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The Tennis Business Discussion Forum Archive

[tennisbiz] Re: Coaching Question

From: Edward Fagen <>
Date: Tue 13 Apr 2004 10:55:55 EDT

Hi Kristy,

I think my first piece of advice would be to get a volunteer to help you. I
am helping out with our local high school team and I can tell you it is really
hard for one person to keep things going and semi organized. It is also nice
to be able to get a second opinion on a lot of decisions you will have to
make. I know the coach of our local junior high team and she had 40 kids try out
for the team. How she handled that I don't know.

I think it is really important to establish your authority and what you
expect of them the very first day. If you don't maintain some kind or order it can
be absolute chaos. I would also hope that you could instill in the kids that
it is a privilege, not a right, for them to be on the tennis team.

Get them used to used to the physical training aspects. I know they are just
junior high kids but get them used to running a few laps, quickness drills,
whatever you think would help them out the most. The harder you work them, the
more they will respect you, and more pride each kid will take in his or her
effort to make the team. You will quickly find out who really wants to be on
the team. If you only have 6 to 8 kids try out then I guess they all make the
team but if you have 20 try out for the boys team and 20 try out for the girls
teams, then you are going to have to make some pretty tough decisions pretty

I guess those are the three main pieces of advice I would give. Tennis,
track, swimming are three sports that I can think of offhand where it is possible
to remove the subjectivity as to who gets to play. Challenge matches make it
possible to be absolutely fair in tennis as to who gets to play and at what

My last piece of advice would be to read, Coaching Tennis, by Chuck Kriese,
if you have not already read it. It was absolutely the best book on tennis
that I have ever read and not just from a coaching standpoint. It has helped me
play and compete on a much higher level. Now I know these are just junior
high kids but this book lays out fundamental coaching principles that I feel
apply to any sport on any level.

You got to love the game.

Best regards,

Edward Fagen

Tennis Geometrics Company
1844 Walker Valley Rd
Charleston, TN 37310

Phone: 423-336-3953
Web Site:

[Moderator note: The Link to Chuck Kriese's book is:

Received on Tue Apr 13 2004 - 11:47:37 CDT

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