Ugly Training Methods

Ugly Training Often Become Pretty In The End!

Take a few minutes and contemplate the following questions…

  • Is your training influenced by the perception of others?
  • Are you afraid of what they might say?
  • Do you use training methods based on the positive response you hope to get from your athletes, their parents, or other coaches watching?
  • How influenced are you in your tennis performance training or skill training?

In my early years as a coach, I was strongly influenced. The number one reason was that I needed a job and wanted to be sure people would pay for my services!

The number two reason was I wanted approval. I wanted to hear my athletes, parents, and coaches say- “Hey, great job, Lee”! That’s a very powerful emotional connection.

The number three reason was one I consider the most significant. I wanted my peers to see that I was on top of things. I knew what to do, organize a session, progress it, and keep it looking spotless during the session. Peer approval played a substantial role.

It wasn’t until I started to understand learning principles until I realized I could no longer be influenced by what others thought- I had to do what was correct!

You see, we often will bypass the most effective long-term strategy to gain approval. This was me in my early years. I still had a strong rebellious side to my training in that I thought differently than most; however, I often fell in line with the crowd on specific aspects of training.

I realized that training was packaged so that it had a nice appearance on the outside. It was appealing to watch. The drills were slowed down to look like the coach was “breaking it down” for the athlete. We were tending to their needs… but were we?

I noticed drills started to have a “stunt-type” approach, meaning they were multiple patterns thrown together that would NEVER occur in a match. You know the ones where players are jumping laterally over three cones, immediately running through the agility ladder, then hopping over a fourth cone, and then finishing with a volley-type stroke at the end.

At first, the tennis players would struggle with the drill, but then after multiple performing attempts, it looked better. With the improvement and mastery of the drill, onlookers and players begin to become believers of this approach.

So what do we do? We add one more cone to jump over and added more turns and twists to the drill. A few sessions later, the players master that drill too! We are genius coaches.

The creation of drills is easy to get caught up in. I was one of the lucky ones who escaped this sea of approval-seeking-coaching. I started to put all my faith into principle-driven coaching. If the drill doesn’t follow solid principles of coaching, learning, biomechanical and physical laws, I don’t use it. Drills must have sound reasoning to be in my training session. This is why I can train athletes and allow their performance to look ugly in the early stages and because I abide by the laws of learning. I understand the drill will be uncoordinated and unsynchronized early on, which is how learning looks in the real world- it’s never pretty at first.

I am also completely fine with “boring” drills with one direction and purpose – to translate onto the court on match-day! I am confident to use a drill with my athlete that wouldn’t make the front page of social media because my coaching is principle-based, and I am not looking for thumbs up from the crowd.

I intend to reach followers who want to be impactful coaches and know what really matters to the overall development of tennis players. My training might look UGLY initially, but my principled-based approach always comes out looking pretty in the end.

My approach to training tennis athletes is proven through science and centuries of learning. The Certified Tennis Speed Specialist (CTSS) wasn’t created to get applause; it was designed to get you out of your comfort zone of being intimidated by those bullying you into doing less than quality training because it looks good.

The CTSS is a method backed by research, years of trial, and principles of human movement and learning. You have to be willing to stand up and do the right thing for your players. Join the fast-growing family of Certified Tennis Speed Specialists worldwide by clicking on this link today-

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