Choosing A Tennis Coach: For Competitive Students

The TennisDr encourages everyone to play this lifetime sport for fun and exercise.  I work with many who want an introduction so they can hit more and pick up balls less.  Great!
On the other hand, for those bitten by the “Tennis Bug”, who want to be the best they can be–this note is for you!  The “Academy Style” is the most successful way to coach all levels of players because after the main strokes are created, players are matched by level of proficiency, individual skills, and sequences of skills are isolated for repetition and improvement.
After that, all the skill sets are tested under competitive conditions to assess execution under pressure.   A 10 or 15 point format rather than standard tennis scoring (e.g. love, 15, 30…) is most conducive to tweaking decision making and shot selection during competition.  Longer competition formats also give servers and receivers plenty of time to tinker with execution and strategy against particular peers and their shots.

Coaching “under fire” provides strategic and/or executional feedback between points like college tennis.  You will quickly notice that tennis practice and tennis competition, pose very different challenges.  Proper practice, like academic homework, deserves at least twice the minutes of competition.The “Academy Style” is used at all the major universities.  College tennis is the only daily competition in which coaching is allowed during a match.  That is why the best tennis coaches in the world are American college tennis coaches.  They must learn to interject strategy and encouragement during natural breaks (30 or 90 seconds!) in play while watching 2 or 3 matches at a time!

Players looking to raise their level need that next level of “stream of consciousness”, the train of business like thoughts and evaluations, which reduces large swings in emotion, that elite players and professionals posses.  After weapons and moves are standardized, the sport becomes more like chess than checkers.  The beauty of the sport is that age and experience can overcome youth, strength, and speed.  What if you had both?!!!

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