Wednesday, 30 April 2014


Some people in the tennis industry like to take credit for players' success even if those players have not been with them for a long time, but let's put things into perspective. If a kid starts playing with a club coach and is taught the basics well i think it's fair to say that this coach could lay claim to the child's future success , it's on what scale however that you look into it. If as a coach you spend say the first 2-3 years with a student i think it's safe to say that providing that the kid's technique is sound then you as a coach has done a good job, pretty simple stuff.
A while back i read that someone was trying to take credit for some players who did well in a local Tennis Tournament , i kept an open mind , then did the sums. These players had not been with in fact ANY coach for a combined total of nearly TEN years, so should or could any credit be taken? 
You need to look at the history of a player, have they been going from coach to coach to try to find that one element that seems to be missing in their game? Have they had just one coach? Have they had two coaches who could perhaps share some credit? It's all in the eyes of the beholder , so to speak.
I often hear or read about coaches who are trying to claim any little piece of credit that they possibly can , due mostly to the fact that they have had very little success at all, but let's not be too harsh here. I have had numerous kids who have been poached in the past by other 'coaches' who offered the 'World' but delivered very little except some large expenses for the parents. So if the kid who was poached , either from my past programs or any one else's for that matter , goes on to gain success then who can take the credit?Tough one to answer isn't it?
What if as i mentioned earlier some students who may in fact be grown men now days have success in the sport of tennis without having anything to do with a coach for 4 or 5 years or longer ? Should their old coach or coaches be claiming credit for their accolades? Perhaps , but some know how to do it discretely, others fill the Social Media pages with 'former pupil' etc, etc, but what they aren't telling you is the length of time these guys have now been 'independent' players for.
I firmly believe that if you start a child from scratch , you are owed some credit, if you are just another in passing , i would be reluctant to accept much, but do everyone a favour please. Don't be one of these guys who sit on the veranda on a rocking chair gazing at the gathering twilight and look into the stars and think "aah yes Jonny was my boy , he won Wimbledon , i was his third coach , he had seven , but what i taught him was what gave him that edge".
It's important that as teachers of any sport we don't suffer from 'head up one's own a... syndrome', it happens a lot in my town , hopefully it doesn't in yours......

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