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Panel Discussion: Challenging Players (Part 1)

College tennis teams are composed of individuals with different ability levels. Some players may have professional tennis aspirations, others walk on to the program, and there are obviously levels in between.

How do college coaches approach this disparity? We put the question to our panel of former college tennis coaches.


Q) What do college coaches do to challenge and develop players of different abilities?


Tom Schrader, former coach, North Florida Men and Women

Something I've always done while coaching to challenge players was to meet with the team at the beginning of each year and have them write down their goals and objectives for that year. Once it was on paper, I met with each one of them individually to discuss their goals and objectives and help them with a plan of action for achieving them. By doing that each player had something to work for and a plan to follow.

If a particular player was not following the plan, I reminded them what they had written down in the beginning. That way players always had a challenge ahead of them. At the end of the year, we met individually again to revisit their goals written down and discuss what was and was not achieved during the year. I always felt this approach worked with all different levels of ability on the team.

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