Coach in the Spotlight - Jan Velthuis
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 Jan Velthuis, our A level coach in the hot seat and asked some quick fire questions.
1. What is your current work in progress?
I began working with Roman Safiullin, a young Russian player, coming back from a shoulder operation. After winning the Australian Open junior title this year, he is fighting his way back to the Tour...
2. How did you begin coaching pro players? How long have you been coaching?
I obtained all my coaching certificates in the Netherlands. I started working as a coach at the age of 20, at a tennis Academy and the Dutch Tennis Federation. On my 25th birthday, after 5 years of coaching, I took a decision to study physical therapy in the Netherlands, to learn more about the human body and biomechanics. When they asked me to work in a pro tennis academy in Germany, I took the opportunity. I started working on Tour in 1990s as a tennis coach/ physiotherapist and a conditional trainer.
3. What keeps you motivated to come to work each day and keep coaching through the years?
My motivation is simple "I am 53, and I never worked!". Maybe four years of studying felt almost like working. I never need to tell myself on Friday that I am happy it's finally weekend.
4. What skills/characteristics do you look for in your players?
My Player needs to be honest, respectful and grateful. Everything about tennis is up to me.
5. What is the biggest challenge you've had as a coach and how did you overcome it?
There is no really just "one" big challenge during all these years. I've been facing a lot of difficult moments, and some of them I did not overcome. But it's nothing when you compare it to all the beautiful and unforgettable moments I've been involved in.
6. What is your most successful coaching moment so far?
I've had great moments during all these years with my players. We won ATP 500 series events, had Grand Slam doubles wins, Challenger titles etc. It's not really a moment, but more an achievement I am proud of! Working with two players and bringing them in one and the same year from ATP ranking #300 and #190 into top 70... I was lucky with the talent of these guys, but I keep telling myself that I did some things the right way!
7. What advice would you give to new coaches?
I can give them advice they get from everybody. Commitment, hard work, strong will to learn and more ... The most important thing is: "Be yourself, and don't play to be somebody!"
8. What inspires your work?
My inspiration is to help guys, at the beginning of their life, with a great job they have as professional tennis players. To help them earn some money and become independent. And teach them they don't need to do things for people they don't like.
9. What is your next coaching goal?
My next goal is to try to win the next match!
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