Emerson, a 12-time Major winner, has urged modern-day competitors to think for themselves and, in doing so, become less dependent on their coaches.
“Players should be able to learn from mistakes and remain level-headed,” Emerson said. “They shouldnâ€™t need a babysitter!
“Tennis is 85 per cent mental – and players should be able to put points together and convert chances when they get them.”
The 74-year-old feels the world’s top players have become more self-sufficient and generally now rely solely on their coaches for mental and physical preparation.
And it’s a strategy he feels more players should employ. â€œI donâ€™t think there are too many great coaches out there today,â€ he continued. â€œI believe that the role of coach to the top players is over-rated.
â€œMany players rely too much on coaches to tell them what to do, watching opponents and figuring out how to win matches. Players should be able to do this for themselves.
â€œThe role of coach to top players should be to prepare them so they are physically and mentally up to the task at hand.â€
Emerson, who won a total of 28 Grand Slam titles in singles and doubles, believes that if a player does require a coach, the most suitable candidates often prove to be former players who have experienced the demands of the sport first-hand.
â€œIt is a terrific advantage if the coach has played at the top levels because they have been through similar situations themselves,â€ he added.
â€œBut mainly their job is to arrange hitting partners, make sure the player is in a good frame of mind, really fit and donâ€™t interfere too much.â€
Visit MG Words – home of Mike Geraghty, Irish author of tennis and children’s books for all ages.
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