How to be a great tennis coach from grass roots level and beyond.
By Alison Scott © 2013
As a girls tennis coach, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing your students improving and winning. I love seeing happy kids at the end of a lesson, run off the court to their parents, laughing, giggling, excited by how much they love tennis. Or watching a huge grin light up a face as a student connects with the ball and it goes over the net. This is regularly followed by pure joy and excitement as they jump up and down on the spot, experiencing the thrill of a personal win!
The challenge for a coach, is to develop the capacity to share this thrill with your student. It’s one thing to possess a huge body of knowledge that you can impart. But do you include extending your consciousness when you coach? What does that mean? Have you ever seen a coach talking to their students, offering excellent technical information, but when you look at the student at other end of the court, that invaluable knowledge is not reaching them – they seem to be standing in a space all of their own?
As an analogy, it’s like making a phone call where you dial the number, the phone rings and you start talking before the person has actually answered the phone. Nobody is there!!
Similarly, if you’ve ever attended university lectures where the teacher is talking away at the front of the class without any connection or interaction with the pupils he or she is addressing, you’ll notice these students either go to sleep, start thinking about other things, leave the room – or leave that subject for good.
Extending your consciousness to include the other person is imperative if you are committed to effectively communicating with that person. It’s the most important element in becoming a great coach.
You must connect with your students – otherwise, you’re just an isolated person who knows a lot!
It’s all about reaching out and sharing space. Do that, and both you and your students will not only enjoy time together, the rate of improvement will be faster. Your understanding of your students increases, because you’re aware and connecting with them.
You can perceive their current reality and responses and adjust your communication accordingly.
Your communication resonates with where they’re at, at that time. And that’s a key: Each student’s reality is in a constant state of change. They are learning, they are trying to understand. It’s therefore up to you to stay connected with them so you can tailor your communication and the energy you use to communicate, in response.
Having a greater consciousness is a winning formula in becoming a great coach from grass roots to professional levels. This single skill has afforded me many successes. It is why I can get great results from my students, more quickly. It’s the GTA way!
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