The greatest players ALMOST never become coaches... why ? - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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The greatest players ALMOST never become coaches... why ?

OK, this is an off-season like thread, but though I understand they want to make a break in travelling, with the tour, etc., I'm wondering why the former number 1's , who have a the greatest experience in career management, pressure situations and technical skills, are never taking the path of coaching, or for a very short period only. They should transmit their know-how as well, I think it would be great for the game. Are they mercenaries who just chase money and then disapear ? Why is it always second-tier players who become coaches, sometimes successfully (Lundgren, Roche, Gilbert) ?
For example, I have the feeling that when he's done, Federer has everything to be a fantastic coach: great tactic and technical background, experience of big occasions, easy to get along with.

"I asked a bloke in the front row if he liked the serve-and-volley stuff," said Rafter. "He said he did but asked if he was going to get to see any rallies. 'Not today, mate,' I told him."

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 04:15 PM
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Re: The greatest players never become great coaches... why ?

Like in the majority of sports it doesn't matter how talented you were (obviously some degree of talent is required) but it is how you get across your knowledge. Just because you can play a sport well does it does not mean that you will be able to get all of your ideas across to another person. Also, some people may simply not have the patience to coach someone. Ive only just started to get into the tennis world so i dont know alot about many of the coaches but i do know soccer, and one example is the Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger, who has never played football at any significent level but has turned out to be a brilliant coach.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 04:17 PM
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Re: The greatest players never become great coaches... why ?

I'd imagine a factor would be that top players don't need any more money so they opt not to go into coaching.

But as has been said, a top player would not necessarily make a top coach anyway.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 04:19 PM
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Re: The greatest players never become great coaches... why ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdhubert
Why is it always second-tier players who become coaches, sometimes successfully (Lundgren, Roche, Gilbert) ?
For example, I have the feeling that when he's done, Federer has everything to be a fantastic coach: great tactic and technical background, experience of big occasions, easy to get along with.
Roche did win Slams, top players are too selfish, plus they don't want to do it usually.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 04:21 PM
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Re: The greatest players never become great coaches... why ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trivial
Like in the majority of sports it doesn't matter how talented you were (obviously some degree of talent is required) but it is how you get across your knowledge. Just because you can play a sport well does it does not mean that you will be able to get all of your ideas across to another person. Also, some people may simply not have the patience to coach someone. Ive only just started to get into the tennis world so i dont know alot about many of the coaches but i do know soccer, and one example is the Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger, who has never played football at any significent level but has turned out to be a brilliant coach.
I agree.
Plus, they don´t want to coach
That is not being mercenaries, that is having priorities. They won´t save the world coaching players. They already spent years and years living in hotel rooms. Why would they continue on tour, coaching (for much more less money... and this people already have A LOT of money) if they have a family at home (for example)?
And I agree with GWH, tennis players have BIG egos
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 04:39 PM
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Re: The greatest players never become great coaches... why ?

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Originally Posted by lau
I agree.
Plus, they don´t want to coach
That is not being mercenaries, that is having priorities. They won´t save the world coaching players. They already spent years and years living in hotel rooms. Why would they continue on tour, coaching (for much more less money... and this people already have A LOT of money) if they have a family at home (for example)?
And I agree with GWH, tennis players have BIG egos
For a person who doesn't like River Plate, you still make a lot of sense.

Seriously, I think you hit all the major points. Bottom line is they're tired of the travel and they're rich...why would they want to coach?

But I would love to see the top players do a bit more. Not coaching, but in other capacities.

For example, Pat Rafter would be an awesome mentor for the players and a great ambassador to tennis, and is one of my all time favorites. Maybe he is doing things involving the game - but I never hear of it. If he does, please let me know, because I'd love to hear it.

Pete Sampras - never a favorite of mine, but I think its a shame that the man just plays golf 24/7. He could do a lot more to help US tennis.

People diss Johnny Mac here but I've heard so many stories about how the players come to him for advice - he's always there, ready to help. I see Guillermo Villas helping the Argentines. I wish there were more ex-players like both of them.

Andre has said that he would like to continue doing things in tennis when he retires. I would love to see it because he's a good ambassador for the game. Maybe he can be our first tennis commissioner - a position imho that is desperately needed since the ATP is filled with a bunch of clueless clowns.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 04:41 PM
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Re: The greatest players never become great coaches... why ?

I wonder if part of it would be that they wouldn't want to be overshadowed by their protégé, protect their status as the 'greatest player' the sport has ever seen.

What would Anderson say?
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The greatest players never become great coaches... why ?

