Tennis coaches who are teaching high school and college teams, need to always focus on getting better at coaching during practice.
This is part art, part psychology and strategy.
That means you have to be able to get the most from your players in practice and then, help them to develop faster, by setting up a system, that will help them to discover their own playing style.
The first thing we need to do as a coach, is look at what we are doing now in practice and then try to improve on it daily, everyday, you should feel that you are getting better at coaching during practice.
Just don’t come with the same game plan and energy everyday.
Coaches, players and parents, need to stay in learning mode and also work together as a team, with the same goals in mind.
Tennis coaches should experiment with these tips here.
Let the reps do their part
The repetitions will develop the techniques and the mechanics for your players.
Coaches should leverage the reps in practice, by first introducing the drill or pattern of play and then stepping back and observing, encourage them to keep adjusting their swing and focusing in on timing and FEEL while doing the drills.
But don’t stop the drill, because then you will be breaking their rhythm for doing it, I see this a lot from coaches over here.
Tennis is a timing, rhythm and feel sport, so allow the reps to do their part and talk to them and give advice, while they are taking a break.
Another thing coaches can do during practice is, ,
Ask powerful questions
Don’t just say nice shot.
Ask them why was it a nice shot?
Don’t just correct them in practice.
Ask them why do they think they miss that shot?
Most coaches don’t realize that, the person who is doing the questioning, is the one who is controlling the conversation.
So, stop talking so much and start asking more deep questions, to get your point through and across to them.
Coaches can use practice, to help their players internalize tactics, strategies and mental toughness.
But to make sure that this is happening, coaches have to stay on top of their coaching game.
These are 2 good coaching tips, to build on in practice, but learn some new methods for coaching better in practice everyday, by studying the best coaches from all other sports.
Then take their philosophies and synthesize them with your own coaching style.
“Look at practice time as your own piece of art work and everyday you are creating something and adding on to it, until you have a masterpiece of a tennis team. “
Start the season and keep the end goal in mind, for your team.
Good luck with the season coach!!