My full-time job is coaching students aged 5-75. Regardless of age, I expect each of my students to listen to my coaching as I give them advice point-by-point and apply what I am teaching them during each coaching session. During a coaching session, I am in charge; my student’s job is to listen to my advice.
Tournaments are somewhat different. When I am coaching Perry Wilson in a tournament, I can give him advice between games; but I am not allowed to coach him during the actual game. Perry is the one who needs to coach himself during the game. Between points, Perry needs to analyze for himself what went right, what went wrong, and what he needs to do in the next point.
Between games, I give Perry 1 or 2 tips and have him repeat the advice back to me.
Then I ask:
Who’s the coach?
Perry is the coach.
It’s crucial that you develop the ability to coach yourself between points, keeping your mind active. If you fall into a 5-0 hole, you still have the chance to turn the game around if you can coach yourself to a better strategy.
Samson Dubina is an accomplished player and coach. He was the US Nationals Men’s Singles Finalist in 2010. Learn more about Samson.