You have a lot of important things to know about being a tennis coach especially at a low level when it’s even more important to have an expert and someone you can trust when the level of playing isn’t good yet.
Most of the nowadays champions grew up with their family either been tennis players themselves or training with very important coaches around the world. Some examples go to Roberto Carretero, the first coach of Nadal who helped him to move from 361 to 171 ATP position.
Later on, Nadal worked under the wing of his uncle. Toni Nadal, and continued the collaboration for many years till 2016 when he added another former nr.1, Carlos Moya. Roger Federer instead had also a very professional and prepared coach for the first year of his career, Peter Carter till his death in 2002. Talking about the new generation of players we can mention Stefanos Tsitsipas, nr.5 in the world who has since a very early age his mother and father (ex-tennis players as coaches).
How to Become a Tennis Coach
To be able to reach high levels of coaching throughout your career you need to be up to date with the coaching techniques and you need to follow the basic courses to become a tennis coach. Here they differentiate by level, whether you were already a Pro player or not might change the way you’d be able to become a coach, and so on. Following that you would need practice possibly in your local tennis club or a camp and assist another tennis coach before being able to complete the exam, get the certification and start to coach.
What are the important things to know about being a tennis coach
There are some important things to know about being a tennis coach and some of them are fundamental to attract players in their choice. Don’t forget is always the player to choose the coach and not vice versa.
- Always try to make the lesson, challenge, and workout fun and not solely focusing on the professional side. Remember early ages and during the teenager years the tennis player evolves but he still needs gaming and fun environment around him/her.
- Keep yourself ahead of the competition (plenty of other coaches are out there) and take courses, learn new techniques of teaching, and be inspired by them. At the end of the day, you need to act like a teacher as well.
- Engage with them and push their play to the limits. While it seems easy to see it is much more difficult to find a strategy to let this work. You have to plan, train, and challenge and see the results.
- Follow a mentor. There are always going to be tennis coaches more experienced than you and, as a result, you should follow some of them as your inspirational coaches.
- Give constant feedback and set targets for the tennis player to reach. This will benefit not only the player to stay focus but also you on the ladder of learning
- Always listen first and then motivate. Your player must know he can trust you and share with you any secret, worry, uncomfortable he goes through while playing. Both the mental and the technical sides are very important if you want to raise your tennis level constantly.
- Put some rules as you remain their coach at the end of the day so you should be respected and admired.
Will Tennis Coaching Change in the Future
The tennis sport has a peculiarity that doesn’t exist in most of the other sports and it’s the coaching. If you think about other sports of the same popularity such as basketball, volleyball, football sometimes all have the coaches able to give live information, support, tactics to their players whether in a game stop situation on in a time-out, with the case being for basketball. Tennis cannot. Not yet.
The example comes from a 2018 episode with Serena Williams and her coach inside the Arthur Ashe stadium for the final of the US Open. The coach, Patrick Mouratoglu after Serena lost the first set against Naomi Osaka out his hands in front of him miming the movement ‘forward’. This was happening within few seconds but was enough for the umpire to spot it and assign a code violation for illegal coaching. After the match, he admitted it was the gesture to be punished but he opened a debate on why tennis is still stuck with this old rule.
The debate, of course, divided the traditionalist, conservative, and the modern, progressive way to enjoy tennis. He said, ‘’ I don’t understand why tennis is almost the only sport where the coach doesn’t have any right to share his opinion during the match’’, ‘’ coaching he continues, is a vital essence of any sport and should be regarded as part of it’’.
His opinion is not wrong, quite the opposite if we check how the evolution of sports is going towards the tech direction with VAR, virtual assistance referee in football in all Europe and even the hawkeye moved to that direction in tennis. So why not allowing coaches to support, suggest and improve the game of a player during the match?
To have a clear situation the conservative says tennis is a sport where the players should resolve their technical and mental problems by themselves as it always happened in the court while on the contrary coaching would bring more fun to the broadcasting who will see the reactions live off the players and more ‘interesting’ talking on the court. As an experiment since 2008 WTA was allowed to have the introduction once per set upon request, of their coach for a consultation.
It was mostly done for the broadcast and it’s however valid for all major tournaments apart from the Grand Slams. To confirm these ideas the fact that every coach must wear a microphone when they The WTA didn’t accept it with positivity, still, it adds some discussable moments between coaches and players.
Nowadays, a decade later still the circuit is unsure whether this is a positive evolution or whether it can just sell the audience but not improving the game. In the last years however we were lucky enough to admire the exchange of opinions between Simona Halep and Darren Cahill, Garbine Muguruza, and Sam Sumyk.
Recently some of the last interviews on the most popular players restarted the debate as some of them want to introduce the coaches on the court while a few are still trying to resist the changes. Most likely as all the other sports are picking up with technology and new ideas to make it more entertaining the format this on-court coaching will be happening soon.
To Sum Up:
We talk about the important things to know about being a tennis coach at the beginning and you should keep in mind if you want to start this profession and take it to another level being great with people, love them and understand them is pretty much as important as the preparation. The role itself isn’t only technical the one of a trainer but a guide, a teacher most of the time. So keep in mind these important things to know about being a tennis coach.
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