***Tennis Guru, Robert Lansdorp is known for helping in the career development of Tracy Austin, Pete Sampras, Maria Sharapova, and Linsday Davenport, to name only a few. Recently he was the guest speaker at the Canadian Coaches conference in Toronto and provided the crowd with excellent anecdotes about his high profile students as well as some insight into his philosophy.***
For Robert, four areas are primordial if you are to develop a world class player: “Consistency, placement, power and timing”. He believes that without power you can reach the top 60 in the women’s game but only the top 200 in the men’s game.
Lansdorp is a big gregarious man with strong opinions. He is a straight shooter who calls it the way he sees it. He has not always won the popularity contests but one thing remains; he gets maximum effort and results from his players.
His reputation provides him with the opportunity to immediately receive respect from his players and he uses that to leverage his ideas on his pupils. There is no secret here: he expects discipline and effort, in return he cajoles, motivates and sells his ideas to his players. He believes in simplicity and repetition. Nothing fancy just straight forward work ethic.
Lansdorp also is a great believer in efficiency as it relates to strokes. He introduced the Reverse Forehand made popular by Sharapova as well as covering the difference between the American slice [straight through] and the European slice [much more movement on the ball. In tactics his beliefs are “Cross court is the bread and butter pattern while the down the line is the money shot”.
The most important lesson from the Lansdorp presentation is that he is not a great coach due to his technical knowledge but rather because of his communication skills with his students.