Player Pathway Overview

There are two interdependent stages to the Player Pathway, the National Performance Stage and the Pro Tour Stage. These stages are dedicated to nurturing the most promising players to become champions at all levels of national and international tennis.

Players start at the National Performance stage, which normally covers development in an age specific training environment from ages 7 to 14 years. It encompasses training from a local level (Local Player Development Centres) to regional level (Regional Player Development Centres). These centres run age specific programmes which are supported by the National Age Group Programme for players aged 10 to 14 years.

Selected players then progress to the Pro Tour Stage which normally starts at age 13 or 14, with the frequency and intensity of training and competition increasing. National Academies (normally for players aged 13-18) are the first step of the Pro Tour Stage and are supported by the National Age Group Programme. This prepares players for the Pro Scholarship Programme, a stepping stone from junior to professional tennis.

The final stage of the Player Pathway is for those singles players who reach the world’s top 100 and doubles players who reach the world’s top 32 in the ATP/WTA rankings. These players will become eligible for Elite Support.

Players can enter the Player Pathway through Local Player Development Centres and Regional Player Development Centres, but other programmes within the Player Pathway are on a selection basis only.

The table below illustrates the programmes that exist across the Player Pathway and the training environments available for players depending on the stage they are at.

Age group

Stage of Player Pathway

LTA Player Pathway programmes and Training Environments

7-10 years

National Performance Stage

  • Local Player Development Centres

  • County Training

10-14 years

National Performance Stage

  • Regional Player Development Centres

  • County Training*

  • Regional Training

  • National Age Group Programme (U12 and U14)

14+ years

Pro Tour Stage

  • National Academies (14-18 years)

  • National Age Group Programme (14-21 years)

  • Pro Scholarship Programme (16+ years)

  • Elite Support (open)

*County Training may continue until the age of 18.

Player Development Philosophy

Individual player development is at the heart of every programme. This starts with developing a strong all-court game and then working toward a clearly defined world-class game style.

We want to ensure expectations of what it takes to become one of the best in the world at a chosen game style is clearly defined between each player and their coach. To support this the LTA is developing evidence based age and stage specific profiles for each game style. Our Player Development Philosophy covers a broad range of individual development factors and is underpinned by:

  • Head - good decision making and problem solving; players stay focused and find ways to win

  • Heart - resilient performer who competes unconditionally

  • Legs - movement & athleticism positively influences the outcome of matches

  • Weapons - excellent technique & shot making consistent with game style