Wayne Elderton: AceCoach e-Newsletter January 2013

Written by: Wayne Elderton


***Wayne Elderton is acknowledged as one of Canada’s leading coaches. He is Head of Tennis Canada Coaching Development and Certification in British Columbia. In this role, he has provided coaching training to over 1500 coaches. He is a main contributor to the Tennis Canada Coaching Certification program and has also written articles and coaching materials for the PTR, Tennis Corporation of America, Tennis Coaches Australia, and the International Tennis Federation. He is a popular speaker at coaching conferences world-wide. He is a Chartered Professional Coach (ChPC) as recognized by the Professional coaching association, Coaches of Canada. Wayne has enjoyed considerable success in his career using the Game-Based approach. As a High Performance coach, he has led provincial teams to gold medals in the Canada and Western Canada Games. His players have won numerous national titles and many have achieved full scholarships at US Universities. Some have gone on to achieve WTA and ATP rankings. He has also coached 3 wheelchair players to top 10 world rankings and has coached Canada’s World Team Cup squad (Davis Cup for Wheelchair players). He is a key builder of the Canadian National Wheelchair Team program and created Tennis Canada’s Wheelchair Instructor Course. In 2006 he was inducted into the City of Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame in the coaching category. He is currently Tennis Director at the Grant Connell Tennis Centre in North Vancouver which was awarded the 2005 Canadian Facility of the Year for program excellence by the Tennis Professionals Association. For more information, please go to www.acecoach.com***


Welcome to issue 125 of the ACE Coach Newsletter

Our goal is to be the best resource world-wide for coaches who want to become better at using a Game-based approach and other 21st Century coaching principles. When you visit www.acecoach.com, two options are available:

Players can click “Ace Player” (at the bottom of the left menu on the acecoach.com homepage) to access a series of ‘one pager’ PDF articles and videos on 21st Century coaching principles that help improve your game. Many include simple ‘take home’ practice drills. Coaches can use the articles for student handouts or to post on notice boards to excite players about modern coaching.

Coaches can also access the rest of the site which includes plenty of information and articles to help master 21st Century Tennis Coaching (especially using a Game-based Approach).

Many happy returns,

Wayne Elderton



Take a look at all the short videos on our youtube channel! (Go to: www.youtube.com/acecoach2008).


Our second library of articles targeted to players (rather than targeted to coaches) just became easier to get to. We have moved the link to the Ace Player page to our left main menu on the homepage. Now you will see a link entitled, “Ace Player: Articles and videos for players” at the bottom of the menu. Although it is targeted to players, coaches can use it as well. These are great handouts for coaches to use in their programs and post on bulletin boards.

Click here to get there


This month, we are featuring two articles in the Basic Strategy series that have been updated:

Basic Strategies: Gain Territory

Basic Strategies: Mix it Up

Click the names above to get to them.


We have identified four main ‘pillars’ that are the foundation of advanced coaching:

  • Learning tennis as an Open Skill
  • Coaching in a Learner-centred way
  • Utilizing a Game-based Approach
  • Integrating the 4 Performance Factors (Psychological, Physical, Tactical, Technical)

This month’s featured article fits into the ‘Game-based’ pillar.

We have updated our final two articles in the ‘Basic Strategies’ series. Last month, we explored if you were a ‘Stroke Coach’ r a ‘Game coach’. A ‘Game Coach’ has the main goal of helping players learn to play tennis successfully (which must involve technical coaching to be effective). A ‘Stroke coach’ has the goal of teaching players to stroke believing that this is the main tool used to play well. Don’t misunderstand. I am not saying Stroke Coaching is ‘bad’. It is the most common way all the successful players in the past have been taught.

The issue becomes an exploration of change, and if tennis coaching can ‘evolve’. Can we become more efficient or, have we ‘peaked’? Can we give players a comprehensive learning experience that integrates tactics, techniques, and more?

By using the basic strategies as a driver, coaches will see that they have to convey information in different ways. For example, by coming from the perspective of ‘playing’ and ‘strategy’, they will see the need to help their players become problem solvers. Which in turn, means they may need to change how they communicate to players. See acecoach article: “Coaching Communication Styles“) One doesn’t create a problem-solver who is independent by constantly telling them what to do in lessons.

One of the ways to get started is to use tactics as your lesson and program themes. The articles featured this month are more resources in your arsenal of tactics.

We encourage you to experiment with these concepts and see if they can transform your coaching.

Try this while you coach tennis this week and keep moving along in the journey to 21st Century coaching.

Over 2500 coaches subscribe! Feel free to forward this to coaches or players you know. They can receive their own free copy of the ACE e-newsletter each month. Go to www.acecoach.com, once there, look to the top right to see a section that allows you to subscribe. You will receive the e-newsletter on the 15th of the month.

A deeper dive into second serve statistics

The two most widely reported second serve statistics in professional tennis are the number of double faults a player hit, and their second serve winning percentage. If we’re trying to understand the effectiveness of a particular player’s second serve, relying only on those statistics has significant drawbacks. Article by Michal Kokta.

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.