The three most important questions when you select your child’s tennis coach?

How do you make your decision?

As a parent, selecting a tennis coach for your child can be a very difficult task. If you are not a professional coach yourself and don’t have ties in the tennis community, then where do you start. If I take my car to a mechanic, he can tell me anything, and I will say ok, do the job. But there will be three questions going on in my head that have to be answered yes to all three, and shortly I will tell you what they are.

Tennis is a very technical sport and the student coach relationship is of paramount importance in the development of your child, no matter what level they are playing. The coach will play many roles in your child’s life and you need to make an informed, educated decision about who will become this role model / educator.

In my opinion there are three types of coaches;

The Dictator

  • Coach makes all decisions
  • Athlete responds to commands
  • Tell what to do, shut up, listen & comply

The Babysitter

  • Submissive style making few decisions
  • Little instruction, with little teaching
  • Lacks competence, guidance or lazy

The Teacher

  • Share decision making
  • Cooperative style letting athlete make decisions
  • Leadership and guidance

Our role as the Coach

“to help individuals become responsible and independent, capable of make their own decisions and give them the knowledge to problem solve”

As parents, make sure your coach is always the Teacher, sometimes the Dictator but never the Babysitter.

Getting back to my first point, it is my opinion that there are three questions going on in your head that need to be answered yes (to all three). These questions are the 3 most important questions when you select your child’s tennis coach?

  1. Does the coach know his/her stuff?
  2. Can I trust him/her?
  3. Does he/she care about my child?

If you, as a parent, can not answer yes to all three of the above questions you will most likely not have lessons with that coaches or will not stay long term and have that coach guide your child’s development.

As a coach, it is a privileged to help guild a child’s enjoyment, development and play a role in shaping their future.

Kane Dewhurst
Director Vida Tennis

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