Tennis talk

Nicole Pratt Wins Inaugural ‘Flory Award’

In honoring the life of beloved former WTA tour coach and ATP tour player Andrew Florent, last week the WTCA named its 'Spirit of Coaching' award after him. At the WTCA Conference NYC, Nicole Pratt was named the winner of the inaugural 'Flory Award'. Fittingly, the Australian Fed Cup captain was once Flory's mixed doubles partner. The WTCA board nominated 6…

Using Doubles for Singles

As we all know tennis is a unique sport. It however can become even more unique when you take a look at singles and doubles, and see how they can be so different. Variations between singles and doubles include, scoring system, tactics, as well as different mental and physical efforts. Many singles players don't want to play doubles, in order to save…

Lindsay Davenport Heads Up WTCA Conference NYC

Lindsay Davenport was always a standout. Her all court ability became apparent early in her playing career. As junior she won the 1992 US Open junior event and the 1992 Australian Open junior doubles title. Davenport would go on to reach the number one ranking in the world in both singles and doubles, a feat very rarely achieved. After her…

What’s With The Shoes? – Moving on Grass

The main draw of Wimbledon started earlier today. The third major of the year, in today’s game, is quite unique. Apart from having to wear all white (and indulging in champagne and strawberries during the men’s and women’s finals), this slam is played on the historic grass courts of the All England Club. There was a time when 3 of…

Monitoring a Players Training Load

There’s no secret that tennis is demanding. How demanding? That's tough to say. I mean, how do we measure the intensity and stress of a practice or match? Furthermore, what about all the other things players do to prepare for competition - like weight training, plyometrics, med ball exercises, stretches and more!?! Traditionally, time on court has been the go…

When runners-up is actually a massive victory – Celebrating Ash Barty and Casey Dellacqua

Sometimes coming in second best doesn't actually mean you didn't win, in fact Casey Dellacqua and Ashley Barty were winners today in Paris. They fought valiantly in the Roland Garros doubles final today, where they were out played by the number one seeds Lucie Safarova and Bethany Mattek Sands, the final score being 6/2 6/1. It many not be the…

Jaimee Fourlis Wins Last Wildcard into Roland Garros

It was a great battle today today in Paris on the Jean-Bouin courts. Two young Australian's vying for the last main draw valid card into the main draw at Roland Garros. Fourlis got out of the gates quickly with penetrating backhands going cross-court through the side line. The first few games of the second set were very tight, with Jaimee…

Female Tennis Demands Explosiveness

A little while back I wrote an article about strength training for tennis. More specifically, I wrote that physical training for tennis should stop focusing on “fancy drills” and start targeting specific & relevant qualities to today’s game. This was highlighted by an article outlining Azarenka’s off-court regime - which comprised of heavier strength & power training. In this post,…

Practicing Gratitude – Maintaining a growth perspective

Gratitude is a great way to keep things in perspective. Successful coaches appreciate that coaching is a journey. A fixation on results only hampers a coach’s ability to be effective. Practicing gratitude means taking the time to reflect upon what we are thankful for. As coaches, we have the privilege of helping others. Keeping a journal or travel notes is…

How fast should you swing at a second serve?

All serves can, and should be, hit with identical technique and a fast swing speed. Sound crazy? It’s not. First and second serves are often taught and thought of as 2 different strokes. This approach makes the already difficult stroke more physically complicated and mentally stressful, especially for women. Swing speed on first and second serve should be the same,…

First serve please

  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the serve in the modern game is important. In the past, this was mostly true on the men’s side, but today, female tour players can hit bombs just as well. And although there’s a saying in the tennis world that goes something like “you’re only as good as your…

Breaking through – Julia Boserup into top 100

A lot of great things have happened in Julia Boserup's career since teaming up with coach Raj Chaudhuri 12 months ago. After her first major break through in 2016, Boserup told the L.A times that she couldn't really say how or why she broke through, but teaming up with Raj appears to have been the catalyst in her charge up…

Being a self-promoter

These days, one of the first places an employer looks is at the social media pages of a prospective athlete. Coaches must think carefully about political posts and pictures they decide to share with the world, and most importantly, the way they discuss women’s tennis. Social media can be a great way for a coach to build a profile. Many…

Davenport leads a surge in female coaches

The wheels have started to turn in professional tennis coaching. Historically, WTA tour players have been coached almost exclusively by male coaches. Now in 2017, things are starting to change. For top players, it's not always an immediate transition from playing to coaching. Sitting court side and playing every point without any control of the outcome is an adjustment, even…

The most important seat in the crowd

It’s not always in the coaches’ box on a stadium court, but in a players mind their coach’s seat is usually the most important one in the crowd. A coach’s role during matches is pivotal. Though they are not allowed to coach from the sidelines, the coach often plays a crucial part in the result of the match. Of course coaches…

When should juniors play up

The majority of junior parents were not professional tennis players so will look to seek answers for the correct tournament pathway from various sources. A question many coaches get is should my daughter be playing up? Playing up means a junior player competes in a tournament against older athletes or higher ranked athletes. It really depends on the situation. Sometimes players are…

The journey after a coaching partnership

It was September 10, 2011 when I watched Samantha Stosur dismantle a stunned Serena Williams in the final of the U.S. Open. This time around I was watching it on the big screen with a couple of friends at a sports bar in Denver. It's a lot different watching the match on TV compare to court side. As the coach you…

College recruiting – A student athletes nightmare

Junior year marks the beginning of a whole new world for a competitive tennis player. When September 1st rolls around, every athlete is fighting for a spot and a chance to prove their worth. College coaches become the most important people in their lives, and nothing takes precedence over finding the perfect school. This process of finding a player's perfect…

How to Choose the Right School

Choosing the perfect college is the first major and possibly life-altering decision a student athlete ever faces. This decision not only determines the player's home for 4 years, but also involves social pressure, academic needs, and tennis opportunity. Basically, this decision encompasses every aspect of a junior tennis player's life. While the gravity of this choice is quite blatant, the…