Pistolesi Interview | Elite Tennis Journal
Claudio Pistolesi opens up about his philosophy of coaching which starts with a genuine passion for the game. He talks about never-ending learning, effective communication and also gives a recipe for a successful coach-player relationship.
Here are some excerpts from the interview conducted by Editor-in-Chief Marcin Matysik and published in the September edition of Elite Tennis.
ET: Almost all young coaches are well aware that in this job (coaching) learning never ends, that they should never stop innovating, looking at what they can improve. As far as you can see, is there anything that these coaches are missing?
Claudio Pistolesi: When I go to various coaching courses, I see that young coaches are pretty knowledgeable. They know a lot about biomechanics, and other more advanced aspects of the game. The problem is that they forget one crucial thing, which is how to bring this knowledge to their player. The best advice I can give to young coaches is this: make sure you are able to transmit messages to your player so that they are able to absorb it smoothly. Empathy is the key word here. You can be Einstein, but if your player can't understand understand you, then your knowledge is useless.
ET: When working on the tour, you've always emphasized the importance of a trial period before you sign a contract. What is it that coaches have to find out before they decide to work on a full-time basis?
CP: There must be that mutual atmosphere of understanding between a coach and his player. The coach must remember that nobody will give him back the time he spent with this player. Working with somebody for two full years is a long time which you will not be given back. You travel with the player, have breakfast with him, lunch, spend free time, talk a lot, and get to know his family and friends. Before you decide if you want to work with him, you must make sure that there is a good chemistry between you and your player. You should enjoy his company, you should have fun as well, money is also important. The situation can be difficult because you’re the boss and you are paid by the player. There is always danger that some coaches might be afraid of losing their job, and they don’t do what they ought to do, but rather what is expected from them. If you are like this, you’re not a coach, you’re rather a concierge. The money must never be the priority.
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