What is the GBA (Game Based Approach)?

Tired of taking the same old tennis lessons and hearing the same old tips with same the old frustrating results?

THE GBA IS A MORE INTUITIVE WAY TO LEARN TENNIS. Think of The Game Based Approach more like The Performance Based Approach. Instead of focusing on technique or "the strokes" first and hope you figure out how to use them in a game later, the GBA is the complete opposite. It focuses on getting you to understand how to play the game first and then uses technique as a tool to get you to perform better.

The GBA does not just get people to play "games" and ignore technique. It uses a systematic way of integrating the tactical, physical, mental & technical together. The way tennis is being taught is shifting away from traditional "model" based coaching.

If you're only hearing your coach tell you you're getting better but you're not really sure, get measurable results...find out what the ITF and players around the world already know.. The GBA is the best way to learn tennis.

Friday, January 30, 2009


A learner-centered approach does not assume that all people learn the same way. Some people are more visual, some are more auditory, and some are more kinesthetic learners. Just because a coach may have a vast pool of tennis knowledge may not make them great coaches. Without an understanding of how people learn the student won't receive the information. Learner centered also means to be systematic. There needs to be a plan for learning. It is not just to rally with a student and give "tennis tips." A learner centered coach always looks for "buy in" from the player when teaching. To explain why they are learning things as opposed to a teacher-centered coach who tells the student, and the student just accepts, no questions asked and if the player is having problems, it must be the players problem, not the coach...

Coming up next..
#3. The Global or Holistic Approach

Thanks for reading.
Neil Parker - GBA Tennis

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Game Based?

The GBA contains four components :

1. Tennis is Game Based

2. GBA uses a learner centered or learner "first" philosophy

3. There are four elements that players need to train - Tactics, Technique, Physical & Mental. This is sometimes referred to as a Global or Holistic/Performance Approach

4. Tennis is a open skill

Let's start with #1 - Tennis is Game Based.

Tennis is a game, therefore it has strategies and tactics. For a beginner a tactic could be to get the ball higher over the net to keep it deep and to make less errors. For a pro it could be mixing up speed, spin, height to compete against a player with a higher tempo and better groundstrokes.
Think of tennis as a cross between olympic diving and chess. Tennis involves a great deal of thinking and players have to perform complex physical tasks. With the GBA, players learn how to solve tactical problems using their technique. Rather than learning a series of "strokes" and having no clue how, when & where to use them. Teaching strokes only, is like teaching your students to be divers. They will be able to perform one specific task in one specific situation but won't know it's relationship to the entire game of tennis.
The GBA modifies the court, balls and equipment using progressions rather than basket feeding real balls to beginners at the baseline.

In my next post I'll describe #2 - A learner centered philosophy.

Look for more videos soon!

Friday, January 23, 2009

What is the game based approach?

I started coaching as a teenager while I was playing and after finishing a college tennis scholarship in Oklahoma I got into coaching more full time. After 10 years of coaching I started to get bored. My students were improving OK I guess but I got tired of saying the same thing with the same old results. I started to wonder if this was the right career for me. I thought about taking higher levels of certification but, I was busy, I was making good money, I was popular. Yet still, I was starting lose my passion for what I was doing. I decided to take a level 1  Tennis Canada certification course. The course is based on a methodology developed by Louis Cayer, (who is now the coach of Jamie Murray and part time with Andy Murray at the LTA-more on Louis later). anyway the course completely changed my views on coaching tennis. The paradigm shift was incredible. My players began to improve faster and with greater depth. The logic of the methodology brought back my passion for coaching and gave me a new sense of confidence in what I was teaching.
 I later developed an interest video production and am now combining the two. I have been producing videos for Tennis Canada for a few years now and I'm now starting my own series of videos on the game based approach. I'll go into greater detail about the GBA in this blog and perhaps more importantly through the use of video..Check out my web site preditor.ca or watch my videos on youtube and facebook. Also using Twitter for some GBA tips.
More coming soon!


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