What should a good coach have on court
Marcin Bieniek provides a list of items which all tennis coaches should have with them on court.
Preparation is the most important 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 mind set. There are many little things that can ruin or make your work harder. The following is a suggested list of items which all coaches should have with them on court when conducting a coaching session:
We know that we play and coach in the best way when we have our own 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.
When playing tennis I suspect you sweat a lot so it is imperative to have a towel with you.
Change of Clothes
You never know what will happen on and off court. You may fall down on clay or spill a drink on your clothes. A good coach must be a role-model so he/she must look smart and tidy.
Hat and sunscreen
If you coach in hot 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 as targets to monitor the accuracy of your player's shots.
Coaches should use equipment which can help players develop their skills and help you to observe, analyse and provide feedback. A camera is an excellent device to use on court because a player can see their effort in seconds.
8. Paper and pen
It may seem trivial but it is sometimes the most desired item on court. If you want to give information to a player, paper is the best option to choose.
9. Measurement tape
If you have a measurement tape you can check and set the height of the net in seconds.
10. More water and snacks
You should always have some water and nutritional snacks in you bag. If you do not have enough water and snacks, it can have an impact on your coaching. Sometimes you may have an additional unplanned coaching session so you must be prepared incase this happens.
11. Few cans of balls
Frequently, coaches have tennis balls in storage rooms at tennis facilities. If the key holder to the storage room is late then you can at least start a lesson on time.
12. Kids balls and stuff
Your adult clients may come with along with their children unexpectedly so you must be ready to conduct a quality lesson for whole family. The worst thing a coach can say is: "Sorry, I was not prepared".
Obviously, you never know what can happen but when you are prepared with these items, you lower your chances of being surprised. It takes 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. He has a coaching tennis forum at http://2beacoach.forums-free.com
The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: