What To Expect with Tailored Coaching
One of our premium services here is Tailored Coaching but...What does it look like?
A good question and one I would be asking if I was in your shoes too. Sure, we have a landing page on our site, features, nice images and great sounded text. In reality, what does that mean to you?
With the risk of frustrating you, I need to start with - Every single person's experience will be different. By definition, it is 'Tailored coaching' and we must create a solution for you. Let me share a real-world example of one student we are currently working with.
Our student is 14 years old. We have a group message thread that both of her parents are connected in. Communication is mainly between myself and the student, however, it is always open and both parents are invested in doing what they can for their daughter. It's a great team.
It all started a year ago when this player was struggling with her movement. A hard-working person that was lacking some structure to the week with movement specific training.
We started by assessing her mobility, balance and stability, joint range of motion and general questions about why she plays tennis and what her goals are. This fact-finding process is KEY to moving forward.
What we discovered was a few really important things. Her ankle, hip and wrist mobility was exceptional. Her lower leg elasticity was lacking power (the spring in her step) and one of her shoulders was suffering from limited mobility and pain.
The plan I created from here needed to solve a couple of things. First, was getting her body to a level where weekly strength & conditioning training could be maintained. Fixing the shoulder mobility was really important also. We spent 4-5 weeks on shoulder mobility, range of motion exercises and strengthen key areas. We re-tested before progressing. Her shoulders were now working together and the pain had disappeared.
The second step was increasing the spring off the ground plus overall court speed and movement.
This process took longer, as the body takes time to adapt. We included a base level of training to build tendon strength that could withstand the upcoming speed and power training, built on her aerobic base (not tennis-specific, however it is health specific). This process took around 8-10 weeks in total.
The third step was developing speed.
This is a delicate process. Speed training requires hard and fast training with adequate rest and recovery. Sometimes the recovery is the hardest part. 8 weeks into the speed blocks we started to add in speed through movement, tennis specific footwork and rotational power. Once each building block is 70-80% developed, I add in the next phase. Listening to athlete feedback and monitoring the load the entire time. The number one cause of injury is overload. That is why good program development takes time (when done correctly)
The fourth stage.
Training has developed a huge amount. We have discovered that her movement is leaps and bounds better. Strength and power are evident on court and importantly no injuries along the way. Now we are happy with her overall foundation to movement, strength and power, plus mobility we have started to add on one of my favourite elements. Her on-court coach has noticed the improvement and commented on her overall improved movement and strength. Great to hear outside feedback (both constructive and positive)
Where we are now, tactics and decision training.
Under pressure, within the match, how can we make the right decisions more often. The two elements we are starting with are, BASE tactical understanding and building blocks, plus, the feedback decision-making loop. The basic tactics are very easy in theory, however, on court in pressure situations, they can be mighty challenging. I'm impressed with how quickly she was able to bring this to her game. An added bonus was her very first win this year too! The feedback cycle will start to shape her decision-making process. There are a few types of decision training for us to explore. Not all appropriate for this type of training, we will expand as we move forward. For now, all decision training is directly linked to the tactical training and speeding up the feedback loop to bring real-time learning on court. This real-time learning will allow her to make quick changes, understand what is/isn't working well and adapt to the match at hand. Act, assess, challenge the idea, act again, assess and continue to grow along this never ending cycle.
It's been a great process adapting her training along the way and seeing improvement at each stage. Now we have momentum on our side, she can now look back and see how far she has come. It is estimated that every junior player will improve by 3% each year. Through normal growth and development. Our job as performance coaches is to accelerate learning and increase the improvement well above 3%. It is a hard number to isolate, however in this student's program, I would say her overall performance has increased by 40% in 10 months. Now we are starting to shape her decision making and after, including brain training, I'm expecting even bigger improvements and development. Such an honour to work with students dedicated to getting better each and every day.
If you would like to talk with me about Tailored coaching, what it may look like in your case - please get in touch. I don't bite and am always happy to chat about performance coaching.