Philosophy of Coaching – Michael Lowdermilk

                                                   PTM Founder/Director

1)  I believe that in order to create an environment that accelerates the growth and development of the player, it is important to integrate biomechanically sound progressive techniques with fun, dynamic, interactive drills and tactical games and exercises. Biomechanical skills should be evaluated during practice, match play, and video analysis sessions, (each month).

2)  By integrating technical and tactical components along with a game based approach, I believe the player gains a comprehensive understanding of proper technique (leading to greater efficiency and effectiveness) and simultaneously gains a better ability to respond to various tactical situations.

3)  Incorporating match-play drills and tactical games and contests are also essential ingredients to further motivating the player and elevating their overall performance. If the player is having fun on the court, they are likely to continue playing and working on their game.

4)  I believe it is important to keep players busy by active and productive participation, not by waiting in lines for balls, or sitting on the sidelines. By engaging all players, everyone has more fun and learns more in the process.

5)  I believe it is equally important to integrate the Modern Elements of the game into the context of a successful program. The game has evolved over the years leading to adaptations in equipment, technique and in teaching methodologies. By effectively identifying and utilizing these techniques and applying them for given tactical situations, the player is better suited and prepared to make the proper adjustments both technically and tactically on the court.

6)  Some individuals are endowed with innate athletic abilities that accelerate their development as players. Others reach elite player status by sheer determination and dedication to practice and hard work. I believe it is incumbent upon all coaches to help their players assess their strengths and weaknesses and to recognize the untapped potential within. Once strengths and weaknesses are assessed, a comprehensive on-court and off-court regime should be established to reinforce or improve strengths and address areas of weakness.

7)  I believe in exhorting and encouraging players to reach their full potential through positive affirmations and through example. While praising a player for their accomplishments is essential, it should be coupled with constructive and effective critiquing. By providing the player with straight forward honest feedback and offering effective corrective advice, the player and coach build a relationship built on integrity and straight talk.

8)  As a coach I believe it is important to see the end product from the beginning, to encourage players to press on toward their goals no matter what obstacles they encounter. I believe coaching encompasses not only tennis, but life principles.

9)  Some coaches place too much emphasis on winning. Although this may be one method of measuring success, it does not always provide an accurate measurement of success and can be a disincentive to players particularly if they have played to their full potential and come in on the short end.

10)  I believe emphasis should be placed on reaching personal performance goals and not solely on outcome. Coaches should assist players in developing achievable and specific short term, intermediate and long-term goals. For example rather then ‘my goal is to win the match’, a specific performance goal might be ‘I want to serve and volley at least 10 times in each set’ or ‘in three years I want to be playing college tennis’.