It’s easy to find a tennis coach. But how do you know if they are the right choice, what should players be looking for when it comes to hiring a new coach? Although there is no magic formula and sometimes doing a few on-court sessions is the only way to evaluate the situation, here are a few tips that helped me find the right coach!
Top 5 Things People Should Look For In A Coach:
For me, I believe passion is the most important thing for a coach to have. They need to be passionate about the sport and helping people. This is a quality that is extremely evident with my coach, Ann Grossman (Your WTCA President 🙂 ). Without the love and desire to spread their knowledge about the game, it’s difficult to be inspired by that person and want to grow as a player. One can be an exceptional player but not a good coach, vice versa, or be both. Therefore, a coach’s passion for the sport and willingness to constantly learn will make them a better coach and ultimately help you as a player.
A coach must genuinely care about the development of the player. They cannot simply be ‘another player’ to fill the court sheets nor another check for the coach to deposit. The coach should want and do what is best for their player and care about how their player is doing (not just on the court).
Trust is truly the foundation of any relationship. It is extremely difficult to move forward in a coach-player relationship without trust. The player should fully trust and believe in the advice of their coach. You probably see this person more than you see your own family (if you’re on tour most definitely), so make sure you trust what they’re teaching you. It’s hard to improve your game if you believe one thing, yet your coach is telling you something different. Being on the same page is key.
This one is the one I’m working on the most. I’ve learned (and am continuing to learn) that communication between the coach and player is essential. Whether it be about the player’s game, how they’re feeling physically/mentally, or even something as simple as what time practice is, communication should be at the forefront of all relationships.
Passion, care, trust, and communication are great qualities to have in a coach, but they mean nothing if the coach isn’t committed. Ensuring the coach can give you the necessary attention and time you need to develop your game is imperative to a player’s growth. They should be as committed, if not more, to making you a better player and person.
I added one more because I couldn’t choose just five. The player, along with their coach, should like being out on the court with each other. If it’s not fun for you, then the feeling is probably mutual on the other side of the net. Tedious practices will not get you excited to wake up every day and play your sport, so make sure it’s enjoyable for you AND the coach.