Articles, Blog

Player Development: How To Become a Great Tennis Player

September 7, 2019

How to develop a great tennis player is a
complex task and requires an individual approach to coaching. I will go over important aspects of player
development and hence recommend you watch the entire video. It is helpful to devise a strategy to reach
an overall long-term goal, for example top 100 ATP or WTA ranking by age 20, early on. Parents, coaches and athletes must understand
that you don’t become a great tennis player overnight. In fact reality is that most athletes will
stop pursuing a career in professional tennis before the age of 20. Therefore, it is more important to define
what “success” means with regards to short-term goals. Success shouldn’t always be defined as winning
or be related to a particular ranking. Instead, success should be defined in terms
of developmental achievements, for example improvements in physical fitness, stroke production
or mental toughness, because it has a positive effect on motivational factors and if you
achieve all the short-term goals then you will also reach the long-term goal! At the same time, rankings can be used as
an indicator of the athlete’s capabilities but they are not always absolute as a measure
of performance. For example, if you can only travel to a limited
number of tournaments to earn points due to time or monetary constraints, the ranking
will not be representative of your true ability. Therefore you should not focus exclusively
on ranking. Instead the athlete’s development with respect
to stroke production, physical fitness, mental toughness, and improvement at regular competitions
(tournaments) should be emphasized. When you want to develop a complete athlete
you need to continuously address the four pillars of success: support team, stroke production
capabilities, strength and conditioning and mental toughness. The support team consists of the parents,
the various coaches and sponsors if applicable. They provide time, money, effort and equipment,
which are the pre-requisites for successful player development. Having money to support player development
is a necessity even if you do most of the training aspects yourself and having sponsors
can make things easier. We have more information for you on how to
find sponsors to fund your pro tennis career on our blog at In order to address the remaining pillars
of success effectively you should have a plan. So your first step should be to determine
your strengths and weaknesses with respect to tennis stroke production, strength & conditioning
and mental aptitude because that will influence your overall training program considerations
such as how much time you can afford to spend on each task. Therefore it is a wise decision to spend the
time and energy on a thorough tennis analysis to avoid wasting time during training. In a nutshell you are basically doing what
is known in marketing as a SWOT analysis, where you list your respective strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Opportunities are things that require minimal
adjustments but can add value to your game such as adjusting your style of play and tactics
to support your strengths and threats are things that prevent you from winning matches. You can get more information on that, including
examples, on our blog. Once you completed your tennis analysis you
want to find out how much time you have available each week to devote to your tennis training,
strength & conditioning and mental training so you can fill the time slots accordingly
and be prepared for each training session so you can train with purpose instead of going
through the motions. Then you want to commit to your training schedule
for 2-4 weeks, or until you see improvements as some players develop faster than others,
before you move on with your training priorities. As you can see player development requires
a lot of time and effort if you want to do it right. It is different for each player as they have
different strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and hence requires a unique approach
to coaching in an ideal scenario! Well, that’s it again for today’s episode. As usual, opinions can differ. What’s your point of view? Let us know below in the comment section. A brand new episode will be available next
Sunday. So make sure you don’t miss it and subscribe! In the meantime I recommend you watch some
of the previous episodes – you should really watch them all! If you like what you saw tell your friends
– I’m sure they will appreciate it. I’m Philipp Halfmann, Thank you for watching
and Auf Wiedersehen!


  • Reply Jack Zhang September 25, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Very Pro guidance?Very valuable to junior players' development as well?I have been working on training my daughter, and your advices are always professional and helpful?✌

  • Reply 3Sing October 5, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Hi, nice videos! What do you advice to eliminate fear of competing in kids? Regards

  • Reply Anthony Nguyen July 4, 2018 at 12:18 am


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