| By Ricky Becker

From my experience of working with two of the stronger junior programs around and now going out on my own, I have seen two different styles in terms of coach quantity for junior players.  I have seen situations where some juniors want one coach and view any time/money spent with a different coach a waste of time.  I have also seen, situations of highly ranked kids taking four lessons a week with four different coaches because each coach could provide something different.  I really feel strongly, that the right way to go is with one coach at least twice a week to provide structure, ownership and to really get inside a kid's head.  If the family wants to take a third lesson with somebody else at the same club, another club or a lower-priced hitter (see previous article) I don't really have a problem with that as long as the main coach knows what is going on and can communicate with the child, parent or other coach on what the second coach is doing.  I definitely don't think this is necessary however.

The big problem that I see with multiple coaches is that no coach really takes ownership with the student and quite frankly can't communicate as well with the child because each coach does not know what is being communicated o the child by the other coach.  Additionally, there are many ways to teach different shots and styles and even if a family can sift through what they want to take from each coach, that is a lot of useless time and energy.  Just find the coach you trust and go with it!!

Ricky Becker is the Director of Tennis at Pine Hollow Country Club. He independently coaches high-performance juniors and adults of all-levels year-round at Bethpage Park Tennis Center. He has coached hundreds of ranked junior players. As a player, Becker was awarded Most Valuable Player for the 1996 NCAA Championship Stanford Tennis Team and 1989-1992 Roslyn High School Tennis Teams, and was ranked number four in the United States in the 18 & Under Division.