In these lasts months I have been training really hard, like I hadn’t for a long time.
I practiced with young competitive players and understood different things about the coaching behavior.
I was in the strange situation where I could see on both sides of the table, having been both a competitive player and a coach. I was able to view and analyze the relationship between player and coach as a third party, and that helped me a lot.
I noticed what drills work the best, what’s the right way to speak with an athlete and what the players want from a coach.
After years of coaching, coaches sometimes aren’t motivated enough or get less involved in the needs of different players while young athletes are always looking for a motivator and a guide, they need a point of reference. So a coach should think that he is not just a tennis teacher but an adult that is playing an important role in the athlete’s life and has to behave consequently.
Sometimes, especially with women, a joke or a word said badly can hurt their feelings and the coach would never know that. When a kid has some problems at home, at school or with the boyfriend/girlfriend he can’t really focus in the training session and in these situations there’s a need for an understanding teacher that can speak with them, solve the problem and not lose a training sessions.
Being a competitive player doesn’t mean that the training has to always be very stressful and boring. Of course the level is high and training sometimes can be hard and not really fun, but a sixteen-year-old still needs to have fun, so the drills should be done accordingly.
These are the exercises to avoid at all costs:
- exercises repeated for too much time. They will become boring and tiring.
- exercises without continuous check and supervision of the coach.
- Exercises where players don’t know the goal and the way to do it well.
- exercises where at the end players don’t know what they have done well and on what they have to work.
Kids are really great when they trust you, they are innocent and give you everything if they feel that they are important to you. You are a coach, so you absolutely have to give them all your energies back.