Coach in the Spotlight - Jaroslav Levinsky
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 Jaroslav Levinsky, our A level coach in the hot seat and asked some quick fire questions.
1. What is your current work in progress?
I am currently coaching Lukas Rosol as my top priority, and during his weeks off I am trying to continue my project with Dominik Hrbaty in Turkey, with Turkish Tennis Federation, where we take care of a group of eight players, some of them are Davis Cup team members...
2. How did you begin coaching pro players? How long have you been coaching?
After spending about six months in Schuettler & Waske Tennis University, I was asked by Dirk Hordorff to coach Rainer Schuettler. After Rainer, I coached Sergiy Stakhovsky and Yen-Hsun Lu, and a junior girl from Ukraine, Olga Fridman. Then I started the project with Turkish Federation up until now. I recently agreed to work with Lukas Rosol for certain number of weeks throughout the 2016 season. It will be my sixth season as a coach.
3. What keeps you motivated to come to work each day and keep coaching through the years?
Seeing a player striving for success and moving in the right direction towards reaching his/our goals is my motivation...
4. What skills/characteristics do you look for in your players?
At first, I look for a game style and technique, but more important for me is how determined the player is to continuously work on his progress. How intense he practises, how he reacts to criticism, how he can handle/solve crucial situations on court during matches. And last, but not the least, how much the player is willing to sacrifice and step out of his comfort zone.
5. What is the biggest challenge you've had as a coach and how did you overcome it?
I challenge myself each day, I am trying to learn every day new things, which could move me forward in my coaching career, as well as in my personal life. But specifically, it was very challenging to handle, as their only coach, eight Turkish players aged 16-24 for a week of practice, scheduling, arranging practice courts etc. It was a great experience, especially when we see that the hard work pays off. Seven of them reached their career best ranking during this year.
6. What is your most successful coaching moment so far?
It's hard to name one moment, as my success depends on a player's result and if I name one, then it would be disrespectful towards other players I worked with. With every player you have victories, which means a lot for both of us at the given moment.
7. What advice would you give to new coaches?
Be yourself, don't just talk to players, but also listen to them. Be a role model in terms of respecting others, professionalism, discipline, effort, intensity etc. You can not demand it, if you are not able to provide it yourself!
8. What inspires your work?
My inspiration comes from within. If a player or Federation/Academy calls for help, it means they trust in my skills and that inspires me to prove they picked a right guy who will certainly help them move towards their goals.
9. What is your next coaching goal?
My next Goal is to help Lukas Rosol secure his place at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. He has quite a lot of points to defend until then, so it's going be quite a challenge to reach the goal, but I hope he will stay injury free so we can fully focus on giving our best to achieve it.
The Winning Edge | Elite Tennis Journal
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