Get To Know Your Pro! – Darius Tolkien-Spurr

The third in our monthly blog feature blog Get to Know Your Pro. Each month a different tennis pro will shares some insight into their passion and motivations for being involved in tennis. This month’s feature coach is Darius Tolkien-Spurr.

Full Name: Darius Tolkien-Spurr

Date of Birth: Sept 23, 1985

Coaching Credentials: Club Pro 1 Certified

Playing History/Titles: Played competitively as a junior.

When did you start playing tennis? I started getting into tennis when I was about 8 or 9 years old.

What do you love most about tennis?  Tennis is a sport for life that can keep you physically and mentally fit. Anyone can enjoy playing or watching tennis.

What do you enjoy most about being a tennis coach? It rarely feels like work because being a coach is fun! No matter what age or skill level, anyone can have success and have fun. It is very rewarding to help a student train and see them play more effectively and/or fuel their passion for the game.

Tell us about the most memorable match your have played in? As a junior, I remember playing a match against an opponent who had a lower skill level than I did. Even though I out-classed him with speed and technique, I lost the match because he played a smarter game than I did. After that, the importance of tactics before technique and the mental aspects of tennis really sunk in more concretely.

What skill do you find most enjoyable to teach? I like teaching all aspects of the game, but if I had to choose one skill, I enjoy teaching people how to serve.

What is the biggest challenge you face in coaching? Being a good coach is a never-ending endeavor. You are always trying to learn more and hone your skills to be more effective.

What about the most memorable match you have ever watched? On TV: The epic 2008 Wimbledon final between Federer and Nadal. In person: All the Davis cup matches held here at UBC in 2012 were unforgettable!

Who is your favorite famous tennis player and why? Growing up, Pete Sampras was my favourite player – I wanted to have a great serve, just like him. But throughout the last decade, Federer has proven himself to be one of the greatest players of all time, and a great role model for players today.

If you were to describe yourself as tennis shot, which would it be and why? I’m most like an ace. I don’t know why though, it just sounds like a good shot to be like.