Two Minutes! Effective Efficient Player Coach Communication

Developing an effective efficient means of player coach communication during the two minute changeover or between the first and second sets can improve your ability to coach and your players’ ability to understand. Creating a common language with a mutual understanding of phrases or words initiated at the beginning of the season and applied during practice sessions allows for the best use of two minutes during competition coaching.

Below are suggestions that may stimulate your creativity to develop a coach player language unique to your team.

Cue Words
5 Ps

1. Posture
Ability to maintain a positive competitive attitude
Ability to play with composure
Ability to maintain focus/concentration
Ability to display assertive body language

2. Position
Ability to establish your position in relationship to ball
Ability to establish effective body position in shot selection
Ability to anticipate opponent’s return

3. Patience
Ability to keep the ball in play
Ability to set up points
Ability to apply your game plan

4. Placement
Ability to hit ball with control
Ability to direct ball with intention
Ability to displace opponent

5. Pace
Ability to establish controlled pace
Ability to combine speed and accuracy
Ability to recognize opponent’s pace and adjust
Ability to place spins on the ball

Apply this strategy
The following is an application of using Cue Words within the Two Minute Coaching Time Effectively and Efficiently.

Example: Coach observes singles Player A distracted by play on an adjacent court regularly between points which is contributing to inconsistent play, point to point by Player A. At the 2 minute change over the coach uses the Cue Word Posture; Player A's recall from having heard this at practice means concentrate on your play, your point, and avoid other distractions. Player A also was putting excessive pace on the ball creating numerous unforced errors. The coach, using Cue Words Placement before Pace, immediately communicates a common understanding to Player A that numerous unforced errors could be eliminated by strategic placement of the ball rather than over hitting.

It is important to remember that young players, with two minutes of on court coaching, are likely to hear the first 5-10 words of coaching insight, the remainder lost over their anticipation to get back to playing, drinking water, or re-tying their shoes!

By: Suellyn Schellpeper Rohrer
-Oconomowoc High School
-Varsity Girls and Boys Tennis Coach
-Fall 2013