Having a tennis coach license and a basket of tennis balls is not enough to be successful on the tennis court. Some advice for tennis coaches, what to do on court, and especially what NOT to do. I’ve seen a lot of tennis coaches in my tennis coach career executing the "don'ts". Fortunately, it's never too late to change your attitude! I’ve listed 7 Dos and Don'ts for a tennis coach.
1. Always be on time for your tennis lessons.
It’s important to show up early in order to check your materials or things like that. Nothing is more embarrassing than running out of your car in order to be on time for your tennis lessons.
2. Always prepare your tennis lessons.
With a good preparation, the quality of the tennis coaching is higher and you challenge your students much more. A good preparation has a professional appearance. People know that you're serious about your work.
3. Be fair on the court towards your students.
Treat everybody the same and pay the same attention to everybody. Don't always spend more time on your favorite player in the group. All players are entitled to receive your attention.
4. Always wear decent tennis clothes. It helps for a better appearance.
Every sport has his own specific clothes, so dress yourself like a real tennis coach. As a tennis coach, you are the center of attention and don't underestimate how people constantly monitor and observe you.
5. When you explain an exercise, always give a demonstration.
Don't talk too much, but make the exercise visual for your students. Important is also that you ask your students to watch the demonstration from a certain position, from which they can see the demonstration well. When for example you give a demonstration of a forehand, don't let your students watch this from the backhand side.
6. Try to differentiate when there's a lot of different skill levels in a group.
The stronger players have no fun playing only against weaker players, and vice versa. At the start of the tennis lesson you can mix it all up, but after a while you have to differentiate the better and the weaker players.
7. Reward good efforts of your players, especially when they make a mistake.
Understanding the game is far more important than avoiding mistakes. When you give your players the freedom to experiment, they will be less afraid to make mistakes.
1. Don't show negative behavior on court, like being angry, throwing rackets or complaining all the time.
You demand from your student a positive attitude, so you must be their example. Keep in mind that people remember negative things longer than positive things. People expect a positive behaviour on court, so it will shock them when something negative happens.
2. Don't practice only singles, but also spent time on doubles play.
In doubles play, the tactics are different and you are really playing as a team. Your students will like it! Especially older people prefer to play doubles, because of their physical limitations. But also for younger people, doubles play is fun and important to learn.
3. Don't allow people outside the court, like parents, to interfere in your tennis lesson.
You as a tennis coach are the expert, otherwise it's very confusing for your students to hear contradictory comments. When there's a disturbance, try to make an appointment
outside the tennis lesson with the person concerned.
4. Don't use your mobile phone during the whole tennis lesson.
Students are coming for tennis coaching from you, not to see you on your phone every time. Constantly using your mobile phone is a sign of a lack of interest in your students. Use your phone only in case of emergency.
5. Don't sit during the tennis lesson, while your players are doing an exercise.
It's a bad example for the players and a sign of a lack of interest. Keep an energetic attitude! When you as a tennis coach are dynamic, you get energy back, especially on long working days, this is an advantage.
6. Don't talk to parents during the tennis lesson.
When you need to talk to them, you better do it before or after the tennis lesson. Talking during the tennis lesson will disturb your students. Even better is to schedule parents' meetings throughout the entire year. Both you and the parents can prepare themselves about the progress of the player.
7. Don't talk too much during the explanation of an exercise.
People are coming to you to play tennis, not to listen to you the whole time. When you talk too much, your students will lose interest and they will no longer remember the purpose of the exercise.
When you recognize all the "Dos" in your tennis lessons, congratulations! You are a great tennis coach for your students! When you still have a few "Don'ts", try to get rid of them and raise your level as a tennis coach!