Coaching Tip Tuesday: Winning Advice from Coaches Who Win

In order to be a great tennis coach, you have to learn from the best. You’ve probably been influenced throughout your coaching career by your own tennis instructor or perhaps a coach of another sport. You’ve likely seen interviews with top coaches on TV or read their books. Teaching successful players also requires allowing others to teach you. To inspire you this week, MyTennisLessons has compiled winning advice from some of the greatest coaches across the spectrum of professional and amateur sports.

John Wooden, University of California – Los Angeles men’s basketball

Led teams to win 10 National Championships

“In the end, it's about the teaching,

Harry Hopman, Australian Davis Cup team

Coached teams to 16 Davis Cup titles

“There are no hard and fast rules for learning to play tennis or for developing your game, and there is no one style which could be laid down as the ‘correct’ way to play.”

Bear Bryant, University of Alabama football

Won six National Championships as head coach

“Little things make the difference. Everyone is well prepared in the big things, but only the winners perfect the little things.”

Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee women’s basketball

Winningest coach in NCAA basketball history

“In the end, it's about the teaching, copy

Nick Bollettieri, Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy

Developed all-time greats, including Andre Agassi and Monica Seles

“One of the keys to coaching is being able to spot those idiosyncrasies in people very quickly, and then be able to deliver a message that they can understand and believe and follow.”

Brad Gilbert, Association of Tennis Professionals

Coached top players, including Andy Roddick and Andy Murray

“Get into the habit of evaluating your opponent and thinking about the match before you arrive at the court. If you drive to the match your car is the place where your warm-up begins. If you walk to the courts, then the sidewalk is where it happens. No matter what, your warm-up starts on the way to the match.”

Dean Smith, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill men’s basketball

Had a 77.6 winning percentage during his 36 years coaching


Pat Riley, National Basketball Association

Amassed five Championship titles as a head coach

“You have no choices about how you lose, but you do have a choice about how you come back and prepare to win again.”

Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers

Led team to five National Football Championships, including Super Bowls I and II


Toni Nadal, Coach of Rafael Nadal

Has trained the 14-time grand slam winner since age 4

“Never, when Rafael lose, it is my fault. If Rafael lose, it’s (his) fault and it’s true. When he wins his matches, it’s for him.”


I grew up in a tennis family with three younger sisters as doubles partners. If you enjoyed a blog post of mine or want to know more, feel free to email me at Thanks for reading and staying connected with MyTennisLessons!
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