I have always relied on my past experience to teach the sport of tennis, not videos and a Governing Body's recommendation on how to coach the game. That stems from 18 months of training in Queensland and getting clay court lessons from Frenchmen who had clay on their toast for breakfast. Long story that one, it's in my book.
The following typifies the tennis coaching industry as it's full of Arse holes who lack the ability to teach so they poach from those who know how to. Silly sport tennis..........
I once had a conversation with an astute teacher of the game as I asked them what they thought of poaching, did they ever do it and had they ever had it done to them. This is what his answer was, 'Thommo it's like this, anyone can poach a kid, happens all the time because it's all part of the sport but let's look at it.
Anyone can pinch a kid from a program with offers of things like scholarships, free restrings, cheap lessons etc but deep down they will always know that it was not their tuition that got the kid to their current ability.' Coaches who are struggling for publicity or numbers will go the easy way out and see a kid with potential at a tournament and slip them a Business card on the sly rather than create a talent themselves.
Some kids may be worth a future ten students if that's where they think a player was born out of so naturally a Coach will look to gain some star players any way they possibly can. Morally incorrect ? Absolutely, but it happens regularly and I would be surprised if it has not happened to just about every tennis coach in the business at one point in their career.So what does a coach do about it ?
Smile, take it as a compliment, others want your students because what you are doing is not hype, it's substance and in the current coaching climate that is worth it's weight in gold. Many coaching programs are simply hit and giggle tennis and that's fine if the cliental are all happy with that but if a student is looking to play tournaments then they will be looking for something with a bit more nuts and bolts to it.
Let's face it, if people are really happy with you then they will stay with you regardless of what else is offered to them. If they move on then there was a hint of dissatisfaction with you anyhow so if it didn't end then, well it would have at some stage down the track. I got offended once but I immediately thought about what the 'Zen Master' had said to me and I thought to myself 'You know what Glenn, that kid will always remember where they learned to play the game know matter where they move to.
If I got one kid to that ability I know I will get another, smile, you are doing a good job'. ( I think I did it with gritted teeth, but I did it )
Anyone can poach a kid from another, not many can create a statue out of sand, there's an art to that......