What does it take to become a Tennis Coach?
By John J. Hoskins.
Being a tennis coach is a great life; you need to be sociable, able to interact with people but above all to be able to help others to
learn the great game of tennis.
It is necessary to be able to play the game well, but, as in many other sports, being a good player does not mean that you will be a
You will need to
have an in depth knowledge of the game, and acquire skills that you will not
necessarily have understood as a player.
It is my
contention that the coach who starts players off on the path of playing,
particularly if teaching juniors, needs to be a coach
who understands and can coach every aspect of the game. This includes technical and tactical skills, strategy, mental skills, fitness
training, periodisation and nutrition.
A prospective coach will learn a number of these areas during the coach qualification period; however, it is again my own view that a
newly qualified coach should work together with a pro. For at least 3 – 6 months after qualifying.
A coaching course can be taken with the LTA in the U.K. the USPTA in the States and the largest coaching organization worldwide
the USPTR (known as PTRUK in The UK). There are naturally national coaching organizations in each country.
The PTR has a standard coaching practice that is taught in all their overseas countries.
Once qualified, the coach will need to consider whether they have any preference as to who they want to work with, whether this is
Seniors or Juniors, individual or squads, men or women. Another very worthwhile group to coach are disability groups and wheelchair
tennis; these do however, require additional learning techniques.
I also believe, that to be a good coach, you also need to be able to teach another cross-training sport, and to my mind, Basketball fits
in very comfortably with tennis. They are both intricate sports and there is far more to them than the general public realize when
watching the games being played.
The great satisfaction from teaching tennis is that a good coach can take almost anyone and give them this game for a lifetime, and
the big payoff is seeing them succeed at whatever level.
To find out more about the great game of tennis and to subscribe to a monthly news letter, visit http://www.tennisatthenet.ws
John Hoskins is an L.T.A. and a PTRUK qualified licensed tennis coach working at a number of facilities as head coach in Kent, England.