Here at HSTC we are extremely fortunate to have a top-class coaching team, led of course by Matt McTurk. Read on to learn more about Matt and his career.
Matt was born in Dublin, but moved to Leeds when he was six, so can be considered a proper Yorkshireman in most circles. He started playing tennis at 12 – quite late when compared to kids these days.
As a child he was pretty good at all sports and was picked to represent his school in various teams – “but I wasn’t that passionate about them, which is maybe why tennis appealed to me as an individual sport” he says.
He joined St Chads tennis club in Headingley, and later Chapel Allerton in Leeds. “I became hooked for life - my idol growing up was Boris Becker and I tried to play like him and copy his game style”.
After playing at County Junior level, he earned his first cap for the Yorkshire Senior team in 1991. Later that year he travelled to the USA, attending Brunswick Junior College (ranked number 2 college in the nation) on a tennis scholarship.
In 1994 he returned to the UK where he played professionally on the British Tour and Futures Circuit. He also played German League tennis and spent several months in Australia coaching and playing on the Futures Circuit there.
“I beat a few world-ranked players back then, but no one famous unfortunately. I never achieved a world ranking but got very close competing in what was then called the satellite circuit”.
“My strengths were definitely my serve and volley game” he says, but my baseline game was relatively weaker and playing on slower surfaces didn’t really suit my game style”.
Matt started his Harrogate coaching business – now Strive – in 2015 when the new HSTC facilities were launched. Strive has now grown to three venues and a team of three full time coaches and around 12 assistant coaches – a true success story.
He believes in developing a strong work ethic with his players, and in helping all players maximise their potential both on and off the court.
For aspiring younger players he says – “my advice would be to find a coach who cares and who focusses on process and long-term development of your game – and above all enjoy the process”.