Coach in the Spotlight - Matthew Gregory
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 Matthew Gregory, our A level coach, in the hot seat and asked some quick fire questions.
1. What is your current work in progress?
Right now is an extremely busy period for me. I have a base club in Melbourne, Australia that I run and am about to expand to a second facility. This year I have been working with the Sports Authority of Thailand in various roles to assist in their high performance and professional tennis areas.
2. How did you begin coaching pro players? How long have you been coaching?
I have been working specifically on the road with tour level players for about 6 years now. I have been working in tennis for about 11 years through various roles in administration for tennis federations, coaching at Davis Cup level, and various player development roles.
3. What keeps you motivated to come to work each day and keep coaching through the years?
A famous and very successful Australian football coach once quoted "If you enjoy your job, then you don't have to go to work." This is very true to me and a philosophy I live by. Sure, like any job, being a professional tennis coach has its highs and lows, but at the end of the day, I have a passion for the sport and a passion for the professional and personal development of athletes. The passion of inspiring players to be the best they can and helping them achieve their goals keeps me motivated as their is no limit to what a successful coach/player relationship can achieve.
4. What skills/characteristics do you look for in your players?
A player most importantly must be coachable. They must trust in their coaches technical, tactical, physical and mental advice. Without this trust and openness to listen and try to execute what their coach is asking of them, then their cannot be success. I believe one thing that is hard to measure is the size of a players heart and desire to fight and to be better every day. This is hard to teach and is an innate characteristic.
5. What is the biggest challenge you've had as a coach and how did you overcome it?
I began working with a player outside the top 300 in January 2012. He had had immense success as a junior, however after nearly 2-3 years out of tennis with multiple surgeries due to severe injuries, he asked me to coach him and to help him get back inside the top 100. We set a long term development plan for his physical comeback including a reasonable tournament
schedule and smart training principles. In the two years I have been coaching the player, he has qualified for 3 grand slam main draws and represented his country in Davis Cup on multiple occasions.
6. What is your most successful coaching moment so far?
Coaching Jimmy Wang from Taiwan as an unseeded player through 3 rounds of qualifying at Roehampton to qualify for Wimbledon in 2012. This was his first main draw singles of a grand slam in several years. This was the result of a well executed grass court strategy we devised that linked in with his overall on court training plan and physical off court training plan in the lead up to the event.
7. What advice would you give to new coaches?
The day you stop learning as a coach and think you know it all is the day that everyone passes you by. Network as much as you can and enjoy the highs because there are just as many lows in our industry.
8. What inspires your work?
Relationships with the players. If you do not understand the pressure and emotional roller coaster that a touring professional experiences year in and year out, this is not the right job for you. I am a 'people person' and that is my inspiration to work in tennis.
9. What is your next coaching goal?
I am working with a talented young Australian boy who shares the passion and desire I have for the game. He is only 10 years old but has already displayed the characteristics I mentioned earlier that is required to be a champion.
*Should you have any questions or want to get in touch with Matthew, please do so by joining a discussion on the forum.
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