Irrespective of age, sex or current level of ability, the standard of coaching a player receives plays an important part in the development of the individual. Whether you are a junior player just starting out, or you’ve already achieved an official rank, your choice of coach is extremely important, as it can determine whether or not you reach your playing potential.
Similar to choosing a maths tutor or booking a driving lesson in romford, – check out their TrustPilot profile – the start of a new coaching relationship can be challenging and there are several things you should consider and try to adhere to when choosing a coach, to ensure the partnership is a fruitful one.
The LTA maintains a membership scheme for coaches in the United Kingdom and when choosing a coach, it’s important to find out whether or not they are accredited with the LTA. To become an accredited coach with the LTA, a coach must be qualified (see below), have undergone first aid training within the last 36 months and make an express commitment to undergo professional development. The professional development is aimed at improving their coaching skills and helping them stay up to date with new coaching developments in the game.
Coaches are graded from 1 – 5, with 5 being the highest and a coach is graded on their ability to teach, their knowledge of the game and their overall level of competency. It goes without saying that coaches working with professionals are most likely to be rated 5, however you can still find good coaches with lower qualification levels and if you are just starting out, or are looking for a coach to teach school programme, a coached ranked either 1 or 2 can provide the right foundation, during the student’s formative years.
Type of Coach
Once you have understood the accreditation system and qualification levels, the final step is to figure out what type of coach you are looking for. If you’re looking for a coach for a young player, you should focus your search on coaches who specialise in mini tennis. If you’re after a coach to work at a school programme, you can find coaches who work specifically in this area, while you can also use the LTA’s coach search platform to narrow your search to coaches who focus on coaching disability tennis or coaches who work more on performance.
Also take the time to find out which areas the coach excels / perform best in. Some coaches are really good at strength and conditioning tennis, some are better at cardio tennis, while others are great tacticians. You need to pick a coach who is right for the player and as with any relationship, it takes both parties to make things work.
Finally we leave you with a video of a training session with Novak Djokovic where he talks us through a few key concepts such as the serve, the forehand and backhand return.