View Full Version : How to get my !@#$ing high school coach to shut up?

03-05-2004, 04:40 PM
As stated in the title, how could I get my high school coach to stop talking. He's quite old and thinks he knows what is best. However, all the advice he gives is horrible. On the serve, he tells us(the part of the team that doesn't have such a good serve, to hit down on the ball). Also, all our ground strokes, he wants us to go for broke. He could care less for technique. All he wants us to do is hit the s@#t out of the ball. The most annoying thing thus far is that he talks while we are playing matches. Just today, which got me extremely ****ed off, was that just before we were going to start a match, he goes off saying all this crap about my serve. In the past, my serve has been quite bad (sometimes even double-faulting one whole game). However, my serve has gotten much better. None the less, he still won't shut up. Today, I was about to just smack a ball right at him. With all that said, how can I have him stop critizing everything when his advice isn't even any good.


03-05-2004, 05:42 PM
Take the complaint up with the Athletic Director. Just don't do it by yourself get a few others from the team.

03-05-2004, 06:24 PM
I don't think that will work. NO one, and I mean no one cares about the sport of tennis at our school. Also, I don't think the school would care about a few complaints about the coach, but thanks for the advice.

03-05-2004, 07:09 PM
dude, the best way to do this is to rally the team and yall devise a plan to shut his *** up. tennis is not like that at my school. however, football last year was. the coach was nuts. rally the team and yall will think of something.

03-05-2004, 07:18 PM
the old guys only there to collect a paycheck, just filter out his words, pretend like you don't here him when your playing

03-06-2004, 06:23 AM
If you learn to ignore this guy, it will be good practice for ignoring annoying opponents in your future :D


03-06-2004, 07:17 PM
i agree polak

03-06-2004, 08:45 PM
I have dealt with many people like this in my life, and some mean well, but others can be pure creeps. Rather than going into my unique ways of dealing with different distractions throughout my youth I will give you some universal advice.

1) Ask yourself if the advice they give you works efficiently. If you continue to try their advice and it remains awkward, ditch the idea. I have seen many people in a variety of areas screw up their progress by attempting to force inefficient ideas to work. Educate yourself on tennis, and find the common denominators of all the sources you learn from. A camcorder is a very wise decision, because the camera doesn't lie or misinterpret anything. C'mon, I am shure you have met people that like a girl that you wouldn't touch with a ten foot poll. Since beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, only your opinion of your game should matter. You should always be the final judge on the form of your game, no one else.

2) If you are comfortable with your game, then just respectfully disagree. A few things you could say if he bugs you are
- I am comfortable with that aspect of my game right now.
- I don't want to make too many changes at once.
- I was thinking about trying that, but I am not quite ready to make the change yet.

If he is one of those chatterbox kind of guys then learn to tune him out. It is like the drill sargent. If the drill sargent still bothers you, then you haven't adapted. The drill sargent should never upset you.

I have made as many bitter rivalries as friends when it comes to do gooders and authority junkies. I do not regret the way I handled any of the people who have tried to stand in my way, but every situation is different, and should be handled accordingly. Most people do not have a form of antisocial personality disorder, or extreme prejudice, and can typically be handled with diplomacy.
Be diplomatic when you can, it will go along way in this world, and it is a skill that never gets old. Good luck!

03-08-2004, 07:32 AM
I think you should just shut up and quit crying. He is your coach for that he should get your respect right or wrong. That is what is wrong with kids today, they have no respect for people they should. That is why we have kids who quit when it gets tough. Also it sounds like your serve sucks, so he has every right and you should take an ear to anyone who gives you advice and be THANKFUL for it. Anyone who can double fault a whole game away needs MUCH advice. If your team wants to help maybe they should help you by giving you some tips on how to play the game of tennis and how to grow up. It sounds like your tennis game will never improve unless you can learn to take advice and criticism. It was only 5 years ago when I was the 2nd best player in the state and had a coach who never even played tennis but always was telling me I could do this and that differently. I went on to play tennis at a top 10 college in the nation, #3 for that matter in NCAA division II and you know what I never even thought about telling him off, I took his advice and sometimes even tried out a few things he was saying mostly to appease him. So I have no sympathy for punks like you. You sound like a waste of any coach's time and a sorry tennis player who needs a good attitude change. If I was your teammate, I would give you a good ol' a## whoopin for an attitude change.

