

Tough to say. Objectively for today we have 4 WTA ranked players, as comparison – Estonia has 8 players, Denmark and Latvia has 9 players each, while Sweden has 16 players. Important to remind that some of those countries have real stars of sport like Kontaveit or Ostapenko. Some of those countries are several times smaller by population. Only 3 Finnish female players have ever reached top100 level in the history of sport, where Emma was the last one 17 years ago. Our national team is in the 3rd division of Billie Jean King Cup which is the lowest division at the moment. Luckily, we have Anastasia Kulikova and Laura Hietaranta who both have a chance to become really good, so they can be role models who will motivate, inspire, make others believe that sport can be something more than just a hobby with low demands and low sacrifices.

On a junior level, we are missing mass of girl players and basic athleticism which is the base for any sport, especially such a difficult sport as tennis. It requires incredible mental and physical resistance to get over consistent stress situations due to its unpredictability and demands.

In my opinion situation is worrying, but that gives an opportunity which we have recognized with our team. So many things could be done better with the girls, and we’ve started from the easiest.

Describe the HVS Girls -project

In numbers HVS girls is a project with over 20 players, where 13 of them are doing full-time program with an average of 5-6 tennis sessions per week, and same amount of fitness sessions together with some yoga and pilates. In total we are aiming to provide our full-time players up to 15 hours of weekly activity which is pretty unique in Finland if consider such a big amount of players. We have 3 full-time coaches Danil Gavrilyuk, Dominic Modise and myself, as well as part-time coach Oona Orpana.

Regarding the level, from the last summer SM tournaments U14/16 we got 11 medals in total where 4 of them were gold either in singles or doubles.

Why react now – why the HVS Girls project started?

Momentum is now. We got support from HVS and HLK clubs, we have fantastic individuals both players and coaches, we realize structure of the problem, we get trust from the parents and we have a vision what to do.

Also earlier there were some trends where one or few decent national level players got a lot of coaching resource to use, while the rest got pretty much nothing. As a result, we got our current situation in female tennis which I’ve described as objective view on the situation. Now we want our goal to reach the bigger part of the group.

What are the success factors on the HVS Girls project?

Synergy between players, coaches, club and parents is the key. Besides that, we’ve created our own measurements of success which is not necessarily the ranking only. For example we have common coaching philosophy of Care, Develop and Demand where priorities goes as human first, athlete second, tennis player third. We know a lot more about our players both on and off court. We have different physical tests for better understanding of their capabilities, condition, and nature. We put a lot of attention on their tennis skills such as spins, acceleration/deceleration, defense/offense situations, net game, doubles, not only basic hitting. We have clear rules of how to act on court and what is unacceptable. We are having players evening with pizza and some other fun. Our players leaving the court together. Our players constantly improving their soft skills such as communication, and even in a short time they already became a lot more independent. We want them to own their tennis and to have passion to the game because it’s fun and challenging. And there are many more things to be proud of.

Our team uses an application called Qridi app which has the routes from an education world. By that we are able to know the exact amount of sleeping time of each player, level of stress after every session, follow their activity, development and presence, communicate better within the team and many more. Thank for Toni Eskola for being available to assist and be flexible with our feedbacks.

The Goal

Our goal is to teach the game within international demands, create best memories of tennis and help them to stay with the game as long as possible.

What are the challenges?

There are things like lack of courts, or lack of multisport space for fitness and different activities. It’s not easy to find common language with schools and sometimes they are very conservative with flexible approach for each player. Another issue is insufficient physical base of the players or the level of athleticism. They are pretty sensitive for the injuries, especially when their development requires a bigger amount of hours, higher demand and intensity. Sometimes the body simply can’t handle different type of physical stress since it’s not used to.
Anyway, we are constantly learning, getting better and evaluating as much as we can.

Who can be a HVS Girl?

A HVS girl is a  12-21 years old girl player, with good energy, decent game level and big will to get better and respect our values which are – Together, Appreciation, Courage and Transparency.

Soon, when we will get more tennis courts, we will be happy to host short and long term players from different countries and make it as one of the best club level program for competitive players. But so far our program is completely full.