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How should I Coach someone in a match?

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    Posted: 09/24/2013 at 10:29am
So, I've been asked to coach for people during matches quite a few times before. Normally I just try to read what my player is serving and how the opponent is receiving it, then also what the opponent is serving and how my player is receiving it. Not sure if this encompasses everything you should be watching, but that's about the max I can keep track of LOL 

When they come in at the end of a game though and you have 60 seconds to impart something to them, what's the most effective and time efficient thing to talk about? How do you prefer to breach that subject with them?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2013 at 10:54am
I try to deliver at most two messages, usually just one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2013 at 11:52am
 
It depends on the level - at my level (USATT 1000-2000), this is what I know:
 
1.  Be the only coach, or let someone else be the only coach.  More than one voice is confusing.
2.  Focus on one or two patterns that are costing points that you know your player knows how to fix.  Usually, the simplese recommendations are to tell a player to
a) set up patterns that take advantage of his opponent's weaker side.
b) serve or return serve to take advantage of the opponent. 
 
What I have noticed about the higher level players who coach against me is that they know what spin to tell their students to serve to take advantage of my strokes.  It's one of the reasons I hate playing juniors with high level coaches.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BMonkey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2013 at 12:07pm
Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

 
It depends on the level - at my level (USATT 1000-2000), this is what I know:
 
1.  Be the only coach, or let someone else be the only coach.  More than one voice is confusing.
2.  Focus on one or two patterns that are costing points that you know your player knows how to fix.  Usually, the simplese recommendations are to tell a player to
a) set up patterns that take advantage of his opponent's weaker side.
b) serve or return serve to take advantage of the opponent. 
 
What I have noticed about the higher level players who coach against me is that they know what spin to tell their students to serve to take advantage of my strokes.  It's one of the reasons I hate playing juniors with high level coaches.
Good points in here Smile The levels of the people I'm usually asked to match coach for are between 1700-2000.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skip3119 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2013 at 1:59pm
Saw many great points in earlier posts.
============================
 
I'll add to them a couple more points.
 
Figure out which side the opponent is weak (right side, left side, or to the body) and which side is strong in defense.  Concentrate to attack opponent's weak side, avoid attacking strong side. (A small percentage players whose backhand side is stronger than the forehand side. So, don't always attack the opponent's backhand side and presume it is the weak side.)
 
Figure out if the opponent has problems with either top-spin or under-spin, if he/she has problem dealing with one kind of spin,  then do that kind of spin more.
 
*** My playing level is only 1700.  If higher level player(s) should give you advice, just ignore what I have said.


Edited by skip3119 - 09/24/2013 at 2:05pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jt99sf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2013 at 2:04pm
Originally posted by skip3119 skip3119 wrote:

Saw many great points in earlier posts.
============================
 
Figure out which side the opponent is weak (right side, left side, or to the body) and which side is strong in defense.  Concentrate to attack opponent's weak side, avoid attacking strong side.
 
Figure out if the opponent has problems with either top-spin or under-spin, if he/she has problem dealing with one kind of spin,  then do that kind of spin more.
 
*** My playing level is only 1700.  If higher level player(s) should give you advice, just ignore what I have said.

+1.  Keep it simple. Ball placement on serves and counters.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skip3119 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2013 at 2:53pm
In a previous Cary (NC) tourney, a 1300 level player of our club had a hair-pulling match with 2 games each.  Our club happened to have a high level player there watching.  Before the 5th game started,  our high level player advised our 1300 level player to attack the opponent's forehand side and never attack his backhand side, that advice nailed down the 5th game with a very comfortable margin.
 
*** Our 1300 player has a natural instinct to always attack opponent's backhand side. ***


Edited by skip3119 - 09/24/2013 at 3:15pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tinykin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2013 at 3:51pm
It depends on the player. Some will hear what u say and it will have no meaning as their head is somewhere else. For these guys, just be a calming influence.
Some will just want to know that there's someone in their corner clapping for them.
While others will want to hear a particular tactic to employ and then go out and do it. And so on.
You just have to experiment and see what works for your player.
Remain calm always, your player will be very sensitive to your mood.
Know and stay within the rules as you can also be carded, which can be awkward if you are also a player.
If you know who your player is up against, try and gather as much info about that opponent beforehand.


