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The Tennis Business Discussion Forum Archive

[tennisbiz] Re: Providing match feedback to juniors

From: David Breslow <>
Date: Mon 27 Oct 2003 13:37:08 EST

It is important to allow juniors the opportunity to "sit" with their
feelings about a match. When parents or coaches immediately offer
criticism or judgments about performance...the fire is compounded and the
walls go up even further.

All feedback should first be directed to "non-technical" areas such as
effort, attention, courage, etc.

When players perform poorly...they already know it and don't need someone
else immediately "attacking" them...they feel badly enought already.

After a bit of time passes (and it's different for everyone but 15 to 30
minutes usually), one great first question is: "What did you NOTICE out there?"

This is something I learned from one of my acting teachers and I use it
constantly with clients. When a player is asked "What heppened out there?"
they tend to immediately rattle off all the negative things they can think
of. When asked "what did you notice?" the responses tend to be less self-
attacking and more focused on things that actually happened (or didn't

For example,

When "Mary" comes off the court and I ask her what happened after a poor
performance she begins with "I was lousy...I choked on important points and
I just gave away so many points!"

When I ask "Mary" "what did you notice out there today?" she says, "I
noticed I was not really focused in the present on too many points...I was
having trouble keeping my mind from wandering and I was moving poorly too."

A completely different response! Why? Because when asked "what did you
notice?" you become the "witness or observer" of your performance rather
than the "anger and frustration" of it. If you're noticing something, your
observing it and not BEING it at that moment.

I always begin feedback by asking that question which not only helps provide
more useful and usable information from the player but it also allows them
to speak first instead of me (or anyone else) DUMPING feeback on to them.

Hope this helps!

You are welcome to contact me "off line" if you have any questions (anyone
else is welcome also!).

Have a great tennis season!

David Breslow
Performance Success Strategies
"Performance, Leadership and Profits!"

Received on Mon Oct 27 2003 - 17:29:30 CST

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