03-08-2004, 08:08 AM
I would tell him that his talking disrupts you during your matches and that you would appreciate less interruptions so that you can concentrate.

03-08-2004, 12:22 PM
Most High Schools don't care about tennis or who coaches the team. As long as they have someone, and don't have to hire someone new every year they probably will ignore your complaints.

And that is the advice I give you - Be respectful and listen but ignore what he says. His advice could be a result of what limited knowledge he has, or he doesn't really care if you improve. Find someone else that will honestly evalute your game and you positive reccomendations on how to improve.

Enjoy High School Tennis


03-08-2004, 03:33 PM
To jmckinney, if you actually read the entirety of the post, then basically everything you have said does nothing. First of all, I said my serve used to be horrible. When my serve was bad, he actually never said anything to me. However, my serve has improved greatly. I rarely double fault these days. Maybe one or two every now and then when I have a huge lead and want to just go for it. In addition, all the "advice" he gives is basically useless. Hitting down on a serve will not help. If someone can prove me wrong about that, by all means please do. Finally jmckinney, I'd appreciate it if you don't make insinuations about my serve wihtout actually reading what I wrote. I will reiterate my point by saying that my serve used to suck, but now it's fine.

On a lighter note though, today I played a match against another school. When my coach arrived(which I might add, he was late), the first thing he does is come up to me and critizie me more about my serve (This is when my partner and I are about to start our match). For the past 3 days, my serves has been perfectly fine, but he still talks bad about it even though he doesn't watch my serve.

So, in conclusion, I still think my coach needs to stop talking !@#$ about my serve. And once again to jmckinney, please read my whole post before making it seem that I'm the one at fault.


Radical Shot
03-08-2004, 04:21 PM
Be a man. Muster up courage and talk to him honestly and openly about how you feel. Tell him you appreciate any good things he does, but give him feedback on what you don't like. Build your relationship with him.
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03-10-2004, 06:26 AM
I think you still are a little punk, can't even respect your coach. That is what I have a problem with. I could care less about your improved serve. Well, I guess I am glad it is improved (always like to hear about improvement in someone's game). But the real problem is the way you talk about how you should have hit your coach with a ball and the utter disrespect you have towards him. That is what sucks. So maybe he knows nothing, it is not his fault. I have seen alot of coaches this way. Their players still respect them. I am just saying check yourself before you go on a rampage against an innocent coach. Just take some of what he says and try it, talk to him after practice one day about how you feel, or just ignore what he says but still be respectful. I just can't stand kids who have no respect for others. Maybe he can tell you do not like him and have no respect for him so he, being as immature as you, disrespects you back. Whatever the problem, take some advice: Shut up and play! Be respectful and then maybe he will respect you or just talk to him.

Camilio Pascual
03-10-2004, 09:36 AM
I doubt you will be able to do much to change the situation. It sounds to me he wants attention. I'd try what kevhen says once and think theace21 and kobble are giving you good advice. Pretty much respectfully agree with him and then go ahead and do what you were going to do anyway. There is no way a coach should be running down a tennis player's game before a match. This might work in some team sports to get people to rally around each other, it is a big no-no in tennis coaching. One tip that might (or not) work. Get him to talk about HIS tennis past and get him to recall old matches. This may fulfill a need for attention and he'll be less focused on your game. Worth a try, anyway. Good luck.

Radical Shot
03-10-2004, 12:56 PM
jmckinney, remember that respect is earned, not forced. I don't understand why so many people on this topic have given advice to simply pay lip service to the coach and then do what you want anyway. That's hypocritical disrespect!

