7 Steps for Making a Great Connection with Your (New) Students

The following pieces of advice address mostly to coaches but players can also find some applicable uses:

As a tennis coach at WebTennis24 I often get emails in which players or coaches ask for my opinion on certain subjects. One of them was how to make a good impression if you are a coach in front of your new students.


In this regard I made a video that will show you the first 10 – 15 minutes of what you can do with a new tennis student (beginner or even intermediate). In this video you’ll find my “magic” formula how to interact with new students and how to make them feel welcome and excited to learn tennis. It has worked great for me along my over 15 years of teaching tennis, and it will (guaranteed) help you too.


Besides that… in preparation for the upcoming lesson (or a match if you are a tennis players) it is good to develop some “rituals” that prepare you mentally for what comes. 
I used to get quite nervous especially when meeting new students and/or their parents.

So don’t worry: you are not the only one getting nervous; a lot of coaches are too… the students also. If it helps, you can only imagine that your students are more nervous to meet you than you are to meet them. Or if you are a player before a tennis match, your opponent might be more nervous to play against you than you are.

Here are some of my “rituals” that I do on the way to my lessons in order to ensure that I would be properly prepared and my students will find a true professional in me as their coach:


1. In the car, as I drive to the tennis court, I practice some breathing exercises: take a slow deep breath in – hold it for 4 seconds – release slowly; do this about 5 – 7 times.

2. Say positive things to yourself such as: “I can’t wait to meet my students”, “I love what I do”, “This is going to be fun!” etc.

3. Get on the tennis court at least 10 minutes before your students arrive; prepare all your teaching gear and be ready early.

4. As soon as you see your students coming towards the court, put a smile on your face and walk to them looking happy to see/meet them. Stretch your hand out and introduce yourself first, then ask for their name (memorise it).

5. As you can see in the video I mentioned above, it is important to ask your students questions, find out about them; that would make them feel welcome and important.

6. If you get nervous, smile; smiling is a great way to help you relax; also ask your student questions during the lesson: “what do you feel about what I just taught you? does it make sense? does if feel natural?” etc.

7. And last… actually this should have been first: make sure you have lesson plans ready (a general plan of drills and things you want to teach before you get on the court). I sometimes carry little pieces of paper with notes that I find important to say or do during the lessons. This helps me knowing that I do not leave things out and takes some of the pressure off considering that I don’t have to remember everything.

I hope all these tips are of help to you. Write in the comments box below and let me know your thoughts.

Cosmin Miholca
Certified Tennis Coach
WebTennis24.com

How to Play against Stronger Players

“- He’s too good! I’ll lose this match for sure…
– Don’t worry about him; let HIM worry about you!”

It’s one of the best advice I had ever received when played competitive tennis.

Besides the above quote, what else can you do when playing stronger and faster opponents?
– hang in there; the momentum could switch and swing in your favour;
– vary the spin, height and pace of your shots;
– shorten your backswing – you’ll be able to handle his pace and contact the ball early;
– take more time in between the points, within the 25 seconds decent limit… or is it 20 seconds? 😉
– believe you can do it and keep fighting – this one I can tell from experience that good things happen when we believe and fight all the way to the end.


Cosmin Miholca

WebTennis24.com

Can your child work through their frustrations without you?

As a parent, have you ever wondered why some of the coaches don’t allow parents to assist in the tennis lessons their children take?

We live in a society where the parents are sometimes overprotecting their kids… If the child gets injured, or falls, or something doesn’t go their way, they look for comfort and understanding in the arms of their parents.

We, the parents, want to help our children… However, as a tennis coach (and parent), I have witnessed too many young players misbehaving on the tennis court. Often, it is just a simple error that triggers the frustration or meltdown.
(How to Teach Tennis to Your Own Child – video lessons)

Consistently, the children tend to be more “dramatic” when parents are present; the parents’ good intentions ultimately create future setbacks.

Sometimes it is easy to forget that the mistake (or problem) can actually teach our children a whole lot more in the long run. If they miss a shot or lose a point, they try to seek comfort and understanding from their parents by looking towards them. Or on occasion, pretending that they are sick or perhaps injured…
When their parents are not present, they learn to understand that when problems occur, the only way to deal with them is by handling these problems by themselves…!

So what is my point?

Parents: whether in a tennis practice or a match, allow your children to make mistakes and errors… Let them fall and learn how to get back up by themselves! Let them get frustrated and learn that being “down” is their chance to find solutions and overcome problems.
Let your kids succeed on their own!

 

Cosmin Miholca
WebTennis24.com