Edited by Tinykin - 09/24/2013 at 3:57pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yogi_bear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2013 at 7:27pm
based on experience these are the things that have always been coached during a game:

1. always adjust your bat angle to compensate for the incoming spin when looping because the ball goes off or goes into the net.
2. brushing the ball when you contact it. this is the easiest thing to forget when looping especially on lower levels.
3. never place your attacks on the same spot 3x in a row, always change the placement if you see that the opponent is comfortable blocking your shots. also serves should be placed in more than one spot of the table.
4. when your loops are not on its usual timing making the ball go out, instead of looping at the peak of the bounce try looping after peak bounce and adjust first.
5. on lower levels, playing against LP becomes a pushing game and the ball pops up. try driving the ball instead
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pingpongpaddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2013 at 7:43pm
Originally posted by BMonkey BMonkey wrote:

So, I've been asked to coach for people during matches quite a few times before. Normally I just try to read what my player is serving and how the opponent is receiving it, then also what the opponent is serving and how my player is receiving it. Not sure if this encompasses everything you should be watching, but that's about the max I can keep track of LOL 

When they come in at the end of a game though and you have 60 seconds to impart something to them, what's the most effective and time efficient thing to talk about? How do you prefer to breach that subject with them?


like Baal says keep it short and simple. If you are not sure what to say ask your player what he thinks is going on in the match. THIS IS REALLY USEFUL. Based on his answer reinforce his confidence, but keep his mind open to changes by the opponent.
If you have a specific piece of tactical advice, try and think of what opponents counter might be and mention that possibility.

Really though to be effective as a bench coach you need to have a long term relationship with your player
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leshxa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2013 at 10:07pm
When I coach, I don't talk technique. Last thing I want is someone to start looking for their stroke. I point out two things.

1. What works or what doesn't work ( from tactic, strategy )
2. Encourage the mental state ( relax, breathe in/breathe out, go for it, nice job, etc )

This usually is enough to have the player focus and not too much to be excessively hard to remember.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Re1Mu2R3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/24/2013 at 11:57pm
From the point of view of a relatively low level player though it's nice to get some advice while playing against higher level players. Not only do we get to receive useful advice, we also get relaxed getting to build rapport with opponents rather than feeling dominated by that "I just wanna beat the *&#% out of you feeling."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jrscatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2013 at 12:24am
I would like to know what type of spins are on the serves that's giving me trouble. This is where I lose a lot of points - it would be great if my coach could shed some light on this.

When I'm asked to coach - if the players winning - give water, doing a great job keep it up!
If they are loosing - give water, breathe, move your feet, relax and hit your shots - don't be tentative and play your game!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tinykin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2013 at 2:28am
Originally posted by pingpongpaddy pingpongpaddy wrote:

Originally posted by BMonkey BMonkey wrote:

So, I've been asked to coach for people during matches quite a few times before. Normally I just try to read what my player is serving and how the opponent is receiving it, then also what the opponent is serving and how my player is receiving it. Not sure if this encompasses everything you should be watching, but that's about the max I can keep track of LOL 

When they come in at the end of a game though and you have 60 seconds to impart something to them, what's the most effective and time efficient thing to talk about? How do you prefer to breach that subject with them?


like Baal says keep it short and simple. If you are not sure what to say ask your player what he thinks is going on in the match. THIS IS REALLY USEFUL. Based on his answer reinforce his confidence, but keep his mind open to changes by the opponent.
If you have a specific piece of tactical advice, try and think of what opponents counter might be and mention that possibility.

Really though to be effective as a bench coach you need to have a long term relationship with your player

Very true. 



Edited by Tinykin - 09/25/2013 at 3:00am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2013 at 4:13am
If you don't know what to say tactically, because you don't know, don't say anything because you feel you have to ( common) instead tell your player that they are looking good and concentrate on the positives. One of my pet hates is players in corners talking crap, and the very point that you ask the question means that you are stretching yourself to know what to say. Encouragement is easy though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pingpongpaddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2013 at 7:40am
Originally posted by APW46 APW46 wrote:

If you don't know what to say tactically, because you don't know, don't say anything because you feel you have to ( common) instead tell your player that they are looking good and concentrate on the positives. One of my pet hates is players in corners talking crap, and the very point that you ask the question means that you are stretching yourself to know what to say. Encouragement is easy though.
Its not quite as simple as that.
Recently, I was responsible for 3 players at a tournament. While 1 player was finishing, another was playing his first game winning closely, which i saw very little of. So i asked him, what was happening, and he replied, I was losing but I did X and my opponent couldn't handle it, and I won"
so i was able to reply "good, but watch out for opponent trying such and such to counter X" this worked out quite well, and eventually my player won. In any case, my players can think for themselves and are encouraged to do so. Asking them what is happening is a good way of showing confidence in their judgement and helping them to be strong tactically.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pingpongpaddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2013 at 7:50am
Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

I would like to know what type of spins are on the serves that's giving me trouble. This is where I lose a lot of points - it would be great if my coach could shed some light on this.