Sounds like some people have written off the situation as hopeless. Speak to the man and resolve things in adult fashion. Your tennis will improve if nothing more than the fact that you know you confront issues, not run from them.
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03-10-2004, 01:12 PM
This is a gripe i've always had with tennis players in general, especially at the high school level. Every single other high school sport has in your face @sshole coaches who yell and scream and critisize, but in those sports, you pay attention, use it as a reason to get better, and go with it, not complain, say my game is "good enough" and ask how to get a coach off your back. My advice to you is to deal with it and grow up. Talk to the coach.

03-10-2004, 02:12 PM
why should he respect his coach? when i was younger, i thought the same thing, always respect your elders. well, you know what...i'm 35 now, and i realize, a lot of people my age are pretty freaking stupid.
this kid might just be a disrespectful punk, but he might not...you don't know, you aren't there.
personally, i think the kid should just take what he says with a grain of salt, and try to hook up with a local pro that he does respect.
theres plenty of instances where adults are put in charge of children who should not be. (um, many catholic priests?) just because they are older, they don't necessarily deserve respect.

Rod K
03-10-2004, 10:38 PM
I've coached many high school teams off and on during the past 25 years and am currently a USPTA Pro 2. I respect how you've held your toung with your coach, and how you're coming to this board for advice.

It sounds like your coach may not be a "real" tennis player. If he's interested in only having you crush the ball regardless of consistancy, tell him (in private) that you are the type of player who prefers to play percentage tennis and win.

Maybe prior to that you can suggest that the team would benefit from watching him play a match with a player on the team or one of his current hitting partners (he probably doesn't have any).

I agree with what others have said; tennis is a doormat sport at a lot of high schools. Often one of the school's teachers does it for the little bit of cash the school puts out and also because they want the school to be able to continue to offer tennis. There are, however, a lot of good high school coaches out there.

Do what you can to make coming out every day fun for your coach. Read, if you haven't already, Winning Ugly, bring it around to practice, and ask your coach if he wants to borrow it. Tell him you play percentage tennis ala Brad Gilbert.

I like your dedication to tennis. If I'd had a few more serious players like yourself, and a little more time (teaching college tennis and racquetball now) I'd still be coaching high school.

03-11-2004, 06:36 PM
I thank you all for your input on my problem. Even you jmckinney, although I don't think I'll be using your tips as much as the ones given by others. The situation is getting a little better. He doesn't criticize me about my game, and I don't get ticked off. So it is a win win situation. There is maybe a few instance where he gives decent advice, and I do try to use it. But for the most part, his advice does not work too well. In addition, I have a place where I normally play. It's like a group lesson style thing for high school players. I completely respect him and have used all the tips that he has given. So to whichever poster mentioned to get a coach(sorry, don't remember who), I guess this would count. Once again, thank you to all that have taken time out of their day to read my problem and give advice to try to solve it.

03-13-2004, 07:27 AM
you knid of have to learn which wars to fight. if you can get away with mentioning to him in private that his advice sometimes causes anxiety and hinders perfomance, than you gotta do it. but if there is no interpersonal context between you ... if there is no way for you to point out this problem tactfully, that is, without adding more dysfunctional layers of drama, than suck it up and remember this: the tour is tough. there are often no ideal solutions to problems like this, and little can be gained from losing your cool or driving yourself crazy. this is just one of the things about life that sucks.

03-20-2004, 02:22 AM
listen here you ungrateful little *****. dont put cr@p on ur coach, coz if u dont respect him then noone else will either. u have to lead by example, and this message isnt doing that

03-20-2004, 04:50 AM
wow. i'm just glad my coach let me do whatever i wanted when i played my matches; then again my coach wasn't anything more than a 3.5 and he accepted that he couldn't teach me anything i didn't know already. but what was so cool about him was that he stuck up for us because we sucked as a team (i was the only one who played tennis seriously) and other teams and coaches were *****holes to us and he defended us.

03-21-2004, 04:30 AM
Continue to improve your tennis and then play several matches against your coach yourself and beat him every time. If he can't break your serve, he'll stop commenting about it! :)

03-22-2004, 03:53 AM
Interesting... as a High School Coach years ago and as a lifetime player, this is a tough situation... If two things come out of it, IMHO, they are: 1) All of you who have good, caring, competant coaches, thank that coach sometime in the future, 2) understand that any high school coach is doing this for pennies an hour. That does not excuse any incompetancy, but is a problem with the system. The coach did not make the system.

