Brandon Alguire

Brandon Alguire is Head Coach of the Provincial Team at ACE Burlington and a Coach Developer for Tennis Canada.
He is responsible, along with TTC coach Andy Sutton for ACE's System Development.

ACE asked Brandon some questions to reflect his take on player development ....

How do you organize, plan, and prioritize your work?
The first thing I do is determine which weeks will be the competitive phases throughout the year for the players. Once I know that then I can determine how many preparation phases will we have in that year. The preparation phases are where you develop new skills or make technical changes to a player's game therefore you need to have a good idea of how long it will take to make these changes. For most players you get the most preparation time between September and December since most of the major tournaments for the indoor season occur from January to March. 
What do you see as the biggest challenge for players?
The biggest challenge for players is the mental grind tennis has on you. Tennis is a sport of failure because most points end with errors of some kind. When training, you usually are working on the parts of your game that are not as strong therefore you're going to make a lot of mistakes when trying to improve. Therefore, a player needs to be very resilient and persistent each day. The ones that 'crumble' easily struggle a lot to improve. Staying focused and believing in yourself you can make you great. Michael Jordan said "I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed."
What do you think is the number one thing you can tell them to overcome this challenge?
All you can do as a coach is remain positive and keep encouraging the player. Remember that whatever happened yesterday is in the past and today is a new day. Coaches have to keep challenging the player during training and there will be days where they surprise you and themselves. 
Players have different talents, what kind of approach do you use to maximize these talents?
Some players have talents they don't even realize. It's important that when you find a very strong aspect to a player's game that you encourage it as much as possible. I go out of my way a lot to really compliment a strength of a player because this makes them start believing in that strength. The more they believe in it, the more confidence they will have in it during competition. 
What is the role of a tennis parent?
In my opinion, a tennis parent's role is to be a supportive, loving mother/father. You are the support system for your child, not the coach (in most cases). A coach's role is to push the player out of their comfort zone. If things don't go well on a particular day, a competitive player is already going to be upset with themselves and put more pressure on themselves. When the parents get involved by getting on the child's case about this, it only adds to that pressure and creates more tension. This can become very unhealthy for an athlete if it goes on for too long. 
What is your take on the Canadian competitive circuit?
The Canadian circuit is improving. We have a lot more professional events now then we did in the past which certainly gives players an opportunity to compete at a professional level. However, Canada is such a big country and can be very expensive to travel within, so it's still not easy for players to stay here and play a lot of pro tournaments. At a junior level, Ontario is able to offer a great number of tournaments each year for juniors, but many other provinces cannot due to a lack of clubs willing to use their court time to host junior events.