What should a good coach have on the court?
Marcin Bieniek provides a list of items that all tennis coaches should have with them on the court.
Preparation is the most crucial aspect for all tennis coaches and players. For a coach, this means that you have everything you will need on-court, so your coaching session runs smoothly.
It can be perceived that a coach does not have to care about many things during a coaching session, but it is a wrong mindset. Many little things can ruin or make your work harder. The following is a suggested list of items that all coaches should have with them on the court when conducting a coaching session:
We know that we play and coach best when we have our equipment. Also, many amateur players do not have a second racquet when they come to a tennis session.
There is nothing worse than playing tennis with a wet or torn grip. A few replacement grips in your bag can give you mental comfort for all your sessions.
I suspect you sweat a lot when playing tennis, so it is imperative to have a towel with you.
Change of Clothes
You never know what will happen on and off the court. You may fall on clay or spill a drink on your clothes. A good coach must be a role model, so they must look smart and tidy.
Hat and sunscreen
If you coach in a tropical environment like Africa, Dubai or Arizona, you should have a hat and sunscreen with you at all times to protect you from the sun's harmful rays.
Tennis is a tactical sport. If you want to teach tactics, you can use cones or markers to mark a zone or use them as targets to monitor the accuracy of your player's shots.
Coaches should use equipment that can help players develop their skills and help them to observe, analyse and provide feedback. A camera is an excellent device to use on the court because players can see their effort in seconds.
Paper and pen
It may seem trivial, but it is sometimes the most desired item on the court. If you want to give information to a player, writing is the best option to choose.
If you have a measuring tape, you can check and set the net's height in seconds.
More water and snacks
You should always have some water and nutritional snacks in your bag. If you do not have enough water and snacks, it can impact your coaching. Sometimes you may have an additional unplanned coaching session, so you must be prepared if this happens.
Few cans of balls
Frequently, coaches have tennis balls in storage rooms at tennis facilities. If the storage room's key holder is late, you can at least start a lesson on time.
Kids balls and stuff
Your adult clients may come along with their children unexpectedly, so you must be ready to conduct a quality lesson for the whole family. A coach can say the worst thing: "Sorry, I was not prepared".
You never know what can happen, but when you are prepared with these items, you lower your chances of being surprised. It takes a few minutes, but it can impact your coaching sessions or career as a tennis coach. More importantly, it provides an image of a well-prepared professional coach to your players.
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About the Author
Marcin Bieniek is a tennis coach from Poland and a former professional player (Polish National Juniors Team). He is a certificated tennis coach by the Polish Tennis Coaching Association and the Professional Tennis Registry. Marcin has worked with many of the top 20 Polish Juniors and the top 150 players in the world.