I did interviews with 4 Head Pros in their respective academies. I'm posting some parts of the interviews here because I believe by reading you will learn more about what drives some coaches, their thoughts, and what their views are about parents and young players.
Read and enjoy.

What is your name?

Andrew Richardson

How old were you when you started playing tennis?

9 years old

Who was your influence to start playing tennis?

My father and John Mcenroe

Which coach do you remember in the most positive light and why?

The coaches I think had the biggest influence on my tennis career were John Hicks who I worked with from the ages of 14-18,he instilled some good disipline into his players,he was very positive and enthusiastic,he encouraged me a lot and I always enjoyed my time on court with him.The other coach who helped me a lot was David Sammel,he started working with me at a difficult time in my career,I was 22 and not really improving with a ranking in the 400's,he helped develop my game,got me to think differently about the way I approached my tennis and my gamestyle,with him I reached my career high singles ranking of 133ATP.

The best moment of your tennis career?

My proudest moment was representing Great Britain in Davis Cup in which I had my best career win,a five set victory over Byron Black(Zim).

The worst moment of your tennis career?

Wimbledon 1998 against Hitchim Arazi(Morocco),I wasn't enjoying my tennis at the time,if Im honest I didn't do the opportunity justice and played a poor match in the biggest tournament,I decided to stop playing after this match.

Advice for young players?

Try not to make the same mistake twice, top players learn lessons very quickly and move on.

Advice for tennis parents?

Try to behave as neutrally as possible, don't get carried away by the wins and negative about the losses, be supportive, positive and encouraging always!

Advice for new coaches?

Keep it simple, don't try to teach a player too many things at once, set goals with your player and assess them regularly

Thank You Andrew !
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What is your name?

Ben Haran

How did you start tennis?

I began by annoying the hell out of my parents by hitting on the wall until the early hours of the morning, after numerous smashed windows and my continued passion, at the age of 7 they decided to take me down to the local sports centre for squads. I played short tennis for a year, and then moved onto real balls where I was integrated into county/regional tennis squads. I remained at home until the summer of 1988 where I was spotted by David Lloyd and invited to trials for the Slater Squad. I was offered a tennis scholarship in the September of that year and I began my journey to become a tennis professional.

Who was your influence to start playing tennis?

My Father was instrumental in my passion for sport as a whole. He came from a sporting background and he made me aware that sport was a fantastic thing and that it would give me many opportunities in life. It wasnít until watching Boris Becker at Wimbledon 1985 at the age of 7 that I realised the sport I wanted to pursue most of all was tennis.

Which coach do you remember in the most positive light and why?

I had many good coaches that I had huge respect for growing up, the first being Tony Lloyd who coached me from 10-16. I would have to say the coach sticks out most of all for me would be Sean Cole. Unfortunately I only really spent time with Sean towards the end of my career around the age of 20. I was struggling at this stage but Sean was always there to listen and offer positive advice. I remember Sean always making you feel that there was more to life than winning or losing tennis matches and regardless of the outcome there were always things to look forward to. To me Sean was more than just a coach as he dealt with off court issues just the same as on court.

Whatís the best moment of your playing career?

I would have to say there are two defining moments. The first one was stepping out onto court 3 at Wimbledon for the Semi of the Junior Doubles. The second I wasnít really aware of the meaning at the time, but I received a WC into the Nottingham Open ATP event in 2001 and played probably the greatest player we will ever see Roger Federer losing 6-2 6-1. Very one sided but I did manage to break serve!!!

What was the worst moment of your playing career?

After a bad couple of years where my love for the game was still there but the improvement wasnít, the hardest thing was the realisation that I was not going to achieve my ambition and the time had come to stop competing. To go from having the feeling of chasing a dream from the age of 9-22 then realising for whatever reason you were not good enough was hard and the worst moment for me.


What would be your advice to young players?

Look to develop a consistent work habit every day. Does not matter how talented you are without the right work you will not progress. What youíre capable of achieving is determined by your talent. What you attempt to do is determined by your motivation, but how well you do is determined by your attitude. Always try to take responsibility for your own tennis and never look to blame others; no one can control your attitude but you. Also you must learn to be patient and understand that development is a long process, making a tennis player is a long journey with many ups and downs along the way.

What would be your advice to tennis parents?

The role of a tennis parent in my opinion is vital. You, more than anyone have the most influence on your childís tennis. If you look at almost any successful player on menís or womenís circuit there is one parent heavily involved. If you can build a good honest team around a player where the feedback from the coach is being backed up by the parents this is pivotal in a playerís progress.
Again be patient and be ready for many ups and downs this is part of any sport in the pursuit of excellence.


What would be your advice to young coaches?

The coach must set the standards that he expects from his players. You canít expect a player to have excellent attitude and commitment if youíre not prepared to do the same. Pay attention to detail and always be planning ahead. Be aware of the standards outside of your daily training environment, look to challenge the players and see how they handle it.

Be patient, a tennis player is not built over night; itís a long old road!


Thank You Ben !
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What is your name?

Toby Smith

How old you were when you started playing tennis?

10 years old

Who was your influence to start playing?

Was inspired by Ivan Lendl initially then major influence was Agassi due to personality and his individuality.

Which coach do you remember in the most positive light and why?

Colin Handbidge as he stuck by me when I was having my tough times.

The best moment of your playing career and why?

Playing at the Estoril Junior Open as it was my first taste of international tennis and made me realise why I was training so hard and why I love the game and continue to do so as a coach now to help players reach their potential too and gain rich experiences.


... the worst moment ?

No comment ( I SAY -HA HA HA)

Advice for players?

Trust in yourself, your fellow academy players, your coaching team and (of course) your parents!!!

Advice for tennis parents ?

Patience....there is no quick fix and it takes time.

Advice for new coaches ?

Never stop believing that excellence at world level will happen....and patience to make this possible!!

Thank You Toby !
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What is your name?

Simon Harston

How old you were when you started playing tennis?

18 months old

Who was your influence to start playing?

My dad

Which coach do you remember in the most positive light and why?

John Whiteford- invested a huge amount of time and effort in to my tennis over many years. Honourable mention to Phil Lochrie who made the brave decision to change me from a double to a single handed backhand at the age of 15.

The best moment of your playing career and why?

Winning my one and only Futures semi final against Jamie Baker from a set and a break down.

The worst moment?

Realising that my shoulder injury was serious enough to stop me from competing.

Advice for young players?

Take responsibility for your own game and push yourself 100% all the time. And if you stop enjoying the game, then stop playing.

Advice for tennis parents?

Give your child as much responsibility as possible for their tennis.

Advice for new coaches?

Donít ever think that you know it all.

Thank You Harston !


TennisW thanks all the coaches that participated in our interviews.