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.

Monday, March 16, 2009

How to find a good coach

  Coaching tennis is a funny gig. I could be a good player & have absolutely no coaching experience, get some business cards made up, walk into a club and Bang! I'm coaching 35 hrs a week making good money. Other professionals like accountants,  dental hygienists or even golf pros all pay mandatory fees to some kind of association and they must attend certain professional development opportunities each year to maintain their status. For tennis pros, some clubs make it mandatory to take a weekend course to get certified, some don't. 

  When looking for a good tennis pro, try asking the students of the pro you're interested in some questions like:

1. do you have fun ?
2.  do you hit lots of balls? 
3. are you physically active?
4. does the coach listen to your needs?
5. is there good feedback?

 Look for a coach who asks you questions like, "What level are you?" and " What can I help you with?" You want a pro who listens to your response and asks some follow up questions like: "when you say you're having trouble with your BH do you mean when you rally or when you return serve?" Beware of the coach who thinks they know what you need without asking anything after only "rallying" with you for a minute.

The USTA did some stats a while back on why people stop taking tennis lessons. The #1 reason was the coach tried to change them. If you're doing "major surgery" in your first lesson and you haven't agreed to it.. you're with the wrong coach. 

You want a coach who gives you specific targeted feedback on one thing at a time. Beware the coach who barfs out 7 different things you're doing wrong in your first three shots. Great coaches will highlight your correct performance rather than continually harp on what you're doing wrong.

Ask lots of questions of your coach. Good coaches will gladly answer how what they are teaching you connects to the "big picture" of how your game is developing.

25 years of coaching experience doesn't always mean you've got a great coach. It might mean 25 years of doing the same old thing. Tennis is constantly evolving and so are coaching methodologies. 
Ideally, you want to find a coach who respects coaching education and is curious about finding new ways to improve player performance. But most of all you want to learn the game from someone who makes it fun!


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