Abracadabra: The Magic of Communication with Jeff Salzenstein

Jeff Salzenstein

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Welcome to Season 8, Episode 3 of the ParentingAces Podcast! This week, the conversation turns to the magic of communication and how parents and coaches can do a better job at getting through to their junior players.

Jeff Salzenstein has been involved in tennis pretty much his entire life. In Season 8 Episode 3, Jeff shares his tumultuous junior career, going from #1 in the 12’s to #69 in the 16’s, eventually making his way to the Stanford Men’s Tennis Team playing for the inimitable Dick Gould.

After giving the pro tour a go then getting side-lined by multiple injuries, Jeff moved into coaching, developing a variety of online platforms to reach players around the world. Today, his focus is the power of language and the power of communication and how to help others improve. How you talk to yourself, how you communicate as an influencer, and how we’re being “programmed” by our larger community are all aspects of Jeff’s work as a coach. 

Simply becoming aware of how you speak with your child is Step One of improving communication. Not just the words but also the tone of voice can impact how your junior interprets what you’re saying. As parents and coaches, we have to model good communication for our children so they will grow and develop into better communicators as adults. Jeff offers some concrete advice on how we can hone our skills in this arena.

Thank you to my son, Morgan Stone, aka STØNE, for our new intro and outro music this season! You can find more of his music at SoundCloud.com/stonemuzic. If you’re interested in House Music, please be sure to check out his social media channels: FacebookTwitterInstagram.

If you’re so inclined, please share this – and all our episodes! – with your tennis community. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or via the ParentingAces website.


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One Comment on “Abracadabra: The Magic of Communication with Jeff Salzenstein”

  1. Really enjoyed listening to your dialog with Jeff “Salzy”…similar to having enjoyed watching him play several times in Athens back during his college career! Saw him and “Goldie” and the boys from Stanford several times back then.

    He has quite an intellectual and holistic grasp of tennis, and my son Jake and I subscribed to several of his courses online back in the early days of Jake’s development. Just to pile onto a couple of his concepts, similar to his Parent-CEO concept, I am pursuing the definition of the tennis-athlete ecosystem model where often the parent is “Team Builder” and we need to diagnose and align/assign roles within that team based on need and skills/abilities. Training/learning should be pursued as appropriate and needed based on roles and relative contributions to that team supporting the tennis-athlete. Also, outcomes and language can more easily be amended when we approach them in the easily understood concept of that team rather than dumping the outcomes and “why” questions squarely at the feet of the athlete/child.

    Also, wanting to expand Jeff’s binary model of the Opportunity Creator vs Victim a bit. Maybe there’s a possible continuum there which can be put on one axis and built into a 2×2 (BCG growth matrix) where that positive vs negative outlook is applied along with the amount of energy one brings to the support of the child/athlete in given circumstances. We might be able to plot on that how we tend to think/behave in given situations relative to our athlete and their needs in the circumstance (I don’t think we’re always anything…we are situational).

    Again, loved the dialog and enjoyed hearing Jeff again with you Lisa! The small world of tennis enjoins magnetic spirits like both of you!

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