The Learning Never Ends -
A Message to all Players & Coaches
"20% of what you know or learn now will be obsolete in 5 years". Based on my experiences and development as a coach, I completely agree with this statement. The game of tennis (and all sports) is always evolving. Tactics and strategies change, the athletes get more and more athletic, people push the limits more because the best in our sport require us to train longer and harder. Due to all this, I have no choice but to continue to learn and develop myself into a stronger coach and mentor. The question is you can do I do this? For me personally, I learned from a very young age that the key to being successful is not in knowing all the answers but instead being willing to learn new information and apply that info in a way that makes sense to me and my students.
How have I continued to acquire new information?
1) I have gone through a lot of the Tennis Canada certification system. Many people are not aware but Canada does have one of the strongest and most demanding certification systems in the world. The High Performance stream of coaching has 3 courses called Coach 2, Coach 3, and Coach 4 and each is a minimum of 15 months to complete. I have not yet done the Coach 4 course but I'm sure that is something I will tackle in the future.
2) I attend as many professional development opportunities as I can throughout the year. Tennis Canada hosts their annual conference every March which of course I will attend once again. I'm going to HiltonHead, South Carolina in mid February this year to attend the PTR Symposium (one of the USA's biggest tennis conferences). There's also lots of one day seminars that Tennis Canada offer in different locations all around the country.
3) I've had the opportunity to work with Tennis Canada for the last 3 years as a course facilitator in the Coach 2 course. This has become one of the greatest ways for me to learn and master things I already know. Every time I'm away for a few days to do this I learn a lot by listening to the coaches and other facilitators' feedback or comments about the content we're working on. It is these moments that allow me to come home to ACE and coach my own players more effectively and also share this new found information with the other ACE coaches.
I constantly talk to the players about being open to learning and to paying attention to the details that can make such a big difference in their game. It would be very hypocritical of me if I didn't do the same therefore I continue to pursue excellence in my coaching so I can create stronger players. However, the better I get as a coach, the more I realize how much information is out there that I still don't know.