In this months blog series we have been focusing 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. In the final post in the series we concentrate on lesson planning.
the wrong area to work on. So how does a coach decide what to do?
Look and observe the players in relation to the 5 main playing situations
- Returning at the back of the court
- Returning moving forward
- Opponent moving forward to volley.
Consider these points in each instance
- What can they do in relation to the tactics of each situation ?
- Can they get the ball over and in and TRADE with an opponent when rallying ?
- Can they move their opponent and BUILD a point to create an opportunity to win and FINISH the point.
- Can they recover when they have been moved into a defensive position and NEUTRALISE their opponents advantage ?
- Can they STAY in the point or even TURN the POINT AROUND ?
totally inappropriate to choose to teach a six year old group of girls a lob volley even though it is something they cannot do.
Decide not only what they cannot do but what is going to make them better tennis players most quickly. For example with mini tennis specifically serving, returning and rallying are essential skills to teach.
they can simply trade, you then expand the tactical intention to hitting into space to move the opponent and build the point. This means the direction of the future lessons.
execute an improvement technically ? Tactic WHAT to do Technique HOW to do it.
selection of one key teaching point.
- We cannot overload with information the learner so limit it to one key point which is demonstrated.
- Its vital that reinforcement is obtained from any demonstrations, refer to that point repeatedly until the end of the lesson.
each stage affects the rate and effectiveness of learning.
as easy as possible for the player to achieve success with a more repetitive feed. If young players feed each other at times and the feeds are not very good remember tennis is an open skill game, we never hit the same ball twice so it is good practice for them.
can be done through warm up / ABC activities.
feeding becomes more game related. Like demos the feeding position feeding should help the players develop their skills.
The 3 stages of feeding
picture, feel and pattern of the stroke.
characteristics and see how the skill stands up under pressure.
level and identifying small errors.
and that is where we end…
- Tasks must be relevant to the age and stage of the players
- Tasks must be linked to the key teaching area
- Tasks must allow the teaching point to be practised
- Tasks must be challenging but realistic for the players
- Tasks must have relevance to players TENNIS development
- Tasks must be enjoyable and purposeful
blog in some way will reinforce some key points with you and in turn help you to help your players reach their maximum potential on the tennis court.
See you again next time!
Jenny Thomas & Liz Jones, Directors 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.