A little history on Mitchell Deetlefs and how it came about that he took over as principal of CF Tennis in 2021, at the time when Chris Folker was immigrating to the UK.
Mitchell’s personal tennis background is one of a local boy who captained Maritzburg College Tennis in 2011 and then went on to represent the 1st team tennis at TUKS. However, his coaching history and development is where he prides myself.
Mitch started his tennis coaching career as a under 10 coach at the TUKS tennis club while helping to run their squads. From there he coached at several locations across Pretoria, gaining experience while completing his honours degree in Human Movement Science, at the University of Pretoria. During his time at University, he was appointed the Conditioning Coach of the TUKS 1st Tennis Team, as well as still being a player. During his Honours year he had the privilege to work and intern at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria where he gained invaluable experience aiding him with the foundation as a Sports Scientist and a Tennis Coach. To expand on this experience, he worked with players ranked in the top 100 in the International Tennis Federation under 18’s as well as 2 Paralympic wheelchair tennis players. He also conducting conditioning testing and training for many top teams, which include but not limited to Bulls Rugby under 21’s, Kaizer Chiefs training squads, Super Sport United 1st Team and the South African Olympic Rowing team.
During his studies and conditioning work, he continued to coach tennis and attend Tennis South Africa courses. By the end of his four years Honours Degree program, he simultaneously completed his Tennis South Africa Qualifications as a Play & Stay Coach, National Instructor Qualification, and his Advanced Instructor course.
Mitch joined CF Tennis in January of 2017 where he coached for 4 years, during this time he worked his way up to be one of the head coaches. He coached several schools and individual players who represented Midlands and KZN Tennis in their respective age groups.
After the 2020 locked down, he moved to Dubai for an opportunity to continue to grow and develop his skills. This was intended to be a temporary move (2 years) as he was contracted and Chris at CF Tennis and he had an arrangement to come back as this aided in his growth as a coach thus benefiting the academy.
Mitch’s new role in Dubai was for a Tennis Academy called Tennis 360 (one of the largest Tennis Academies in Dubai). This Senior position’s responsibilities included, managing of his own leagues and Tennis Club. This allowed him to gain more knowledge in the running of a successful academy and tennis program in an innovative way, as well as exposing himself to a variety of people and tennis backgrounds. These new and demanding challenges helped mould him into the professional coach he has become. Whilst in Dubai he was approached by Chris, and this is when the journey of purchasing CF tennis started.
Upon taking over CF Tennis, we have been working to innovate Tennis Coaching as a team. We are achieving this as an academy by taking things further; as there is predominately a focus on technique only. We as an academy are striving to re-develop our players strategic thinking and mental strength allowing them to be more competitive and providing them with everyday skills. In the Beginning of the 2023, we had two of our under 12 & 14 girls ranked in the top 10 in the country in their respective age groups. One of these girls is currently being ranked around 2500 in the world in under 18 category (at just the age of 13).
“2023 marks a decade of me being a tennis coach and having experienced and achieved what I already have I can proudly say I am very optimistic for the growth of this tennis academy and Midlands tennis as a whole. “ a comment from Coach Mitch