I read an article on the Tennis Mom recently entitled Why Do Juniors Switch Tennis Coaches So Often? I was intrigued to read the article because it is a question I have asked myself often. Personally we have only had one switch in coaching in seven years and that was due to our coach leaving tennis. I believe we are the minority and we were blessed with an excellent coach in the first place. I don’t have a problem with tennis players switching coaches as long as they do it for the right reasons. As a matter of fact I think a lot of people can improve their game by making a switch. Here is a brief list of some of the reasons I think you should or should not change coaches.
Reasons to Change Coaches:
- The coach you have is not technically sound
- The coach you have is feeding balls and not correcting stroke production
- Your coach was good for the technical development of your strokes but now you need someone who knows more about point construction and strategy
- Your coach doesn’t teach the style of game that best suits you
- Personality conflict between you and the coach
- You need a fresh look at your game, your current coach is so used to seeing you hit he/she isn’t seeing the little flaws or opportunity for development in your game
- You are not enjoying tennis anymore
Not Good Reasons to Change Coaches:
- Chasing after the coach who has the top player (the coach doesn’t always make the player, a lot of coaches seek out the top players to make them look good)
- You are losing (it may not be the coaches fault you are losing. Have you listened to what you were told to do? Are you going through a learning curve that will require a dip in your game to eventually get better?)
- Your behavior is so bad your coach no longer wants to work with you (change your behavior not your coach)
- You don’t like one of the other students the coach is coaching (someone may not have liked you at one time)
I am also an advocate of having more than one coach as long as the coaches can communicate with each other and work together. Some coaches really excel in the serve while others are great at ground strokes. We have a coach that specializes in match play but we go back to the technical coach every once in a while for a tune up in the stroke production. Again we are very lucky that we have found coaches that are willing to work together.
Your greatest success in getting a good tennis coach is being a good student and a good tennis parent. Let the coach do their job and make sure you are doing yours. If it is not working, ask yourself why, and if you think it’s time to move on or add a second coach it is your right to do so.
Have you changed coaches? What led you to make the change?