Like mother like son for tennis team
DESPITE a gruelling coaching schedule that spans two continents, one half of the mother-son duo behind JJK Complete Tennis always makes sure he has time for home.
Tennis runs in the family for Jenny and Jamie Kirkman who together founded the Cannonvale-based coaching business.
Now, Mrs Kirkman holds down the fort at Tennis Whitsunday in Cannonvale while her son spreads his skills abroad.
Mr Kirkman relocated to the United States to pursue professional coaching seven years ago and is now based in Florida where he runs a small academy and travels around Europe as a consultant for other coaches.
“Ten years ago, I wanted to be the best at coaching, and I knew I had to go abroad to do it,” he said.
“I started coaching here but coaching over there is a very different demographic.
“Here is more beginners, whereas over in the US I’m working with some of the best juniors in the country right to touring professionals.”
Mr Kirkman originally held aspirations to play tennis professionally, but after a shoulder injury at 16 he instead followed in his mother’s footsteps and took up coaching.
Mrs Kirkman was proud of her son’s determination to take his coaching overseas but was happy to have him home and learn a trick or two.
“Even though he isn’t physically doing coaching we go over some training things for myself because I also want to be the best coach that one can possibly be,” she said.
“I go over to him and see the different academies and when he comes out here, we line up a day for training for me.”
Mr Kirkman’s stint back home will only be for two weeks, but he looked forward to taking some time out while keeping an eye on the Australian Open.
Meanwhile, Mrs Kirkman was just happy to have her son home.
“It was a dream of ours that we coach together, and obviously when Jamie was offered the opportunity overseas he took it,” she said.
“But of course it’s good to have him home – I’m a mother!”
Limited coaching session with Mr Kirkman are available. For expression of interest, contact 0418 866 808.