Being a parent (father) myself with very active kids, I am always wanting to do what I can to better their training and competition experience.
Having been lucky enough to have had experience in training young tennis players for a long period of time, I do my best to get the most out of them, although it is never easy when it is your own kids!
I am always one for outsourcing services with our kids. I play guitar, but I get my son and daughter guitar lessons with someone. Giselle is an ex swim instructor, but we put our kids in swimming lessons.
The one area we do not outsource is anything to do with strength training, flexibility, conditioning, etc. We do this for a living and do it well.
Not everything needs to be outsourced and there are areas of being a tennis coach or tennis parent that you can really capitalize on. Recovery and preventing tennis injuries is a big one.
One aspect, in particular, I would put high on the list, I recommend tennis parents,...
It is not uncommon to see players focusing on the one percent aspects of their game when they should be focusing on what gives them the greatest improvements.
Sometimes as coaches, tennis trainers and players, we get caught up in the small things and lose sight of what can give us immediate impactful gains.
The main physical areas that every player needs to focus on are –
Strength and Flexibility/Mobility.
When you get these areas right and you are ineffective and healthy ranges, then you should look to improve other aspects of your physical state.
Improving your Strength, Flexibility/Mobility will give you the best bang for buck!
Following a specific Tennis Strength and Conditioning Program is the best course of action.
One area I see a lot of players struggling with (many are unaware of it) is court balance (Staying balanced when hitting, feeling centered, transferring weight through the shot).
A lot of people, for example, seem to be focusing on what the...
If you have been a coach or trainer for a while, you would have heard this question a few times “So do they have a chance of making it”. It is always a tough question to answer.
We believe tennis is definitely the most challenging and complexed sport globally to reach the top in. So many factors to consider! However, I believe there is one factor that stands alone and gives me a good indication on whether a player has the desire to “Make it”
If a player does not have the willingness to do “whatever it takes” they are a zero chance.
I honestly believe that.
Any high-level sports person somewhere along their journey has gone to places few others will, pushing themselves, sacrificing time – money – relationships and never giving up.
Some stay there for years and succeed more than others.
I want to tell you a story about a young kid. It will give you, a sense of what I believe as a tennis trainer, coach, and parent we should be...
Janine Thompson is a highly regarded world class player and 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 coaches, helped shape Janine’s coaching methodology.
Janine has coached many top juniors and professional players.
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.
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 have unique stories with different beginnings and endings. Sometimes their road maps seem like directions to nowhere...
As a tennis fitness coach or trainer, it is important to be constantly learning and growing, without this approach, not much will change. We call this the “Growth mindset”. We strongly encourage everyone to have a growth mindset. We know as Tennis Fitness Coaches we need to be constantly looking for ways to benefit our players, this means being open, willing to try new things and being creative in what we do.
The past 6 months has seen some changes for us. One of the changes involved developing a structure that gave us clear guidelines on Tennis Footwork and Court Movement. We called this our “7 Tennis Movement Principles”
We did this to give us clear definition on what we teach our athletes. We have found it has given athletes more confidence in what they are doing and helps educate them on the importance of breaking down movement and focusing on weaker movement patterns.
To keep it simple, we highlighted 7 areas that effect overall movement, then...
If you want junior tennis players to reach their potential on the court, then they need to learn some hard truths and the earlier the better. “Competing Is Tennis” you either compete against yourself (looking to improve yourself) or you are on the court against an opponent.
Learning to compete fairly, win gracefully, lose with dignity all whilst giving it 100% can be a tough and long process for junior tennis players, some never get there.
We have a feeling people are losing sight of the fact that tennis is a brutal sport on your emotions and that in reality one young player out of a few thousand will make it into the top 500, let alone be the next big thing.
Too many players get wrapped in cotton wool and control what goes on around them (coaches, parents, tennis trainers etc.) then to top it off, they don’t do enough for themselves and have zero responsibility. If that’s the case, it’s all wrong! Young players in this boat will be calling out for...
Having yourself physically and mentally ready can be just the start of a good preparation for practice, a match or tournament season.
Read on to find out how to get athletes ready to go........
We've helped 100s of players prepare for tennis matches, junior tournaments through to grand slams. In our opinion, the preparation should be no different for a junior to a pro athlete.
Learning to get things right at a young age is very important and creating the habits of being organised, punctual and responsible will have long-term positive results for anyone.
The other day I had a young player I train tell me they felt dizzy, I asked him when he ate last he said, 1.15pm, and it was 5.30pm. His blood sugar levels were obviously low, I said to him you need to eat at least 1.5hrs before coming to training, he turned and looked at his mum and said, "mum you need to remember that!" His mum said ok, so what should he eat before coming.
I said wait a moment, his 14, fit and able, he can prepare...
Have you ever wondered what your junior tennis player is thinking? Have you really put yourself on their level and realised they are looking at things from a different perspective? It is an effective tool to help create change.
Junior tennis players are told what to do all the time and don’t get me wrong, direct instructions (technical, motivational, physical) are important and have a massive role in a child’s development and learning capacity. However I find it extremely important for educators (tennis coaches, parents, tennis trainers, mentors) to get on their level (put yourself in their shoes), then encourage them to think for themselves (preparation, recovery, time management, respect for others etc) these are the things we need kids to be aware of for themselves and not be told all the time, understanding how they think and operate will help make this happen. Learn to do it!
My tips on getting a junior tennis player to think more;
1. Listen better =...
The earliest stage of a tennis player’s development is the most important part of their tennis journey. It’s also when problems can arise, so if you work with young tennis players and want them to achieve sound tennis results and maximize enjoyment, it’s critical to understand a few key points:
Kids are not adults… So don’t treat them like one. Coaches, tennis trainers and parents need to be responsible for the volume and intensity of a younger player’s practice and preparation. Don’t compare them to adults or other kids; they all develop at different rates and they cannot do what adults do.
Know their limits If a young player wants more and more, that’s great – but remember that everyone has their limit. Younger athletes often don’t know when it’s time to stop, as they find it hard to read how they are physically feeling and how they will respond to what they are doing. If we want them to achieve good tennis...