This month’s newsletter is a report from the UK National Coaches Conference. This was a two-day event, held at the National Tennis Centre at Roehampton in London on June 27th and 28th. A good friend of TCI, Merlin Van de Braam, organised the Conference, and was kind enough to invite Liam Cassidy and myself to attend. The attached PDF is a summary of the most useful presentations, and contains links to videos from the Conference, which are now on our YouTube channel. We hope you will get something useful from the proceedings.
REPORT ON THE LTA NATIONAL COACHES CONFERENCE –
LONDON, JUNE 2015.
IMPORTANT: All the videos mentioned in this document can be accessed at the TCI YouTube channel at https://goo.gl/c51pQq.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF QUALITY TENNIS COACHING
Miguel is the Research Officer for the ITF. He is responsible for the ITF Coaches Education Programme, and has been involved in writing many of ITF’s coach education manuals and resources.
Make your lesson player-centred, rather than coach-centred. Sometimes coaches talk too much! Rather than speaking, create the situation you want the player/s to be in, and let them get on with experiencing that situation. Example: you are working on wide serves. Ask the receiver to stand wide, ask to server to serve to him. Result – wide serves, but you have not asked/instructed the server to serve wide!
Remember that with any level of player, the lesson should be fun and enjoyable.
It’s useful in the warm up to use just one ball – it encourages focus and concentration. The right mindset at the start of the session is vital.
Q. As a coach – what does your job boil down to? A. Make the game easier for your player…
Intensity: one hour at 100% intensity is better than 3 hours at 60% intensity.
“Simple is the biggest secret!”
NOTES ON DRILLS:
1. Each drill should include: purpose, intensity, rhythm, focus.
2. Someone watching the drill from the clubhouse should know what it is that is going on. If not, reexamine the drill.
3. The coach has to believe in the drill, if the players are also to believe, respond and commit to it.
4. Practice should be tougher than a match. Sometimes a 1:1 work/rest ratio is appropriate, although this does not happen in a match. Example Drill: see our YouTube channel at https://goo.gl/c51pQq.
5. Baseline drill: “Change Gears” – Players hit each successive shot with a little more pace. Players decide what pace to start at. When someone misses, the next rally starts at the original pace again.
6. Design your own drills (be creative), in such a way that they help players discover what to do and how.
7. Drills can be slotted into the chart below under the appropriate headings. Examine the drills you use most frequently – where do they fit into the chart? If you are not sure, do you really know what you are trying to achieve with that drill?
PRINCIPLES OF COACHING
Sven is currently coaching Maria Sharapova. Previously he has worked with players such as Seles, Vicario, Stich, Ivanovic and Wozniacki.
You can see excerpts from Sven’s presentation of some of his favourite drills at our YouTube Channel.
QUALITY ON-COURT CONDITIONING: DOING THE RIGHT THING AT THE RIGHT TIME
Benedikt has been working as Head Physical Coach for the Swiss Tennis Federation since 2005. He holds a Masters in Sports Science. In my opinion, a standout attribute of Beni’s that he brought to his presentations in London was his intensity level and motivational skills. See excerpts at our YouTube channel.
COORDINATION FOR UNDER 12 PLAYERS – CLUB AND PERFORMANCE LEVEL
Ruben has worked for the Flemish Tennis Federation since 2008. Since 2013 he has acted as Head of Club Development, and is known as an innovator in developing new and interesting exercises for young players. See some of the exercises Ruben presented at the Conference at our YouTube channel.