In this picture: (from left to right) Louis Cayer at Wimbledon, 2012; Louis Cayer and Pierre Lamarche at Davis Cup, 1989
Written by: Ben Armstrong
***Louis Cayer is the LTA’s lead doubles coach, who works with a number of leading British doubles players, including Colin Fleming, Ken Skupski, Ross Hutchins and Sarah Borwell. He was with the Davis Cup Team, as a coach (1989-1993) and as captain (1994-2000) for 12 years and was also the Olympic Coach when the men’s doubles team of Daniel Nestor and Sébastien Lareau won the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Louis started his role at the LTA in March 2007. He has been coaching professionally for the last 40 years, a role he took up initially to pay for his education. He would coach throughout the summer holidays, at weekends and on some evenings to make enough money so he could study. On average he would work 20-22 hours a week while studying full time. At college he studied Pedagogy, the science of learning and teaching, and he studied until he was 24, when he became a full-time tennis coach. When he had finished his education and taken up coaching as a full-time career, he moved onto the elite program with early success and as a result, climbed up the coaching rankings quickly.
As the author of the “Action Method”, a game-based approach to tennis, he has been the leader of the Canadian Coaching Certification System since 1989 and sat on the ITF Coaching Commission from 1995 to 2000. A tennis coach since 1968, Louis travelled for over 10 years on the ATP tour with doubles’ teams ranked inside the top 4 and has spoken at coaching conferences on 5 continents. Louis has presented at each ITF Worldwide Coaches Workshop since 1987 and, due to popular demand, will for a 4th time present on a topic related to doubles. In 2001, the ITF also asked Louis to lead the video, Doubles Tennis Tactics, produced by Human Kinetics. He also provides advice and support to coaches at International High Performance Centres (IHPCs) as part of the LTA’s drive to support the development of a network of high performance clubs in the UK.***
This past weekend, Louis Cayer helped make British history. One of his students (Jonathan Marray) won the Wimbledon Men’s Doubles title – 1st Brit to do so in 75 years. When his student held up the trophy, it validated Cayer’s work as a premiere international coach. Beyond any doubt, he is one of the best and most productive coaches in the world. If you have ever seen him coach or been at one of his lectures, you appreciate his brilliance and expertise.
Louis has trained and travelled with six top-100 singles players and the number-one ranked ATP doubles team from Canada (1989-2000). In addition to being Canada’s Davis Cup Coach (1989-93) and Captain (1994-2000), he coached another top team (Nestor and Lareau) to a gold medal in the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. Pierre Lamarche saw his talent early on and had him lead coaching education for Canada and had him serve as Davis Cup coach to help develop the top doubles teams to win the crucial Saturday point in Davis Cup ties. With all that success in Canada and his crucial role in coaching education here, why did Tennis Canada let him go?
The LTA seized the opportunity to add Louis to their coaching team as Canada discarded him. When Louis started to work for the LTA in 2007, they had very few top-100 doubles players (2 in the top 100). So it was obvious they could use him as a doubles coach (in addition to coaching in general and being an educator). The players quickly flourished under his guidance and now there are 8 in the top hundred (35 in the top 1000), including a Wimbledon champion! He also works with Jamie Murray, Colin Fleming, Ken Skupski, and Ross Hutchins, as well as the AEGON GB Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams, and the Olympic preparations of the doubles teams. The LTA and their players obviously see his value and utilize it very well. The players like him and they are getting results.
What’s next? Maybe another Olympic medal? Good luck, and we will be watching.