Tennis coaches should have a system in place that helps every players that comes through that system, to reach their full potential.
They should then keep improving on their systems, by adding ideas and getting rid of things that don’t work, the coaching goal is to stay on top of your system, to make sure it works for all of your players.(No one gets a pass)
Here are 5 things you should think about if you want to build a great system for your program.
1). Study great coaches
Study great coaches like Oscar , Vic, and others, who have been successful with their teachings.
I study and refer back to all of these guys daily to stay on top of my coaching game.
I also would recommend you read Jim Loehr’s books and his teachings on the important of energy and the role it plays in every tennis player’s success or failures, he has a great book out called,” The Power of Engagement.”
Study great coaches in others sports too, and synthesize their teachings with great tennis coaches.
Then stay congruent with their coaching philosophies and even try to build on them.
2). Learn to communicate better
Master the art of communicating, by mastering the art of questioning.
The person that knows how to question others to get what they want, is always the one who is controlling the conversation and many coaches just don’t like listening.
I’m still working on this problem myself, but at least I’m getting better at it, after talking with other coaches on this topic, it seems like this is a lifelong process, that you have to keep working on.
I have notice though, the more I improve on my ability to question parents and students and listen with an intent to understand them, the better I communicate with them.
The keys to communicating better with others, is to be sensitive and concern when talking with them,because people can sense how much you care, so always keep it real when you are dealing with parents and players.
3). Drop The Ego
This should be number 1, the ego effects a lot of coaches and they don’t even know it.
Coaches want it to be about them, but it is call about the players, your job is to help them get that tennis scholarship and see how far the can take their tennis careers, it’s not about you taking credit for their success!
Looking at other sports and you see that in every case, it became all about them,for example,” it’s not Alabama’s college football,” It’s now Nick Saban’s team or it’s not Duke basketball anymore, it’s all about coach K”.
These guys are great coaches and we know that, but they should never upstage the sport they are coaching.
So lose the ego!
4). Use practice to build their foundation
Your system for practice should be to use repetitions and have your players keep adjusting their strokes and their game base patterns for play.
Try new things to keep your players motivated and help them discover their playing styles, every players is on a self-discovery journey and our job is to go along with them on that journey, by questioning and listening to them, to get our coaching points across.
Evaluate your training system every 3 months and look to upgrade in areas were you need to, also eliminate everything that is not helping the cause.
See if you can have your practice system working like a well oil machine and keep it that way.
All the great coaches have done it.
5). No players gets a pass
My high school coach practiced this and it’s one reason he was a great coach that not many people new about, except in the local Missouri Valley area.
He told every players that played for him that, “He wouldn’t give them a pass to fail.”
This is a great attitude to have when coaches young kids, because with this mindset you are letting them know from the get go, that you have FIATH in them and that they can rely on yours, until theirs can kick in!!!
Now think were US tennis would be now, if more coaches brought this type of attitude to the table, I know, I think about it all the time!
Read those 5 again and then get to work on modifying your system or creating one, use this as a blueprint for your system.
The thing about any system is, we can improve on the one we have, by exposing ourselves to as much information as we can.
Let me add one more thing, tennis coaches have to take more pride in their work, so we can start growing the game more worldwide, if tennis isn’t your passion, then find out what your passion is and go do it.
You only get one shot at this thing called life,so follow your PASSION!