What I know - James Faudemer
James Faudemer is the co-director of The Tennis Hub at St Clement Sports Club
- I started playing tennis when I was seven at a sponge-ball tournament at Les Quennevais Sports Centre. I think my parents had had enough of me hitting the ball over the garden fence and into the flower beds at home, so they signed me up. Luckily, I loved it!
- I can honestly say there isn’t one achievement in tennis that massively stands out. I had some good victories as a junior against highly ranked national players. However, for me, representing the Channel Islands at county cup events has always been something I have relished – from under tens right through to senior level.
- My favourite matches involved beating opponents at county competitions who thought they were going to thrash you when you walked onto court. The Channel Islands never got much respect from the counties, so there was nothing better than turning them over!
- My strengths are my return of serve and my ability to retrieve and chase down lost causes.
- Mark Gilmour and I started The Tennis Hub at St Clement in April last year. We wanted to create a program which encouraged and enabled the community to attend, while also developing the next generation of players.
- Tennis requires lots of different skills which can take time to learn. As a coach it’s about adapting your teaching to make sure they improve while still having fun. The biggest challenge is encouraging people to play regularly outside of structured coaching so that they begin to make improvements.
- Quite a lot could be done to improve tennis in Jersey, in my opinion. There is currently no regular inter-club competition in the Island, which is staggering, and this is hindering the game’s growth. Competition at any level is what motivates most people as it gives them something to aim towards.
- I’ve broken a few rackets and had a few ‘McEnroe’ moments. I can’t say I am proud of it but when I was younger I used to be a nightmare on the court. I was ultra competitive and didn’t take losing too well. (My parents can vouch for that.) Luckily, I grew out of the tantrums...
- Jersey is the best place that I have lived. You only appreciate it properly when you go abroad. As a tourist the best place is New Zealand. The outdoor lifestyle there is awesome.
- My parents taught me to always give 100% and to never give up. You play a sport because you enjoy it and want to improve.
- Do something you enjoy. Enjoyment and success in most cases go hand in hand.
- I fear for the future because there are a lot of kids out there spending too much time sitting down and looking at a screen.
- You can’t beat a beer on a sunny day at the Farmers’ Cricket Ground in St Martin. A lot of hard work has gone into making it a great sporting venue.
- My favourite time of the day is dinner time. When you are always keeping active then that goes hand in hand with always wanting to eat!
- My favourite word is ‘grind’. Watch Rafa Nadal play on clay courts and you will see what I mean...
- The thing that makes me competitive is that there is always likely to be someone who is better than you at something – therefore there is always a benchmark. That’s why Roger Federer is so admirable. He has won everything there is, but still keeps on winning. The fact he loves the game so much also plays a big part.
- I don’t like people who give up and who are dishonest. Winning by cheating surely can’t be satisfying.
- If I could create one law it would be for the Government to fund fruit and vegetables. People choose to eat unhealthily because it is not only easier but also far cheaper. You can buy a processed pizza for £1, but a pack of tomatoes costs you £3. Scandalous.
- My biggest regret in life is throwing tantrums when I played in tennis competitions as a junior. I guess now that I am coaching mini and junior players I have to have some degree of patience – otherwise I am being a hypocrite!
- The thing that makes me happiest is when you put in hard work and get the rewards.
The Tennis Hub is holding an open day on Monday 2 April which is free to attend. To sign up, visit clubspark.lta.org.uk/thetennishub/events