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Originally Posted by Sol Apollo
I wonder if part of it would be that they wouldn't want to be overshadowed by their protégé, protect their status as the 'greatest player' the sport has ever seen.
Possibly, big egos indeed...

"I asked a bloke in the front row if he liked the serve-and-volley stuff," said Rafter. "He said he did but asked if he was going to get to see any rallies. 'Not today, mate,' I told him."
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 05:30 PM
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Re: The greatest players never become great coaches... why ?

1. big egos
2. some things can not be taugth

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 05:35 PM
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Re: The greatest players never become great coaches... why ?

I think if you have been a really top player - you might end up being very impatient coaching a player who can't do the things that you used to be able to do easily. I would imagine if your "charge" was not as good as you used to be, and didn't learn as quickly as you did, then a top payer would become exasperated and think "why can't he do that - I used to be able to", Also - as others have said - if you have earned enough money and spent years of your life travelling and staying in Hotels - why would you want to continue? Most players opt not to settle down and start a family until they give up touring, so they will naturally want to enjoy their hard earned money watching their kids grow up and enjoying their family life.

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 05:49 PM
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Re: The greatest players never become great coaches... why ?

First of all, who is a real tennis coach? Imo, it's a person who can take a kid from "the ground zero" to the professional level. The work with kids neither is glorious, or extremely profitable.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 05:50 PM
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Re: The greatest players never become great coaches... why ?

Like anything else in life, simply having the talent or skill does not necessarily enable a person to teach those skills or foster those abilities in others. Being a coach/mentor to others is more dependent upon personality traits imo.

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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 05:52 PM
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Re: The greatest players never become great coaches... why ?

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Originally Posted by ExpectedWinner
First of all, who is a real tennis coach? Imo, it's a person who can take a kid from "the ground zero" to the professional level. The work with kids neither is glorious, or extremely profitable.
I think that the coaches that work with the players are important, but you're right, the most important coaches are the ones that are probably with the guys at the junior level. And then the coach that can take a player from like 70/80 land up to above 30.

Some of the really top guys don't even need coaches. Their coaches are there to make plane reservations, carry baggage, and get practice partners.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 05:55 PM
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Re: The greatest players never become great coaches... why ?

In soccer, somebody offered the following explanation for that phenomenon:

The biggest talents, the greatest players tend to play more by instinct. Of course, they need training and coaching and reaching the top is a lot of hard work for them too but their talent and skill with the ball is such that things are a bit more 'natural' for them.

On the other hand, a player who is not really a "top" player, has to compensate for being not as talented, so they are more inclined and forced to learn about every possible aspect of the game to try and find a way to outsmart strong opponents. For them, it takes more effort to try and figure out various ways to beat an opponent so.That's the reason, said this soccer expert, that the very best coaches were often not the very best players.

For example, Ronaldinho had to learn the sport and every aspect by practicing a lot from a young age but it's easy to see how natural some of those things are to him, whereas a lesser talented player will have to 'think' more about how he can get the ball past another player.

Does that make sense and is that a possibility in tennis as well?
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The greatest players never become great coaches... why ?

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Originally Posted by Castafiore
In soccer, somebody offered the following explanation for that phenomenon:

The biggest talents, the greatest players tend to play more by instinct. Of course, they need training and coaching and reaching the top is a lot of hard work for them too but their talent and skill with the ball is such that things are a bit more 'natural' for them.

On the other hand, a player who is not really a "top" player, has to compensate for being not as talented, so they are more inclined and forced to learn about every possible aspect of the game to try and find a way to outsmart strong opponents. For them, it takes more effort to try and figure out various ways to beat an opponent so.That's the reason, said this soccer expert, that the very best coaches were often not the very best players.

For example, Ronaldinho had to learn the sport and every aspect by practicing a lot from a young age but it's easy to see how natural some of those things are to him, whereas a lesser talented player will have to 'think' more about how he can get the ball past another player.

Does that make sense and is that a possibility in tennis as well?
good post and explanation, because I'm sure some of the ex number 1's would lobve to be involved in some slams, I mean when you spend time playing amateur golf life might be quite boring, especially when you have this experience level. a 14 winning slam or a 109 titles experience is something to share in a way or another, but it's true that these guys are so gifted that it hardly translates... From another standpoint I know Edberg, one of the most gifted players, is training some young guys in Sweden, I find it beautiful, it's a great way to remain fit and be useful on the same time. But Edberg has always been special... Lendl, known as "the robot", might know tons of things but prefers focusing on golf...

"I asked a bloke in the front row if he liked the serve-and-volley stuff," said Rafter. "He said he did but asked if he was going to get to see any rallies. 'Not today, mate,' I told him."
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