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The Tennis Business Discussion Forum Archive

[tennisbiz] Re: Two Coaches, tennisbiz digest: October 22, 2001

From: Joe Rill <>
Date: Tue 23 Oct 2001 09:25:25 EDT

Hi Christine,
This question is not as simple as it sounds. First of all, only
a small percentage of a coach's job can be devoted to individual stroke
improvement. Although we may make spot corrections, we just do not have
time to work with everyone. In addition, we only have the kids for a
couple of months. Their regular pro or coach has them all year long and can
focus on skill development without being distracted by literally dozens of
requirements involved in High School Sports competition.

At the same time, no team coach will be happy if their player misses
practice to take lessons from another coach or Pro, or if the other pro is
contradicting the coaches instruction. On the other hand, most coaches are
happy to get support from qualified instructors as long as it doesn't
interfere with scheduled practices or matches. The key is to have a line of
communication with the other instructor (Coach or Pro). That way, you can
keep them abreast of the pupil's stroke deficiencies and strengths under the
stress of competition, and they can work on those strokes outside of

Although you didn't mention it, there is a third issue related to your
question. It has to do with Parents coaching. We found this to be a
bigger problem than =E2=80=9Cother coaches. With few exceptions, these
parents are active and good players (3.5-5.0). Unfortunately they are not
skillful teachers; they are not certified; they are too involved to be
objective; they lack patience; they do not have an overall coaching plan;
and they may not have the same coaching goals as you do. You want their
support for the team and you do not want to alienate them, but their
unrestricted participation in the coaching process could be detrimental to
the teams' performance. Some of them maintain that they just want to help.
They offer to feed balls in drills, operate the ball machine, or work with
the lower skill level players. The problem is that they are like the
proverbial camel that just wants to get his nose into the tent. Before you
know it, they are not teaching the strokes correctly or they are challenging
your decision on who should be playing Number 3, 4, or 5. While you are
sorting that problem out, Sally's Mom says that if Mary's Mom is coaching,
she should be too because she is also a 4.0. So we recommend a policy of
encouraging parental involvement in team administrative support but ruling
out their involvement in the coaching process itself.

Received on Tue Oct 23 2001 - 09:04:22 CDT

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