When I'm asked to coach - if the players winning - give water, doing a great job keep it up!
If they are loosing - give water, breathe, move your feet, relax and hit your shots - don't be tentative and play your game!

Hi catman
unfortunately, its too complicated to explain service spins in the 60 seconds of a time out, and anyway the opponent will just do a different serve. All the coach can do is encourage you to hit through the spin with confidence You need to work on your service return before the tournament really. After all service and return are the most important shots in the game.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/25/2013 at 9:08am
Originally posted by pingpongpaddy pingpongpaddy wrote:

Originally posted by APW46 APW46 wrote:

If you don't know what to say tactically, because you don't know, don't say anything because you feel you have to ( common) instead tell your player that they are looking good and concentrate on the positives. One of my pet hates is players in corners talking crap, and the very point that you ask the question means that you are stretching yourself to know what to say. Encouragement is easy though.
Its not quite as simple as that.
Recently, I was responsible for 3 players at a tournament. While 1 player was finishing, another was playing his first game winning closely, which i saw very little of. So i asked him, what was happening, and he replied, I was losing but I did X and my opponent couldn't handle it, and I won"
so i was able to reply "good, but watch out for opponent trying such and such to counter X" this worked out quite well, and eventually my player won. In any case, my players can think for themselves and are encouraged to do so. Asking them what is happening is a good way of showing confidence in their judgement and helping them to be strong tactically.

 Yes good shout, I agree with that.  I also think that many players at mid to lower levels don't give enough attention to their opponents tactically, its easy to get wrapped up in a fight against the table (gambling) when a win might be easy, and reminding them to think more is always a good thing, especially if you can pick out some examples at a tournament from better players.
 I've played with some really good tacticians over the years, and certainly learned loads from them, but one guy who I played with for about 5yrs in the British league stands out ( an old Icon from Gloucester) in that apart from being a superb tactical brain, he was just so positive, things like 'your playing as well as I've seen you'  even if I knew I wasn't, and 'He looks really worried' even If I knew he didn't, I know it sounds really obvious, but it goes in subliminally if slipped in alongside the tactics of the moment.
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Originally posted by pingpongpaddy pingpongpaddy wrote:

Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

I would like to know what type of spins are on the serves that's giving me trouble. This is where I lose a lot of points - it would be great if my coach could shed some light on this.

When I'm asked to coach - if the players winning - give water, doing a great job keep it up!
If they are loosing - give water, breathe, move your feet, relax and hit your shots - don't be tentative and play your game!

Hi catman
unfortunately, its too complicated to explain service spins in the 60 seconds of a time out, and anyway the opponent will just do a different serve. All the coach can do is encourage you to hit through the spin with confidence You need to work on your service return before the tournament really. After all service and return are the most important shots in the game.
Very true ....In tournaments I end up players who I never get to practice with, also if I play them in friendlies their servers are not as disguised as in tournaments. So my biggest problem is misreading the serves. But since I have long pips, I can always use it and return tough serves - actually PatricIV gave me that tip during a match - He say "Boy his serves are tricky - guy - just use your pips to get it back then play out the point!"....


Edited by jrscatman - 09/25/2013 at 1:09pm
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If you read Inner Game of Tennis, it helps your thought process during matchplay a lot better. Doesn't matter what sport you play, you get the right mentality.

1. For the love of God and all good things He has created, do not coach on technique during a match. You can't fix technique in the match. Fixing technique is for practice time, not match time. Don't even mention technique. If the player starts thinking about technique, his reaction time drops and he will play more robotic.

2. Like aforementioned, point out certain patterns of how they won points and how they lost points. Additionally you can point out the opponents patterns as well.

3. Placement. Often times during tournaments, people forget that placement is important. After the first game or even the second game, you should have a feel for where your opponent is strong and where they may struggle. Poor footwork? They probably have a decent backhand and poor crossover point due to slow movement. Are they a kid who is short? Serve short foreside and make your next ball long on their backhand side. Sweep up the remains.
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I like your attitude killashark!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/27/2013 at 3:59pm
Originally posted by pingpongpaddy pingpongpaddy wrote:

I like your attitude killashark!

 I like him too, He speaks a lot of sense, in fact its all good IMO.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/27/2013 at 4:06pm
Originally posted by jkillashark jkillashark wrote:

Are they a kid who is short? Serve short foreside and make your next ball long on their backhand side. Sweep up the remains.

 I could have written that myself, my kind of TT this is.Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AgentHEX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/27/2013 at 7:48pm
Originally posted by jkillashark jkillashark wrote:

If you read Inner Game of Tennis, it helps your thought process during matchplay a lot better. Doesn't matter what sport you play, you get the right mentality.

