Coach in the Spotlight - Mikael Tillström
As part of our regular 'Coach In The Spotlight' feature, we are holding a series of short interviews with prominent GPTCA members sharing their coaching success story. We have put Mikael Tillström, our A level coach in the hot seat and asked some quick fire questions.
1. What is your current work in progress?
I'm in Holland with Elias Ymer at a Future tournament. I have spent the last 6 months at the Academy working with our junior program.
2. How did you begin coaching pro players? How long have you been coaching?
I started coaching Andreas Vinciguerra after my career had been ended due to a back injury in 2002. Andreas contacted me and we started working the same year, before Stockholm Open.
3. What keeps you motivated to come to work each day and keep coaching through the years?
Seeing players develop each year, getting closer to their goals. You get a lot of energy from young people.
4. What skills/characteristics do you look for in your players?
Their own drive to become better each day!
5. What is the biggest challenge you've had as a coach and how did you overcome it?
When players become injured and you can't find what's wrong. You can only try to have good doctors and physios in your team but sometimes it's hard to find a way out from injuries. I have seen both Vinciguerra and Norman fighting hard with their bodies to come back on court.
6. What is your most successful coaching moment so far?
It was when Dimitrov beat World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Madrid last year.
7. What advice would you give to new coaches?
To motivate their players and make a path together that they all trust in! Remember that all players are different individuals and there isn't one formula to become a champion, but hard work is part of it.
8. What inspires your work?
All the coaches at our Academy inspire me and give me new inputs in my work every day.
9. What is your next coaching goal?
My next coaching goal is to have one of our players advance from the Pro Circuit and play on the ATP/WTA Tour on a regular basis.
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