Separation from the coach is normal in tennis. The player knows who suits him best

Dutchman Butik van de Zandsholb in early March in his match with Russian Andrei Rublev in Dubai.ANP/EPA image

It is not surprising that the best tennis players in the Netherlands change coaches, says Sven Groeneveld. According to the experienced tennis coach, Botic van de Zandschulp and Tallon Greek track have entered a different phase of their careers. “It’s part of a player’s development and development.”

In the eyes of Groeneveld, who has worked with Grand Slam champions Maria Sharapova and Monica Seles, this choice may be necessary to take the next step. “After a year on the Tour, they’re at a point where they can make decisions based on their experience. They know what works best for them.

About the author
Guus Peters has been writing about football and tennis since 2014 De Volkskrant.

Van de Zandsholb had a disappointing start to the season and last month decided to end his collaboration with coach Peter Lucassen after a year and a half. “I think it’s the right decision for me and him and it makes us happy at the moment,” the world number 33 told Ziggo Sport.

The news of Van de Zandsholb came after the break between the Greek track and its coach, Raimon Slueter. After a disappointing first year at the highest level, the duo split in December. The Greek track at the time: “There really were some problems. During the first week of preparation, the bucket overflowed. We worked well together for two years, but they both came to the conclusion that it was best to part.

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The role of the coach

Without a coach by his side, the Greek track won its first ATP title in Pune, India. The 26-year-old tennis player from Nieuw-Vennep rose from No. 95 to No. 36 in the world rankings and found a new coach in Belgian Kristof Vliegen, with whom he had previously worked.

It raises the question about the role of the coach and the extent of his influence. It is only visible to the general public during matches. The coach then sits in the players’ box and gives directions. “But that’s 10 percent of the work, 90 percent that happens behind the scenes,” Groenefeld says.

Greek Talon track in battle against Serbian Novak Djokovic, early March in Dubai.  ANP/EPA image

Greek Talon track in battle against Serbian Novak Djokovic, early March in Dubai.ANP/EPA image

Elise Tamella agrees. And according to former coach Kiki Bertens, the cooperation between player and coach is a serious test. Even more than other sports. “You work very closely and intensely with each other,” Tamila says. “You often travel together and see each other almost every day from early morning until late at night.”

She believes the coach’s influence extends far beyond the tennis part. “Of course the player has to have confidence that you can take him forward in terms of tennis. But you also want to create the best conditions for your player and make sure he feels good. This is especially important for women.


Tamil refers to, among other things, training schedules, tournament planning and daily schedule. Aspects that the coach discusses with the player. If the results are disappointing or there is a difference of opinion, the player will dig in. What can I change? In many cases, players turn to the coach.

But a different coach does not, in practice, mean that a tennis player has to reinvent himself. The foundation is in place, says Paul Harhuis, captain of the Davis Cup team and former coach of Netherlands three-ranked Tim van Riethoven. It’s in the details. It should not be so much about the tactical plan, but more about how the player feels.

He gives an example: “Tallon is playing the game he tried to play last year. But now he hits the balls harder and more confidently. At 30-30 at 4-4 in the third set, he now does not wait, but takes the lead. According to Harris, a player should always He asks himself one thing: “What do I need to be the best version of myself? This is an endeavor.

The tennis player pays

According to Groenrveld, this research relates to a tennis player’s age, rank, and expectations. “It’s a very natural process in tennis. At a certain point, a player wants to hear a new sound or is ready for a different vision on or off the court.

The coach is literally at the service of the player. Tennis is one of the few sports in which the player pays the coach’s salary. “It can be a fine line that the coach balances on,” says Tamilah. Although it can never be a good idea for a coach to listen to a player because he wants to keep his job. If you consider yourself well enough trained for this level, you should not make any compromises.

And Groeneveld: “A coach is an independent entrepreneur who is busy with his own career. Player development is part of that.

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