Tennis CLUB PROgramme Ltd 'A CLUB PRO in every Tennis CLUB PROgramme'
Tennis CLUB PROgramme Ltd 'A CLUB PRO in every Tennis CLUB PROgramme'

10 Commandments for a tennis coach

1 Have Fun and Enjoy it

The main reason you started playing tennis yourself was because you loved the game, both as a player and a spectator. You need to portray that feeling to your pupils.

 

2 Always be reliable

Make sure you keep to your booking appointments and ensure that you arrive early. This means being on court ready to start BEFORE the timeslot you have booked. Even if you are feeling under the weather, try to complete the lesson and avoid cancellations.

 

Always put the client first

This simply means putting the clients needs above yours. For example, you choose the worst end of the court (wind, sun, wet court surface etc.) Ask them if they are ok if you are unsure of how they feel on court. 

 

Teach something, do not just play

Make sure you have a lesson plan in your head or on paper. Or ask the pupil what they would like to work on for the session. Ensure that you teach a skill that they can take with them when they leave the court. Make sure you have a clear and defined plan.

 

Show your passion for the sport.

Try and say ‘Yes’ to opportunities in front of you.

Passion can be felt and seen by all those around you on court. Make sure you convey your love for the job you are doing, do not moan, critisize or generally be a grouch on court. Be happy, you have a fantastic life as a tennis coach! If opportunities come your way like a new job, career move, coaching education offers then say "Yes!" be keen to improve yourself. Only say "No" if it really is not the best thing for you.

 

Strive to be the best you can be, do not settle for mediocrity

If you always do your best then you cannot feel bad about what you have tried. Enjoy the progressions of teaching a pupil a skill of the game. If you waste time just using up the hour slot of a lesson then you will become bored and so will your pupil. Irrespective of your coaching qualifications, your on court actions will speak volumes about you as a coach.

 

7 Learn from everything you do, everything you see and everything people say (good or bad)

Learn and listen to comments. You may agree or disagree with them but use them to develop "you" as a tennis coach. Everyone likes praise and this also applies the other way to your pupils, but a critique can also make you a better person and a better coach. It is like winning and losing, everyone wants to win (praise) but you learn more from losing (critique). If you feel the session you gave was below a certain level of expectation for you, then next time be aware of improving it. You are only as good as your last lesson.

 

8 Be patient with customers

You as a tennis coach have acquired the skills to play tennis better than most of your pupils. Do not "show off your skills" to a point where they feel intimidated by your "greatness" but do show them off in a way that the pupil wants to "be like you" on court. Their skill levels may often be much lower than yours and your patience to take the time to teach them well even if they appear to not have the required ability to achieve the skill you are attempting to teach. Use different methods to "get the job done."

 

Do not take things personally.

Take all points on-board. Make sure you fix any issues!

As a coach you will grow throughout your career if you listen. It is very easy as a coach to be the one doing all of the talking, but your ability to listen is your greater asset. Your pupil may require a certain response level from you to help them develop. If you are a "command coach" in other words a screamer and a shouter, they may not respond to this. If you are a more "passive coach" offering an occasional comment, they may ask for more than that. If they are a complete beginner and you are a "performance specific coach" who over explains every little detail, they may prefer more basic steps that they understand and can articulate better. All of these instances require the coach to LISTEN.

 

10 Ensure your skill level is good.

Work hard on your own game.

As a coach it is a requirement to be able to demonstrate a skill to a player, therefore you should always find the time to play for yourself and get your skills nicely under control for solid demonstrations, as this mode of teaching is often a better form of instruction than a verbal command.

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