Coach in the Spotlight - Wim Fissette
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 Wim Fissette, our A* level coach in the hot seat and asked some quick fire questions.
1. What is your current work in progress?
I work as a tennis coach of Simona Halep.
2. How did you begin coaching pro players? How long have you been coaching?
I started as a hitting partner of Kim Clijsters at the end of 2005. I did this until her first retirement in 2007. During the period, I always tried to develop my coaching skills. I followed coaching courses at the Flemish Tennis Federation (Tennis Vlaanderen) and went to several national and international coaches conferences. I have been an international coach for 9 years now.
3. What keeps you motivated to come to work each day and keep coaching through the years?
For me it's not difficult to stay motivated because I love tennis and I love coaching. I'm also very ambitious and my goal is to win more Grand Slams.
4. What skills/characteristics do you look for in your players?
The most important is that the player has the mentality of a champion. A champion wants to get better every day by working hard.
5. What is the biggest challenge you've had as a coach and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was the transition from a hitting partner to a coach.
6. What is your most successful coaching moment so far?
My most successful coaching moment so far is winning the US Open in 2009 with Kim Clijsters. It was an unbelievable experience, winning a Grand slam after 2 years without tennis. We had trained very hard for 6 months and then she won the US Open which was only her third tournament after the comeback.
7. What advice would you give to new coaches?
Players need to develop their game, but coaches should also develop their skills. Every player is different and has different needs, so take time to get to know your player and give the player what he/she needs.
8. What is your next coaching goal?
My goal is to win another Grand Slam. For a coach, to win a Grand Slam is like it is for a player, the greatest success you can achieve. In order to accomplish that, I try to improve myself day by day and I ask myself: what is it that I can do better tomorrow?
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