Coaching Tip - January 2012

    Finding the RIGHT Tennis Coach

    For You
    The task of finding a Tennis coach be a difficult process and often takes some considerable time.
    The first tennis experience for any tennis pupil can be the decider.
    A good coach can inject an enthusiasm for the game which will last for a lifetime while a bad coach can turn the pupil off tennis forever.

    Choosing a short List of Coaches
    The following information can be used as guide when selecting the right tennis coach for you and/or your children:

    Do your research
    Check out the following

    • Tennis coaching flyers are often available at your school
    • Your local phone book will have a tennis coaches section
    • The local tennis club will have a Club coach
    • Use Google on the internet to find your nearest coach(es)
    • Contact the state tennis body to find you nearest coach(es)
    • The range of levels and ages coached by these coaches

    i.e. from juniors with the modified format through to Adults and advanced players

    The word of mouth advertising is very beneficial for any tennis coach and his/her coaching business

    • Ask your friends about their coach
    • Is the feedback positive?

    The feedback via word of mouth should be used in conjunction with your research to help you come up with a short list of possible tennis coaches in your area.
    The final selection should be made after watching the short listed coaches give a lesson.
    In particular check out the coaching sessions at the same level as you and/or your children and take note if they are enjoying the lesson(s).

    Choosing The Right Coach

    Check that your coach is qualified.  If you are not sure you can ask to see his/her certificate.

    • Check with your state or national Tennis body
    • National certification

    Qualified tennis coaches in Australia have passed a recognised TA Tennis coaching course and are accredited by Tennis Australia (TA) as either  a Junior Development, Club Professional or High Performance coach.

    • Tennis Coaching Insurance

    Along with the certification TA coaches also have a coaching insurance policy to protect them against on and off court events that are not foreseeable and beyond their control.

    • Mandatory Reporting

    Coaches are now obliged to report cases of child abuse and many have completed a course to help improve their knowledge and awareness in this area.

    • Police check

    The police check has become mandatory for anyone working with children so it has become a routine part of tennis coaching qualifications and updates. All coaches should have one.

    • First Aid

    The qualified Tennis Coach will have a current first aid certificate and should attend regular updates.
    This is again a part of coaching accreditation and is vital in the coaching environment.

    The Tennis Coach should get better with age and develop their own coaching style as he/she gains experience and knowledge over the coaching years.

    Coaching experience
    can be gained in a variety of settings

    • The preferred option should be the coach who has worked at a club all year round instead of in a Summer camp or recreation environment.

    The number of years coaching experience is also important.

    • Different ages and levels require a different approach and coaching techniques.
    • The level of coaching such as for the modified game for the young through to advanced players will also be relevant
    • Coaching a 1:1 private lesson requires more demanding coaching on skills and technique than a group


    The coach should be regularly updating his/her knowledge by

    • Regularly attending workshops
    • Course updates
    • Surfing the net for tennis instruction and videos on techniques including latest changes
    • Passing on this information via coaching lessons and also Emails and videos to his/her pupils particularly at the intermediate to advanced level.


    The coach needs to have clear communication skills

    • Relating to Junior pupils and parents
    • Dealing with situations as they arise
    • Clear and concise instruction before, during and after the lesson
    • Explain technique and information in simple terms
    • Be patient so as to cater for the need to repeat any instructions and/or skills perhaps many times


    This is perhaps the most important attribute.
    The coach needs to be able to relate to people of all ages ranging from children, teenagers, parents, grandparents to teachers and perhaps spectators.
    Therefore the coach needs to be

    • Approachable
    • Punctual
    • Reliable
    • Encouraging
    • Enthusiastic
    • Making lessons fun particularly in the group sessions
    • Safety aware
    • Able to react to any situation
    • Able to make decisions
    • Able to keep control

    I hope that you will find the hints outlined above of some assistance when selecting the Right Tennis Coach.

    The main aim should initially be to introduce tennis to you and/or your children so that you can learn and improve your tennis skills in a relaxed atmosphere.

    Tennis the game of a lifetime

    Contact me by Email if you have any comments or helpful Tennis hints.
    Let me know the things that work for you.

    Coach Steve