Picking the Right Team for Tennis

I honestly believe having the right team for tennis fitness training around a player is one of the main ingredients to help them reach their full potential.

So what sort of people could be in a player’s team? Parents, family, coach, tennis fitness trainer, friends, physiotherapist, chiropractor, massage therapist, sports physiologist, hitting partner, mentor, nutritionist, podiatrist. I’m sure I have missed some! It really could be an endless list depending on the individual and what their needs are.

Most junior tennis players would rely mainly on; Parents, Coach, tennis fitness trainer and a physiotherapist. I believe one other person of influence that should be included in a players base team should be a “mentor”. Mentors provide experience, knowledge and confidence for junior tennis players. A mentor should be at least 5 years older than a younger athlete and they should be a person of positive influence and someone with a solid background. These people have the potential to change a young athlete's attitude and motivation towards not only tennis, but to life itself. Most coaches and tennis fitness trainers act as mentors, although it is never a formalized agreement. I highly recommend formalizing the relationship and structuring it so it works as functionally as needed.

What does a mentor do? Mentors provide support and encouragement for junior tennis players. They are set of ears that should have the player's best interest at heart and their primary purpose is to help develop the athlete in a healthy manner. You would be surprised how many experienced players etc. would be honored to mentor younger athletes, don’t be afraid to ask someone you know would be able to help out, all they can say is no right!

There are some key factors that need to be considered when choosing who to put around young athletes, here are my main ones;

1. Positive, encouraging and supportive. People in a players team must offer constructive input and developmental support and all this should take place in a positive environment. It is more important to help players become self confident and positive about themselves then just being a good tennis player.

2. Communicaton. Have the ability to listen, give feedback and instruction according to a player’s personality (one size does not fit all) and needs.

3. Open to ideas and change (adaptable) must be willing to work along side other people in the team and be willing to try new things when needed.

4. Disciplined. If people in a team are disciplined there is a good chance they will help their players be disciplined. Discipline counts for a lot in tennis.

5. Motivated. If people in a team are highly motivated themselves that will flow over onto their players. This leads to more drive, determination and the willingness to “keep going”

If players want to achieve great things they need to find people that can help get them there. Trust me from years of being in the game; you wont make it on your own. Some where along the road you will have to find people who are willing to invest in you as you invest in them.

Search for them and work with them on an ever-changing journey that can be the best experience of your life!

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