Modern international sport is not only a massive global business, but has also been transformed by the emergence of specialist expertise. This expertise can be broken down into the following sections:-
- Management of an athlete
- Physical Training
- Sports Science
- Tactical Coaching
- Technical Coaching
Tennis is a highly-skilled sport and very difficult to learn. Internationally there are a small number of coaches who have been able to encapsulate their knowledge into unique tennis-learning systems, which truly de-mystify the process and open the door forward for all to learn.
This is mainly due to the extensive knowledge needed across the spectrum of diverse fields, which must be pulled together in a clear curriculum for learning. However the critical point to be made is that theory is not application - and this is where the 'track record' of a coach is all-important.
An internationally-recognised coach is one who has demonstrated that his/her methods have nurtured young players to succeed at a high level and have then translated this application of knowledge into resources for other coaches and players.
They include the International Management Group (IMG), through their sporting academies in tennis:-
The Bollettieri Academy (Bradenton, Florida) - their system is delivered globally through the Nick Bolliettieri video series.
The Evert Academy (Boca Raton, Florida) - Chris Evert works closely with the United States Tennis Association delivering coaching packages.
Other organisations deliver a full package of learning and training for players and coaches and have a proven track record of success. Those that lead the field in training systems are:-
1. Tennis Canada - Famous for their "system 5" approach to tennis.
2. Australian Institute of Sport - Renowned in leading the field in applications and innovation in sports science for the elite tennis athlete.
3. The United States Tennis Registry - pioneered by South African Dennis Van der Meer, based in South Carolina. This is a curriculum of learning for coaches delivered through seminars, books and videos.
By David Sammel