Personalize coaching
Do your homework on each junior
In today’s society, the emphasis on sports continues to accelerate. Coaches are starting with players much earlier and athletes are expected to blossom sooner than in the past.

Demands on young players start as early as age 8. So by the time juniors have finished their second year of 18s, they already have been playing tennis for 10 years.

Many juniors go through multiple coaches throughout their playing careers and each time a coach is brought in, the learning process begins. The coach, parent(s) and player should communicate before the lessons begin in regard to expectations. This will help the coach when making decisions about the direction of the player’s development.

Being a good coach translates into more than understanding the game; that is just one part of the puzzle. Learning your players’ personalities, expectations, habits, and, in some cases, their history with other coaches, will enhance the coach/player relationship. The more time spent together, the more that learning process develops.

As coaches, we must realize that we have to wear many different hats. Some days we assume the role of friend, while other days we serve as a more authoritative figure. And we have to know when to make that change.

Practice may end up being a waste of time when a player is having a bad day and the coach is very demanding, never giving an inch. Coaches who can sense a problem and make the necessary adjustments will get more out of their players.

Some players need verbal reinforcement, while others may not, but as the coach you must know what buttons to push to bring the players’ talents out.

In summary, communication, observation and information are keys to keeping a healthy and productive relationship between coach and player.

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