Wayne Elderton: “AceCoach e-Newsletter March”

Has anyone not heard of the power of goal-setting? Yet, even in this age of goal oriented sports, business, science, etc. tennis coaches are typically not very good at incorporating goals into their daily activities. Too many coaches come to lessons on ‘wing-it’ mode. Oh sure, they can do fun activities, however, these don’t add up to effective improvement as they should. To harness the power of practice, goals are required. Goals increase the effectiveness of your annual plans, seasonal plans, monthly plans, weekly plans, lesson plans, right down to the drill or activity being done. You can almost use the term ‘goals’ and ‘plans’ synonymously. The old adage, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is applicable here. A great plan is a series of goals that are SMART.

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***

__________

EFFECTIVE COACHING

We are currently in a series about effective coaching. What makes some coaches more effective than others? After over 2 decades of experience with coaching education, I believe the key principles and behaviours that can increase coaching effectiveness are (in no particular order):

    Measurement
    Goals
    Ensuring quality repetition
    Feedback & communication
    Organization (court management)

All of them are interrelated since every principle effects every other. In this installment, we will look at the principle of goals.

Has anyone not heard of the power of goal-setting? Yet, even in this age of goal oriented sports, business, science, etc. tennis coaches are typically not very good at incorporating goals into their daily activities. Too many coaches come to lessons on ‘wing-it’ mode. Oh sure, they can do fun activities, however, these don’t add up to effective improvement as they should. To harness the power of practice, goals are required. Goals increase the effectiveness of your annual plans, seasonal plans, monthly plans, weekly plans, lesson plans, right down to the drill or activity being done. You can almost use the term ‘goals’ and ‘plans’ synonymously. The old adage, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is applicable here. A great plan is a series of goals that are SMART.

Specific: Effective goals are about very deliberate and specific things. For example, imagine a group of players performing a crosscourt drill. An ineffective coach will allow them to just hit crosscourts. An effective coach will ensure they perform a specific crosscourt shot (e.g. one that takes the opponent outside the sideline and keeps them behind the baseline).

Measurable: We talked about this in the first article of the series. Measurements make improvement tangible.

Agreed: A goal dictated by the coach to a mature student will have less impact than if the coach ‘sells’ the goal and gets players to ‘buy-in’. “My” goals will always motivate me more than your goals imposed onto me.

Realistic: Goals that relate to the reality of my play are far more applicable than goals that have little relevance to me successfully playing. For example, if players are given a goal to make the ball pull the opponent to the sideline, that is far more realistic and relevant than giving the player a goal to follow-through more.

Timed: Having an achievable time frame for the goal to be completed helps accountability. For example, setting a goal to improve my 2nd serve percentage by 10% in one month will give me an idea of the amount of practice I will require. Having a time-frame even helps specific drills. For example, if I am doing a drill to improve my side to side movement, it would be helpful if I knew if the drill was going to run for 15 seconds as opposed to 2 minutes. It will definitely affect my intensity.

Effective coaches have a ‘vision’ for what the player will look like after the goal is achieved. A vision is a picture of a preferred future. For example, an effective coach working with a 16 year old national level player will have the picture of that player using all their weapons, and playing with a gamestyle that suits them. All their goals would be to become that picture. Even for individual drills, the coach should ask, what should they look like after this drill? This defines the goal of the drill. Effective coaches will let the players know, “This is the goal of this drill” (e.g. “Our goal here is to practice passing shots by keeping the ball below the shoulder level of your opponent. We will do that by levelling out your racquet path.”). They then keep players focused and on-track during the drill (by reinforcing the goal) and then they summarize at the end by reviewing the goal. A goal-less drill is a purposeless activity. Take this next couple of weeks to experiment by setting SMART goals with the players you coach and every drill you do.

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.
 

A New Reality By Nicolas Pereira

This past week in the World Team Tennis ‘Bubble” I have seen the efforts to keep everyone safe while carrying on a team competition with around 60/70 players and coaches onsite. Counting organizers, officials, media, and support personnel are around 150 people trying hard to make this happen. I am very impressed by how the strict protocol has been handled and how everyone is invested in making this event a success, but The Open is a completely different scale of details.

WEBINARS
VIDEOS
ARCHIVED NEWS
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…