Monday, 18 July 2016


The following is a snippett from my book which argues many modern day coaching 'myths'. A player does not have to hit a ball like Novak to win, the student needs to learn what to do with the shots that they currently own. Yes a player needs to learn to hit a ball 'technically correct' but what does that statement actually mean ?
Are there two serves the same as each other ? Surely if a serve is effective then that is what the game is all about, effectiveness. If a new kid turns up with a great forehand but not quite as 'technically correct' as Roger's does it really matter ? Why then does a coach spend so much time on that shot that is 'not quite right' ? In who's eyes' is it in need of a tweak ? Is this where the confusion starts and the spending of big dollars' commences ?
Changing a style does not need to happen as soon as a kid joins a program, the kid just needs to learn to get it over the net. A player ranked 100 will hit with the same style as a player ranked 1000, so what separates those two players ? The ability to know what to do with the shots they possess. 
An 'oldie' at a local tennis club will still be playing when they are 70 if they were allowed to be their own player right from the start or not touched at all by a 'technique genius'. This is opposed to a kid of 17 who was preached to by a Zen Master that 'THIS IS THE WAY YOU HIT A FOREHAND' and now does not play anymore because THAT forehand was not achieved. My book, argumentative ? In many ways..... 

'Are new students of tennis finding the sport all too hard because they simply cannot hit a ball like a Grand Slam Champion ? If you took the time to notice the many styles of Club players on a Saturday afternoon you will see that some of the rallies are long and adventurous without much style but you will also see the enjoyment on many faces due to their ability to simply get the ball over the net.
You will also notice the age of most of those Club players and it will probably be well into their 50's and 60's and I guarantee you most of those players have never had a lesson. Would it be that their style has come from their own mind and experimentation that was not hampered by someone telling them that their way of hitting was in need of change ?
The module that is tennis in the modern day is one that doesn't have to be complicated yet it is as many coaches will strive for the perfect shot which in reality on most occasions will never happen.
Coaching is not all about changing things, it's about helping a player think, it's about teaching a player to be smarter.
Whether you look like Novak or a frog in a blender when you play tennis one thing is for certain, if you keep getting the ball back over the net, you are a chance........
Glenn Thompson ( The Book )

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