Friday, July 9, 2010

So You Want To Be A Pro Tennis Player- Part 2 Finding a Good Tennis Coach

Let me first say there are coaches and there are coaches.Finding a good coach is very hard to find, there are a lot of factors that you need from a coach but the most important one is honesty.Now the problem is at times A good coach will be quite honest and frank with you but can you accept things that you may not necessary want to hear and that in the end will depend how far you go with your tennis.Over the course of your tennis career you may have 2-3 coaches that will play important roles in your development, that's because their are very few coaches that can "coach all" as your ability increases.If you happen to have a coach that is experienced to be able to deliver at various stages of a tennis players growth  make sure you pay that person very well because it will in the end save you a lot of time and a lot of money. Here are a few examples of coaches you should be wary of.

Dollar and Sense Coaches
These coaches look no further than their bank account and will be very good at talking ,giving you false goals and mostly telling you what you want to hear.

Nick Bollettieri Wanna Be
Usually dressed in their best tennis attire, huge ball basket, Lots of target cones ,ladders etc and have only been at best a B grade club player with no playing or tennis hitting skills and usually has another full-time job.

Look At Me I'm Sandra Dee
Coach has the shades, perfectly groomed hair and walks around drinking an evian bottled water.Is very much an I person, I did this, I won this,I am the greatest!Usually found smashing lobs in a practical demonstration over the fence or at the pupils .....see my power!

The Librarian/Mr Degree
Has read every tennis book ever written and probably has a degree in human movement.Unable to distinguish statistics and theory to real life tennis situations.Usually teaches the one size fits all approach.

The Young Buck
Just out of Level 1 exams and has eyes only for the Next Wimbledon champion wont realize this may not ever happen until later in life and will suffer lots of disappointments along the way.

The Magician
The coach ready to teach a "kick serve" to his group of intermediate students still struggling with a basic technique concept.They often see a John McEnroe serve then the next day are found teaching it in their class.Have absolutely no idea on progression.

The Shark
The worst kind "preys " on players that are coached by someone else.Starts chats with parents when their child is losing a match and telling them how they see flaws in their child's technique.Makes comments but never speaks to the individual coach of the player concerned.

Basically my advice get a good knowledgeable coach sound on technique and sound on tactics and is disciplined in their approach and what is needed from the player to reach a high level.Make sure they have had success.Needs to have a strong sense on what is out there and that means not in your local comfort zone environment but world wide.Is prepared to give you the individual attention that is needed which transgresses to time.Make sure they have the experienced needed to help your career.I once worked with a player that had some ability good athletic skills and was a late developer,they needed to sacrifice a few things to go the next step but compared themselves already to a Nadal or Federer not coming to terms that those players had already made sacrifices to get to where they are.As a coach and working with tennis players this side of the world getting them to realize how hard it is too make it as a pro player and what  commitment level is needed to make a pro tennis player is the hardest aspect to deliver.Good coaches are a dime a dozen make sure you keep them once you find them.

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