If you have a coach who is great and , for some reason, $ is not an issue with him/her - you are both lucky. Other than that, if you have less than a good coach, think of all the fine coaches who have passed on that job due to working conditions. Most of all, enjoy anyone who gets you on the court in your youth and lets you compete. That is the name of the game.

Tim Tennis
03-24-2004, 05:36 AM
From the other side of the coin. I am assisting with the local high school tennis team. I don't get paid. I just do it because I love working with the kids and the coach asked me to help. If I can help them improve great. During a match I try not to interfere, I mostly give encouragement but sometimes I will give advice if I pick up on a players weakness, like hit to his backhand, it is really weak or hit to his forehand he can't hit 3 in a row. I only talk to them during the change over. The only thing I really care about during a match is that a player give 100% and displays good sportsmanship. I get to practice an hour early and I will stay an hour late. If the kids just want to hit or want to work on something specific, great. Some of them, their mechanics are so bad any change would help. I think the kids respect me simply because I can back up what I say with my game. Even our number 1 player would be lucky to get a couple of games off of me.

The biggest weakness I see in our team overall is 1) Most of them do not have a good second serve. 2) Most of them do not volley well, yikes! 3) Overheads, whats that, poor. 4) Inconsistent and no idea how to work a point. 5) They are all a step slow which with a little work on quickness could win so many more points for them. Sprints! I wonder how this applies to your teams?

I have noticed they hate to do drills, they hate sprints, they just want to come to practice, hit the ball around with their buddies and play challenge matches. I wonder how this applies to your teams? Don't get me wrong, they are a great bunch of kids.

As far as your coach, take it easy on him. When kids come to me and ask me to help them with their game or a particular stroke I am honored. I tell them you don't have to agree or accept my advice, just give it some thought and try it to see if it works for you.

Your right, high school tennis in most places it treated like a red headed step child, which is a shame because it is a great life time sport. You got to love the game.

03-24-2004, 07:55 AM
Yes, most high school (and 3.5 level players) have very weak or inconsistent overheads because they fail to actually practice hitting them and don't practice good mechanics either when they do. Dropshot and lob is my motto against a player with a weak overhead.

Another thing to do with your coach is to use reverse pyschology and constantly ask him for advice and if he is yelling during your match, stop and go over and talk to him to find out what he is yelling about, until he realizes he is disrupting your match and starts leaving you alone.

03-26-2004, 01:25 AM
You've had some good advice in this thread, especially by Kobble, Rod K and Tim Tennis.

One doesn't have to respect somebody just because he's an authority figure, as posted by Ace. But you will rarely find a person from whom you'd have nothing at all to learn (either through things he does well or mistakes he's made), especially while you're young, or whom you'd have nothing at all to respect for.

I see a coach coaching some young kids next to the court where I have my weekly practice, and his strokes and advice look totally off to me. He even comes to ask for (trivial) advice from my teaching pro. But he seems to care about his students, and one way or the other they improve (faster than I do, since I'm 25 already).

I take what my teaching pro says with a grain of salt as well. He advocates flat volleys, while I try to practice them with a bit of underspin. He likes very closed stances while I hit with an open stance once in a while. He suggests not doing a full preparation on serve while learning it (i.e., tossing with right hand ready to hit), while I do the full preparation and try to work my timing from there. He advocates Wilson Triads while I play with a Prokennex 5G (which he calls a ladies' racquet as it's "soft"). I hope I'm doing what's right for me on at least a few of these :).

I recently browsed through the Inner Game of tennis and it basically says - forget about technique, just relax and do what comes naturally. As if coaches were irrelevant, and their main task was to feed balls and be quiet.

I guess the truth is always somewhere in the middle.

03-29-2004, 06:52 AM
Juu, the inner game of tennis does NOT say forget about technique. It says you need to have basic mechanics, but after that you have to trust your strokes. That means you gotta have strokes and gotta have technique IMO.