Try it out: Coach’s Clipboard

Do you use visual aids when teaching tennis? USPTA Elite Pro Mark Schminke (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) explains why the coach’s clipboard is a helpful tool in helping students understand important drills and lessons.

As coaches, we possess the verbal skills needed in order to instruct our students. Coaches without the ability to successfully describe swings or drills will find themselves hard pressed on court to get the desired results.

However, even the best teachers need visual aids to help their students fully understand our desired result. A mixture of visual, and audible instruction is a strong instructional team that I have found successful with my students. When showing our students how to swing, they can watch us. But when describing a drill, or the logic behind positioning, we are limited visually.

A tennis coach’s clipboard is an extremely effective way to get across the goal of a drill, or the logic behind a strategy. I use my coach’s clipboard nearly everyday; saving me time, and allowing my student to hit more balls.

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Advanced drills for the return of serve

The goal of this article is to focus on all aspects (mental, physical, tactical and technical) of the return of serve and give some examples of drills that can be used to improve them.

USPTA Master Pro Feisal Hassan (Midlothian, Va.) shares some advanced drills for the return of serve he has learned from attending workshops and conferences:


I would like to explain a drill on motivation, self-confidence, concentration, and emotional control.

Motivation drill

DRILL:  Motivation through Goal setting

Players play points.  Before the start of each point the returner must tell their coach their strategy for the next point.  One point is awarded for winning the point and another extra point if the return of serve was played according to plan.

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A Love Look at Off-Court Instruction

Practice makes perfect, and having students spend lots of time on the court practicing those serves and forehands is essential to improvement. But how much time are you spending on instruction OFF the court?

In his Ask the Doctor column in the USPTA Southern Division Newsletter, USPTA Master Pro Bob Love (Elizabethtown, Ky.) gave his take on what you can also teach students off the court to provide them with a positive tennis experience.

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Dave Dvorak’s Success Secrets

USPTA Southern Division’s First Vice President Lane Evans (Hendersonville, N.C.) recently wrote about Master Pro Dave Dvorak (Marietta, Ga.) in the January 2014 issue of The Standard. Lane shared a little bit about Dave and his 12 Secrets to Success, and we thought we’d share them with you.

"Dave was gracious enough to provide us with his tips for success.  Young pros, take note.  These are the kind of ideas you will not find easily.  They come with experience, lots of experience.  We in the USPTA Southern division are fortunate to have a professional of Dave’s caliber and thank him for his contributions and dedication to tennis." - Lane Evans, USPTA Pro

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Creating Mental Toughness in a Junior Program

By USPTA Elite Professional Nick Laskaris (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) 

For most tennis clubs, the biggest issue among young players is motivating them to work hard mentally and physically. Instead of filling parks in the summertime, juniors stay inside and play video games. Therefore, not only do pros pass on the game of tennis to juniors, but they have to create toughness and work ethic.

Here are a few tips to for coaches to create mentally tough tennis warriors.

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Education opportunities with discount for USPTA members

The International Coaches Institute and Academia Sanchez-Casal Florida are offering two courses, Competitive Coaching Course Level 1, Feb. 5-7, and Pro Coaching Course Level 2, Feb. 7-9 in Naples, Fla.

The CCC is designed in response to the high demands of today’s tennis, where players are pushed at a young age to begin competing. The Pro CC is designed for those competitive coaches who want to devote their time and energy into developing players whose ambitions and talents far exceed the recreational club player. Each course is worth 10 USPTA education credits.

For more information on the courses offered, check out the PDF brochure online here.

For reservations or more information, email or call 239-263-1818.

USPTA members will save $100 on each course.