In this months blog series we focus on aiding LTA Level 1 and 2 Tennis Coaches to gain a greater understanding of how players learn, and how this should influence their own coaching behaviour .
Importance of communication, demos and feedback
- Keep instruction to a minimum, don’t waffle.
- Tell players what they need to know at the moment they need to know it, not for the whole lesson.
- Use appropriate language that is easily understood
- Ensure a group can all hear you, never start talking until you can make eye contact with them all.
- Vary your tone and intonation to provide motivation
- Avoid generalities and repetitive phases ‘ unlucky ‘ ‘ great ‘ ‘ok’
- Consider your body language it conveys more than verbal communication.
- Move with purpose, use open gestures, don’t cuddle your racket it gives a closed message.
- SMILE it relaxes you and your pupils.
- Actively listen
- Use question and answer pit stops to check understanding and involve the players in their learning.
- Consider at all times the preferred way of learning of your pupils. For instance, is your pupil a kinaesthetic learner? if so get them to consider how the last shot felt.
- Consider at all times the stage of learning of your pupil, for autonomous learners ask them what went wrong with the last shot.
- a key teaching tool to help players understand what they are doing and what they need to do.
- attempts at a technical movement or an action within the game.
- To benefit from feedback the information must be accurate.
- Do not one main teaching point.
- It is a two way process and as a player develops it changes, to recap.
- must be specific. Shouting ‘good shot’ is obviously praise, but you need to expand and let them know what was good about it!
When to give feedback?
In next week’s final post in this series we consider lesson planning and setting up effective and appropriate tasks.
See you next week!
Jenny Thomas, Director of UCoach
Do you have any experience you want to share with others on this subject? Remember if you go away and put some of these things into action we would love to hear how it goes or any problems you encounter so feel free to comment below and join in the discussion.