USTA Tennis Leaders Teach the Foundation of Youth Tennis – COACH!
Our very own Blue Chip Tennis Academy coaches have banded together to share their insights with the tennis world. BCTA Founder Tim Bainton and pros Jeremy Carl, Junior Tennis Director at Mount Vernon Athletic Club in Alexandria, and Farley Youman, (who teaches at our Blue Chip Tennis Worldgate site in Herndon, VA) have written an article on building a solid youth tennis foundation, which recently graced the pages of Tennis Industry magazine.
Show Passion on the Tennis Courts
In the February 2017 issue of the magazine, the trio of tennis professionals describe the core blocks to building a solid tennis foundation: COACH. The acronym keeps passion at the heart of the game while striving to keep athletes wanting to play and improve.
Being committed is the base. And this is referring to the coach, not necessarily the player. Showing commitment through continued education and professional growth is essential. This can include utilizing new technology on the tennis court, reading books written by great tennis coaches, writing and submitting articles to professional journals, setting up workshops and offering workshops.
Organization translates easily from the coach to the player. Encouraging evaluations for the tennis pro helps keep coaches accountable, while providing tangible ideas to grow a program helps everyone.
Attentive – demonstrate care for athletes as people first, then tennis players. But while working with developing youth tennis players, note details like right or left handed and make the effort to give corrections and advice face-to-face rather than yelling across the court.
Keep Youth Tennis Fun to Create Lifelong Players
Creativity is more important than many players, coaches and parents realize. Keeping things creative and fun can actually be
the key to keeping young athletes interested in tennis. The vast majority of kids will leave a sport by age 13 because it’s not fun and they are afraid to make mistakes. A tennis coach’s job is to instill a love of the game and keep players playing. Encourage positive thought process over negative and offer productive drills when teaching particularly tricky elements like the serve. Keeping things positive, creative and fun works on adult tennis players, too!
“The coach should stop players when they use negative comments such as ‘I can’t get my first serve in.’ Coaches should immediately say ‘You will get your first serve in and here is how you’re going to do it.’ The advice should be positive and productive so the studet can apply those comments when struggling in a match.”
-Excerpt from “Five Foundation Blocks of Coaching” by USTA Professionals Jeremy Carl, Tim Bainton and Farley Youman
Showing a heartfelt passion for tennis spurs motivation. Whether it’s after a tournament or a tedious practice, it’s important to offer specific feedback. It’s also important to actually play, not just coach. Everyone loves playing with a tennis pro and seeing how a true love for the sport translates into a love for coaching.
Truer advice could not come from three more passionate, professional and successful tennis coaches! To see their words in action, sign up for a class, clinic or workshop at any of the Blue Chip Tennis Academy locations!