1. For the love of God and all good things He has created, do not coach on technique during a match. You can't fix technique in the match. Fixing technique is for practice time, not match time. Don't even mention technique. If the player starts thinking about technique, his reaction time drops and he will play more robotic.

2. Like aforementioned, point out certain patterns of how they won points and how they lost points. Additionally you can point out the opponents patterns as well.

3. Placement. Often times during tournaments, people forget that placement is important. After the first game or even the second game, you should have a feel for where your opponent is strong and where they may struggle. Poor footwork? They probably have a decent backhand and poor crossover point due to slow movement. Are they a kid who is short? Serve short foreside and make your next ball long on their backhand side. Sweep up the remains.


So what if they're losing because their application of form is terrible and they can't place well because they're not in position to do a decent shot?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AgentHEX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/27/2013 at 7:59pm
Originally posted by pingpongpaddy pingpongpaddy wrote:

Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

I would like to know what type of spins are on the serves that's giving me trouble. This is where I lose a lot of points - it would be great if my coach could shed some light on this.

When I'm asked to coach - if the players winning - give water, doing a great job keep it up!
If they are loosing - give water, breathe, move your feet, relax and hit your shots - don't be tentative and play your game!

Hi catman
unfortunately, its too complicated to explain service spins in the 60 seconds of a time out, and anyway the opponent will just do a different serve. All the coach can do is encourage you to hit through the spin with confidence You need to work on your service return before the tournament really. After all service and return are the most important shots in the game.


This entirely depends on how the player understand spin. If they can generally figure out the spin in a few sec after losing the point, explaining the one they can't shouldn't be too much of a challenge in a minute.

If anything, quick fixes like serve spin or other quick adjustments to be conscience of bad habits or avoid the opponents' game plan are just about the only things that can be explained briefly. Even the player's own game plan should be prepped beforehand to be effective.

Even more critically, for players who're still developing (ie looking to improve), instructions as if they're pros where every win matters over the learning experience are misguided anyway.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/27/2013 at 8:31pm
Originally posted by jkillashark jkillashark wrote:

If you read Inner Game of Tennis, it helps your thought process during matchplay a lot better. Doesn't matter what sport you play, you get the right mentality.

1. For the love of God and all good things He has created, do not coach on technique during a match. You can't fix technique in the match. Fixing technique is for practice time, not match time. Don't even mention technique. If the player starts thinking about technique, his reaction time drops and he will play more robotic.

2. Like aforementioned, point out certain patterns of how they won points and how they lost points. Additionally you can point out the opponents patterns as well.

3. Placement. Often times during tournaments, people forget that placement is important. After the first game or even the second game, you should have a feel for where your opponent is strong and where they may struggle. Poor footwork? They probably have a decent backhand and poor crossover point due to slow movement. Are they a kid who is short? Serve short foreside and make your next ball long on their backhand side. Sweep up the remains.


That one is a classic.  Another great book relevant to TT is "Winning Ugly" by Brad Gilbert.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yogi_bear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/27/2013 at 11:08pm
i think saying about not coaching about technique is too general. otherwise if you see your player looping a sidespin serve with an open angle bat will teaching about mental calmness help? you should be specific on what you should say to your player. i would like also to point out that during the game you find an opponent's weakness like difficulty in his backhand returns will you just coach being calm and focus? these thigns are not hard to grasp if you are a player and especially if your player have practiced this during training. sometimes players need to remember what technique they have practiced during training. by the way, adjustment of the racket angle is one important technique that must be remembered by the player during games. telling your player to adjust his angle is not a complicated thing if he has trained with it.  there are specific things that you can coach in brief and concise manner.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AgentHEX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/28/2013 at 12:02am
It's pretty hilarious that people can so easily accept simple one-size-fits-all solutions during a match scenario which is far more diagnostic/dynamic in nature, and set on bespoke solutions in an educational role in the other thread.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/28/2013 at 12:22am
Funny you would say that
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LUCKYLOOP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/28/2013 at 1:28am
Originally posted by BMonkey BMonkey wrote:

So, I've been asked to coach for people during matches quite a few times before. Normally I just try to read what my player is serving and how the opponent is receiving it, then also what the opponent is serving and how my player is receiving it. Not sure if this encompasses everything you should be watching, but that's about the max I can keep track of LOL 

When they come in at the end of a game though and you have 60 seconds to impart something to them, what's the most effective and time efficient thing to talk about? How do you prefer to breach that subject with them?
 
First, do you know all the strength's and weaknesses of your player ? Do you know what adjustments he is capable of making during a match ?
 
Main thing, try to keep his attitude positive for winning and keep him as calm as possible depending on the current situation.
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