Ben Armstrong: “Joel and I Have Good Chemistry”


***Ben Armstrong is the coach of Joel Dembe who has recently become the number one ranked Canadian in the ITF Men’s Wheelchair tennis singles ranking. Armstrong, a many time Tennis Canada Coach of the Year and coach of superstars Sharon Fichman [winner at $50,000 Waterloo Challenger recently] and Dominique Harmath [#1 player for Rice University], is the Tennis Director at Toronto Tennis City for the ACE Tennis program. Together, Ben and Joel set the goal to be #1 and this is how they have gone about doing it.  Should you have any questions, please contact Ben at***


ONcourt: How did you become involved with Joel?

Ben Armstrong: Joel was without a coach and approached me in October 2008. We did a few trial sessions together and I guess that he liked them. I felt good chemistry with him and we went from there.

ONcourt: How did you develop the plan to help him reach his goals?

Ben Armstrong: We did his short and long term goal setting and then did the action plan (lessons, tournaments, fitness, psychology etc.). At first, I felt like I was pulling teeth. After a little prompting, Joel finally understood and said “to be number one in Canada” , “to win Nationals”, “to go to the Paralympics” etc, etc. The action plan was another story. I felt that we set forth a good plan. However, he simply couldn’t train enough hours and to play enough tournaments in order to achieve to goals as fast as he wanted.

ONcourt: What does he need to achieve next steps?

Ben Armstrong: It became apparent that Joel would have to leave his job at some point if he ever wanted to reach his goals and potential. He gets some funding from sport Canada (as a carded athlete). After doing the math, he knew it would be difficult to survive without a steady income. He moved in with his brother and cut as many costs as possible. He also gets some income from the prize money in the tournaments. We will see how it goes but he will definitely not be flying first class and dining at expensive restaurants in his travels.

As far as training and travel goes, I feel that he is doing most of the necessary things to meet his goals. Maybe only some tweaking to get things just right. Some things (like experience) he will acquire only when he is in those situations – he is getting more of these valuable times now that he is traveling more.

Mental Strength Training with Patricia Hy

Everyone knows the importance of mental strength, but not everyone knows how to go about it. If these ring a bell with you, let me help strengthen your player’s mental fitness. Zoom workshops every Friday November 20 – December 18. 2020.

Next Gen Tennis League promises exciting matches

The Next Gen Tennis League again saw some great tennis last weekend at The Credit Valley Tennis Club and Burlington Tennis Club. This promises that Saturday the 24th will feature some exciting matches and very competitive tennis. All three matches will be played on Saturday October 24th, with Team Byte Network Security facing Team Hydrogen at noon (Burlington Tennis Club).

ITF Men’s 85 World Team Championships Renamed the Lorne Main Cup

Toronto, October 13, 2020 – The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Tuesday that, as of 2021, the Men’s 85 World Team Championships will be renamed the Lorne Main Cup after the late Canadian. Lorne Main was selected for the honour following a unanimous vote by the ITF Seniors Committee, and approval from the ITF Board of Directors, after his name was put forward by Tennis Canada as part of the nomination process.

Yves Boulais: No Excuses… Get Working

Yves was proud to work with players including Greg Rudsedski, Patricia Hy, Oliver Marach, Eugenie Bouchard and Rebecca Marino, who achieved excellent results on the world stage. He was an Olympic Coach in Barcelona 1992 & Atlanta 1996, and Captain of the Canadian FedCup Team 1998 – 2000.

Update on UK Tennis Situation with Master Louis Cayer

I would like to share a mindset I instil in all the players I coach, one I believe has greatly influenced all of the player’s performances; “whatever happens, I can handle it.” This mindset is achieved through a systematic, tactical development process, so that whoever the opponent, whatever the surface, regardless of the environment, or scoring, the players can, and will rise to the challenge as it is presented.

Tennis Guru, Louis Borfiga Shares What Makes “A Good Coach?”

Many are asking this question, each with their own opinion, their own truth. In reality, it is difficult to answer with certainty, as the evaluation method can vary from one person to another. However, when you think about it, when you look at the references in the field of coaching in various sports, there are certain common and fundamental elements that I will describe to you here…