Women’s Tennis: Keys To A Successful Player/Coach Relationship
Sebastian Eguez Paz has been a WTA coach since putting his playing days on hold to coach Elizabeth Mandlik. With Eguez Paz as her coach, Mandlik saw a dramatic rise in the rankings, breaking into the top 100. She is currently world no. 155. He shared some insight into some keys he has found to bring out the best in women players.
Having coached and been on tour with a WTA player for quite a while now, I discovered some time ago that coaching a female player can be a unique and rewarding experience and once you learn some intangibles, you can bring out the best in her.
First, it’s extremely important to have a connection with the player. Female players don’t often open up that easily. They have a key that is not given just like that. The coaches need to earn the trust of their player for weeks and sometimes for months. Showing respect, showing good behavior, making them laugh, being there for them when they need help, and most importantly listening to them are some keys to success.
Once the coach can get the key from their female player, they create a bond of trust which can last forever if the coach takes care of it. It’s so important to always take care of that bond of trust because she can become very loyal to the coach and enjoy practices which leads to less stress on the coach and gives her the ability to thrive.
It’s very important while coaching them to first always talk about the positives and then at the very end about some constructive feedback.
It’s important not to make things look bigger than they are, especially when those things are not positive. It’s also very important not to create expectations in them so they don’t feel the pressure to win and don’t feel as though they have disappointed their team.
Listening to them on important days for them could be more valuable than a hard practice. When she has her head in the right place, she can go for the whole world and there is no problem.
Sometimes we, the coaches, want to have amazing practices and we want them to work so hard and push themselves so hard that sometimes we don’t understand that making them laugh and making sure they have a good time on court can be more important than running 5 miles in 40 minutes.
In conclusion, training a woman is not easy and it can become very stressful on occasions, but at the end of the day; they become family once the bond of trust is made, and the practices become a fun moment of your day. Practices don’t feel like practices anymore and taking losses is not the end of the world anymore. Tennis becomes just a sport, and the relationship becomes part of your life.