3 Ways a Tennis Coach Can Change Your Life

Many people see a tennis coach as someone who can help them learn a forehand or a backhand. To others they are someone who can help them iron out the inconsistencies in their game so they can get more enjoyment from playing. To a small amount of people, they are also the most important person contributing to their dreams of playing at the highest level.

But just below the surface of what most people expect from a tennis coach lies a set of skills that are often life changing for the people they work with. You see a good tennis coach sees not only the technical skills a player needs but also the physical and mental skills they need. While it is the technical skills that make a difference on the tennis court, it is the physical and mental skills that are often life changing for people.

Every coach you meet will have a story about a player who has lost a significant amount of weight as they have become motivated to make lifestyle changes to support their tennis goals. They will also tell stories of players of all ages who have built their confidence while they improved their game and begun to compete at all levels of the sport.

Tennis is a sport unlike many others, often described as a physically demanding, moving game of chess, it challenges our brain and our body while building our resilience and problem-solving skills. It is not a simple run in the park, and it is definitely not casual walk around the block.

Tennis, with the expert support of your tennis coach can help you change your life in three extremely important ways:

Physical Fitness

The most obvious benefit of getting on a tennis court, physical fitness is often the immediate change people will experience. According to Tennis Australia, tennis classifies as a form of high-intensity exercise. The oxygen consumption of singles players measures between 50 and 80 per cent of VO2 max (this is the maximum capacity of an individual to use oxygen during exercise) while heartrates have been measured at between 70 and 80 per cent of maximum heart rate (and sometimes greater than 90 per cent during intense rallies), a level that improves aerobic capacity and athletic performance.

But unlike other aerobic activities like jogging, cycling or football, tennis brings some significant added benefits. For example, studies have shown that 18 to 34-year-olds who participate in individual sports like tennis are less likely to be obese than team-sport players. Additionally, recreational tennis players aged between 23 and 69 who play twice a week carry almost four per cent less body fat than non-tennis players.

With the World Health Organisation advising that obesity rates have tripled since 1975, meaning almost 2 billion people globally are classified as overweight, the benefits of tennis can be profound. For most people it will be their tennis coach who guides this process and brings these benefits to players

Problem Solving Skills

Are you the type of person who leaves more difficult tasks until last? Do you consider yourself someone who avoids confrontation? Or do consistently start new things and give up because they get too difficult?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a tennis coach is the person who can show you how to build the skills necessary to overcome these very common problems most of us face.

What almost everyone fails to understand in tennis is that it is not simply a game of hitting the ball over the net until you hit a winner, or your opponent makes a mistake. It is much more complex than that and a good coach will use tennis to introduce you to new ways of thinking. Through a mix of physical skill building, strategic thinking and by exposing you to challenging situations they will unlock a new way of thinking about things.

Confrontation management is an unavoidable task for every human being, whether it be work difficulties, kids refusing to tow the line, friends not behaving like we hope, the electricity company over charging you or negotiating with a car salesman. Confrontation is everywhere and our ability to manage is critical to our success in life

At is core, a tennis match in any setting is a confrontation. You are pitting your skills and decision making against the person at the other side of the net. A good tennis coach will show you how to make great decisions under pressure, they will demonstrate that as analysed by Brain Game Tennis even players like Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal win only 55% of the points they play. Of course, they will also teach us that we can be happy with not succeeding at everything we try.

With your tennis coach you can master these skills and begin to use them in all other aspects of your life. With studies showing that conflict avoidance, including emotion suppression is clearly linked to increased mortality risks. These skills could be not only life changing, but for some people lifesaving.

Confidence 

According to Margie Warrell a keynote speaker & bestselling author of Stop Playing Safe and Find Your Courage. People often think of confidence as something that the lucky few are born with and the rest are left wishing for. Not true. Confidence is not a fixed attribute; it’s the outcome of the thoughts we think and the actions we take. No more; no less. It is not based on your actual ability to succeed at a task but your belief in your ability to succeed.

A good tennis coach understands that no person who ever walked on to a tennis court for the first time was instantly able to win a US Open. They know that every person who walked on to a court for the first time felt some sense of reservation, often amongst a mix of excitement and other emotions. They will also know that every tennis player will eventually experience frustration and self-doubt.

Your tennis coach will help you channel your heros and focus on what you want. They will connect your physical and mental skills and lead you to a series of small wins that will increasingly demonstrate that you are capable and that you have a unique set of talents that will work in your favour. This process will be replicable in all parts of your life and you will feel empowered to apply what you have learned at work and with the other passions or ideas you have previously been too scared to pursue

Summary

At Punkt Tennis we truly believe in the ability of tennis to create life changing outcomes. Tennis coaches are the heart of making this possible which is why we create products like www.tennisplaya.com a web app to let coaches to do more of what they love and players to reach their goals quicker.

If you haven’t been coached before, if you have wanted to try tennis, make the decision today. Find your coach and begin to experience the life changing benefits that tennis can bring.

 

References

Tennis Australia: https://www.tennis.com.au/learn/benefits/physical-benefits

World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight

National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3939772/

Brain Game Tennis: https://www.braingametennis.com/perfection/

Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/margiewarrell/2015/02/26/build-self-confidence-5strategies/?sh=38fc98676ade

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