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greenlantern
05-21-2006, 06:08 AM
Ok...in a nutshell I would love any advice. I am taking over a high school tennis program that is in shambles. I have not coached tennis before, but was a very good junior player, and have had success coaching other sports. None of my players are in USTA events over the summer, but they think they are serious tennis players. Past years have been terrible for the team, fighting, backstabbing, you name it. Should I ease in first year and possibly focus on my jr. high players, trying to convince them the need to be involved in USTA events or what? Again, I must repeat, program can only get better so any advice is going to be seriously considered. Thanks.

tennus
05-21-2006, 06:36 AM
Ok...in a nutshell I would love any advice. I am taking over a high school tennis program that is in shambles. I have not coached tennis before, but was a very good junior player, and have had success coaching other sports. None of my players are in USTA events over the summer, but they think they are serious tennis players. Past years have been terrible for the team, fighting, backstabbing, you name it. Should I ease in first year and possibly focus on my jr. high players, trying to convince them the need to be involved in USTA events or what? Again, I must repeat, program can only get better so any advice is going to be seriously considered. Thanks.

Well, sounds like you already know the answer. Someone has to be the bad guy, let them know exactly where they stand. If you've had success in other sports you will recognise it didn't just happen. Weed out the problem cases and let them know that talent is nothing compared to work ethic. If they don't like it they should go and play marbles and stop wasting your time ! Go hard or go home. Just my 2c worth. ;)

Bungalo Bill
05-21-2006, 09:32 AM
Should I ease in first year and possibly focus on my jr. high players, trying to convince them the need to be involved in USTA events or what? Again, I must repeat, program can only get better so any advice is going to be seriously considered. Thanks.

The first clue is the program sucks. Your players attitude sucks. They are not a team and they are not serious tennis players or they would be competing in the summer leagues in the USTA.

Do you really think you should be easy? I mean isn't this what they are used to? Easy? This is the time, I drive down to my local sports store and buy a coaches whistle. I make sure I BLOW it in the store as loud as I can. I want to see the reaction on the store personnels face. If they turn their heads and all conversation stops - I buy the whistle.

I take that whistle and I train those little brats what the whistle means. It means business. The first few weeks, it is all about conditioning. You can organize your team anyway you want as far as competition, but run, sprints, pushups, drills, practice they will do. They will also here my whistle loud and clear.

You will no longer suggest they play in the leagues, you will insist. Then you will figure out a way to "favor" those that are putting out.

Watch the movie Remember the Titans. I wouldn't go as far as them not being able to have water, but the spirit of that coach is what you need. Just use common sense when you are pushing them harder.

http://www.superduperhoops.com/images/p200/champ_whistle-BP601.jpg

cak
05-21-2006, 09:41 AM
High school sport coaching is fraught with parent politics. I'd start by having the students' and their parents sign a code of conduct. If the kids aren't living up to the code, by goofing off, trash talking their team mates, etc, you then can boot them. Otherwise the parents will fight you tooth and nail. Put in the code the rules of the ladder. Maybe ladder matches can only be played after practices (or during, with permission). If you don't show for practice you don't get to play challenge matches, and forfeit to anyone challenging you. Match lineups go strictly off the ladder. Stuff like that. What you will find is the seniors and juniors that were coasting will drop off, and you will be counting on the younger kids. That's okay, it will take a few years to build a team, but those on the team will want to be there.

Bungalo Bill
05-21-2006, 09:44 AM
High school sport coaching is fraught with parent politics. I'd start by having the students' and their parents sign a code of conduct. If the kids aren't living up to the code, by goofing off, trash talking their team mates, etc, you then can boot them.

Good perspective Cak. Very good. Parents should be "involved" as there are probably good and fair parents that would understand the dilemma and support the efforts of the coach.

greenlantern
05-21-2006, 03:53 PM
Thanks to all who posted. I was already leaning towards the whistle or something like it. Like I said earlier I was a good junior player who worked my butt off 365 days a year, eight hours a day in the summer. There are none who do anything close, but I just am fearful that my attitude towards the sport, or any sport for that matter will scare them off. I play to win and improve daily, hourly, by the minute. I agree and appreciate all the advice given. I will keep all posted.

AndyP
05-21-2006, 04:14 PM
Watch the movie Remember the Titans. I wouldn't go as far as them not being able to have water, but the spirit of that coach is what you need. Just use common sense when you are pushing them harder.


Being a highschool athlete myself let me tell you I HATE coaches like this. A good coach will be able to find a way to push his kids without screaming his head off.

greenlantern
05-21-2006, 07:26 PM
I agree with you about screaming at kids...I do not condone it but you can still be tough adn let them know what is expected without yelling at them. I just want them to either be serious about their game or do something else. It is not little league anymore where everyone gets to play cause daddy paid the entry fee. I plan on putting in alot of time and energy and expect the same from my players. I don't think that is too much to ask. Side note though, there are many kids who don't get motivated by the usual please and thank you...sometimes the whip is needed.

Freedom
05-21-2006, 07:59 PM
Just as long as you aren't a jerk coach, a little tough love is fine, I think. I would reccomend reading Brad Gilbert's "I've Got Your Back". Excellent book.