High performance coaches seem to have selective memories when recalling with whom they have worked.  Over and over you hear coaches mention all the great players whom they trained, excuse me, not only trained but “made,” as if players were gingerbread men. 

Sometimes you hear the name of a player associated with so many coaches that you have to wonder how a player could have been in so many different places at the same time.

The reality is that “making a player” is a term that is way too loosely used in the high performance arena.  Coaches tend to brag about making a player if they coached him for sometime, hit with him, know him, have seen him train and, in some cases, even living close appears to license them to use the term.

On the other hand, one hardly ever hears coaches talk about all the less successful players whom they actually trained, especially the ones at the bottom of the pack.

As a high performance coach, the norm is for most of your players to underperform, at least based on their expectations. Anyone in a competitive program dreams, at some point or another, to be a highly ranked professional but very few achieve this goal.  After all, there are only 100 players in the world ranked in the top 100. Therefore, the success rate of a high performance coach is extremely low, which may explain why so many coaches try to ride the wave of success when they have the chance. 

However, it is important to remember that behind every exceptional player whom you trained, there are many others whom you were not able to help as much as you would have liked.  These athletes are the ones that keep you grounded and serve you as a reminder to keep striving to improve.

An objective evaluation should include all the players that you coach not only the extraordinary ones. 

Enjoy your success but do not forget the “bad ones.”

By Edgar Giffenig TennisGate

From the book: Developing High Performancve Tennis Players