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Progressing Young Tennis Players to Tennis Masters

Apr 08, 2019
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Janine Thompson is a highly regarded world-class player and tennis coach.

Playing career - #9 World Junior / #52 WTA Singles / #9 WTA Doubles / Fed Cup 3 times
Coaches: Tony Roche, John Newcombe, and other world-class tennis masters helped shape Janine’s coaching methodology.
Janine has coached many top juniors and professional players/tennis masters. 

As Tennis Trainers, we appreciate Janine’s willingness to share knowledge and work together for the betterment of players. As you will also find Janine is candid and to the point, this something we also love about her. 

Read Janine's blog on progressing a tennis player to a tennis master.


Progressing Young Tennis Players to Tennis Masters

You wouldn’t take your car with an engine problem to a dietician or naturopath for some change of juice advice. OR if you had a racquet needing restringing to an alteration shop. 

There are so many aspects involved in the progression of a tennis player. Each has unique stories with different beginnings and endings. Sometimes their road maps seem like directions to nowhere but have been everywhere and from the outside, it can look like a never-ending journey. Well, that journey becomes a very important life lesson for that individual.

I believe many parents and tennis coaches miss connecting all the dots and continually talk about “fast-tracking” the Tennis Athlete. Fast-tracking in my opinion is a license to fail at some point. It’s never easy planning the trip and it certainly isn’t as simple as 1, 2, 3.

Each player is an individual with an individual body and progression chart.

I am not a lover of age group average results and charts or comparisons on the court or off. I love and am passionate about individual goals, improvements, and checkpoints. If I can get a player to improve on and off the court, I am satisfied I am doing my job.

My job is to surround myself with knowledgeable, passionate, and supportive people who are the best in their field of expertise. When I have a player who is tired all the time I will discuss sleep patterns, food intake, and hours on court and decide whether they need a blood test, a dietician, or some time off.

If I have a player with Tennis Footwork, strength, or general fitness issues I will send them to Tennis Fitness with Nathan and Giselle Martin. I do believe this is an area where everyone thinks they are an expert, coaches and parents included.

You all work hard to be the person you are and to have the experience you have in your chosen field. Give the same respect and courtesy to Tennis Coaches and Tennis Fitness Trainers, as you would expect in your workplace. This could be the game-changer your child or player needs to move forward on their journey.

Getting it right is never easy! Using the right people to do a specific job is what you can control. Doing what YOU think, is not always what is best.

When you have (Healthy/Positive) experience/education in tennis coaching, fitness, nutrition, etc then use that to better your player.

If you do not, let the people who do, do what they do. When you surround a player with a team, let them do their job and then worry about what you do best and what your skillset is. This will lead to the best outcome 100% of the time.

By Janine Thompson