Coach in the Spotlight - Boris Sobkin
As part of our regular 'Coach In The Spotlight' feature, we are holding a series of short interviews with GPTCA members sharing their coaching success story. We have this week put Boris Sobkin, our A* level coach, in the hot seat and asked some quick fire questions.
1. What is your current work in progress?
I've been coaching Mikhail Youzhny for more than 20 years now. He is the top ranked Russian player, currently at no.20 in the rankings, and former world no.8.
2. How did you begin coaching pro players? How long have you been coaching?
I started working with pros in 1992. Sassoon Khakshouri invited me to work with a player from Israel. I began coaching in early 80s.
3. What keeps you motivated to come to work each day and keep coaching through the years?
I love tennis and I like to learn every day. Tennis is played around the world, it has so much variety that you can find something new for yourself every day, if you really want to do it.
4. What skills/characteristics do you look for in your players?
The main thing I look for is a strong character. You cannot really be a good player without a character of steel.
5. What is the biggest challenge you've had as a coach and how did you overcome it?
I face challenges every day. It is tough to say which one was the biggest. Probably one of the biggest was in 1995. Mikhail played junior tournament U13 in Annecy (France). 32 players took part, and he finished 30th with just one win. Everybody told me that he would never become a good player. Hopefully they were wrong and he became a top 10 player later.
6. What is your most successful coaching moment so far?
I am satisfied with my player's results, but I hope the most successful moment will come in the future.
7. What advice would you give to new coaches?
My advice to new coaches would be: be patient.
8. What inspires your work?
Being a tennis coach is interesting to me, it's a never-ending inspiration.
9. What is your next coaching goal?
My next goal is to help Mikhail win his next match.
*Should you have any questions or want to get in touch with Boris please do so by joining a discussion on the forum.
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