8 Comments

  1. The difficulty is in finding that rare coach that can be unsympathetic to the player's discomfort, and will pull their best from them despite their best efforts to the contrary, while at the same time (and this is the important part) will recognize when that player has absolutely given their all and will praise them appropriately. We worked with a coach that was all about pushing the player, and detested helicopter parents. That would be fine, except his version of high praise amounted to "you suck a little less today." If the player never feels that they make a breakthrough, they stop trying. Being able to be ruthless in getting everything from a player that they have to give is a great skill. Being able to motivate the player to want to give their all is a different skill entirely. In my opinion, there are trainers, and coaches. Trainers may know their stuff like nobody else, and can teach technical proficiency, but cannot motivate. A coach may, or may not have the technical knowledge, but can motivate players with differing skill levels and personalities to reach beyond what they thought they could achieve. A blend of the two is a rare and valuable find.

  2. I like this. Good job.

  3. well said. good job!

  4. A champion is not taugh, or brought to life or yelled at to somehow think that is the way to get the champion out. A champion is a champion from within, no coach will teach that. All any coach can do is bring a path to the champion that already is. A champion makes the coach give more attention to him, a champion is never satisfied and always strives for more. The driver to be a champion is the champion not the coach.

  5. Disagree with this Lisa. Agassi's dad pushed him to the limit, and became one of the greatest tennis players in the world. Some parents follow this and push in sports thinking there will be greatness, and end up with kids who through no fault of their own don't have the genetic material for greatness and end up with no relationships with their dads. Or turn to other activities such as drinking to alleviate the stress. This is a generation coming up with some pretty stressed out kids. I have also seen coaches who push and the kids quit. Kids play sports first and foremost because it is fun... It's not a job. They don't have to do it to pay the mortgage. In tennis, I see the parents and the coaches take the joy out of this sport with too much pushing and too much pressure. Sports, music, hobbies are to be pursued because the kids want it, not because it was pushed on them. Not every kid is going to be an Agassi, but a lot of these kids are going to look back and wonder where their childhood went? And let's see how many of them have their kids play high level competitive tennis.....

    • I hear what you're saying, Tennis5, and therein lies the challenge, right? How far do we push our kids, or allow them to be pushed, before we cross the line into abuse? I don't know if you've experienced this with your child(ren) yet, but seeing the confidence that builds when a child realizes they have more inside themselves than they ever imagined is pretty remarkable! I've had the privilege of seeing that with my son and his tennis. Like I wrote above, it was definitely hard to watch, especially when he was on the brink of a meltdown, but with the right coach who understands how to move a child to that next level, it really is incredible to witness. I'm not talking about taking the joy out of the game - that would be tragic in my opinion.

  6. I agree with Javier. In most cases the true greats are self motivated perfectionists or simply love the game so much they will play until dragged off the court. For every case where a coach was successful in motivating a kid through extreme pushing to their 'edge'....there are probably hundreds of other kids who that tactic backfired with and quit tennis. For every Agassi, how many others were pushed right out of tennis or into a major injury? But its an individual thing, if it works with your kid, thats your call.

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