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The Team


John Thompson, MSc, MA (Director)

 John has been a highly successful tennis coach, having coached players to Wimbledon and worked all around the world. It was over 10 years ago when he was the Head Tennis coach at Loughborough University that he first felt the power of working with parents in sport. A few key conversations between himself, the child and the parent made the difference between the child continually crying during matches and underperforming to going into matches happy and performing to his best. To help learn more about these kind of interventions John followed his Loughborough Sports Science degree with a Masters in Psychology and Philosophy. He then spent a few years taking this work out of sport and set up an internationally recognised project for street children in Delhi and published work in a Parenting Magazine. Over the past 4 years he’s been running a leading Tennis academy where he set up a parental support programme that ParentsinSports.com has now grown out of. The parental support has been a significant factor behind the success of the academy which boasts a world class programme for young children. During this time he also completed comprehensive apprenticeship and certification training as a business coach and is now a fully certified Integral coach. If you have any queries please email me on john@parentsinsports.com.

 

Sean Wilkinson, MA (Head of Coaching)

Sean Wilkinson has been a successful Performance Tennis Coach for over 10 years. He performed to a high standard as an athlete in rugby, football and tennis before becoming a coach. He has predominantly worked in England with county to national athletes from 5-18 years old and has international experience in Asia. In this time he has been focused on understanding the best way to support both the athletic and psychological wellbeing of athletes through sport. This led to him seeing the fundamental importance of working closely with parents as central to the successful development of athletes. Sean is a Senior Qualified Tennis coach, with badges in football and rugby. He also has a Sports Science degree that majored in sports psychology. Seeing that more was needed in order to make a real impact on parents led him to expand his training into other schools which were aiming to help adults develop. Therefore he completed an MA in philosophy and psychology and a Post-Graduate Certification in Counselling and Psychotherapy. The most important training for work with parents was the Integral Coaching Qualification. This methodology combines the great insights from psychology, counselling, leadership and coaching and creates a powerful and comprehensive programme to help adults navigate the complex problems in their lives. Sean has a proven track record in helping parents feel better about their role and how to move forward to the benefit of their child. Importantly, through the coaching process parents can also start to feel the direct benefits in their own lives which then becomes a great way to inspire and empathise with their children. Clients have continually found the coaching to bring clarity to situations that seem to have no way of being resolved and opened new ways of doing things that are rewarding. If you have any queries please email me on sean@parentsinsports.com.

 

Alexandros Tsakiris, MSc, PhD (Head of Sporting Excellence)

Dr. Alexandros Tsakiris was a former national junior tennis champion. He has a BSc and an MSc in Sports Sciences and Health and his PhD was focused in children’s Physiology and Biomechanics. Since then his studies have focused more on how social influences such as parenting can impact sporting performance in children. After his studies he worked for two years in a Cardiological Clinic helping patients rehabilitate from Cardiac diseases. Throughout this time he helped patients follow a more holistic approach to their health with great results. He is a fully qualified and experienced tennis coach having worked in Greece and around the UK and his main passion is developing children and adults as humans alongside their tennis so they are left closer to their full potential. During the years he has been working with individuals he realized that their success in life and more specifically in their overall performance is dependent not only in physiological and psychological factors but in social factors as well. So in his current role as a top performance tennis coach he started working closely in the relationship between parents and athletes and qualified as an Integral coach to help facilitate this. Being a part of this project he has experienced how small changes in a parent can affect a child’s performance in a significant way.

 

Nuno Matos, MSc, PhD

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Nuno Matos worked within the team for 2.5 years as our head of research. His PhD looked into overtraining and burnout from an interdisciplinary perspective which highlighted the important need to work with the parents of athletes. His work has been published in international peer reviewed journals – PubMed database. During his time with Parents in sports he researched our parental coaching programme and co-produced an academic journal article showing its benefits.