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Fixing Mission Critical Failures With Tennis Coach Ash Smith

Coaching skills, talent development
Tennis coach Ash SmithWe’re talking about plucking low hanging fruit and preventing mission critical failures this week with tennis coach Ash Smith. Based in southern England, Ash has particular expertise in wheelchair tennis and has coached numerous World Champions and Paralympic medal winners. You can check out his insightful blog at

Excerpts from a recent article by Ash:
“… my goal now is to talk less in sessions than the athlete does; being curious, asking questions, facilitating, guiding and creating problems for the athletes to solve – this way of working leads (both in my own opinion and backed up by coaching research) to more robust, long-term skill acquisition.

tennis ash smith low hanging fruit tennis balls“…only be directive when there is “low hanging fruit” and only when the situation warrants it (usually in a competitive phase of the cycle). It may not lead to robust behaviour change, but a quick reminder of a key word or phrase during competition can make all the difference.”

Sports Coach Radio is a series of weekly in-depth interview with world-class sports coaches, scientists and writers, hosted by Glenn Whitney, a coaching and leadership advisor. Follow us on Twitter, where we post coaching tips and links to interesting articles just about every day of the week. The handle is @sportscoachtalk. And we’d be grateful if you’d leave a short review of the show on the Apple iTunes page.

Topics: Coaching skills, talent development, coach learning, listening skills for coaches, continuous professional development, tennis coaching, wheelchair tennis, Ash Smith, Paralympics, Fixing mission critical failures with tennis coach Ash Smith @SuperHuman247


Tennis & USOC Sports Science Coach of the Year Doug Eng

Tennis psychology, professional coach development
doug_eng2Just in time for the US Open we have a tennis expert who is, most impressively, this year’s winner of the Doc Counsilman Science Award, part of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Coaches of the Year accolades.

Doug is a Master Professional with the US Professional Tennis Association and an International Master Professional with the Professional Tennis Registry, one of just 10 people worldwide to hold both honors.

Doug is co-chair of the USPTA National Education Committee and College Curriculum Committee and has worked with athletes of all levels, including ITF, WTA and Davis Cup players. In addition, Doug teaches and consults in sport psychology and physical training and does technical and tactical research. He has both a PhD in chemical engineering and an Educational Doctorate in Sports Psychology.

Sports Coach Radio is hosted by Glenn Whitney, a coaching and leadership psychologist. You can follow us on Twitter, where we post useful articles and coaching tips just about every day of the week. The handle is @sportscoachtalk. And we’d be grateful if you’d leave a short review of the show on the Apple iTunes page.


Fitness guru, triathlete and coach Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield is a highly active Ironman, 70.3 and sprint triathlete and a triathlon coach to a wide range of athletes from the super serious to the recreational.

Ben chats this week with Glenn Whitney, a sports psychologist and mentor to sports coaches.

Ben runs the hugely helpful bengreenfieldfitness website and hosts a weekly podcast, with his sidekick Brock.

And that’s not all, Ben is the Get Fit Guy on the Quick And Dirty Tips dot com network and the author of several books on fitness and sports nutrition, including the latest titles: The Get Fit Guy’s Guide to Achieving Your Ideal Body and Tri Ripped – Get the Ultimate Triathlon Body.

Ben is pretty much an all-around master of the fitness universe, and we’re very glad he could talk with us.


Murray’s U.S. Open Triumph Suggests Mental Toughness is Coachable

Mental toughness. By the time you reach elite levels you either have or you don’t, right?

It’s a chicken-or-egg type of debate that can go on endlessly. However, Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl have scored a point, game, set and match against those who doubt coaching can make a difference.

Until this summer, Murray languished for several years in the miserable-making fourth position of international rankings, never having beaten the top three for a major tournament title, losing in four finals. Now suddenly Murray has bested two out of three of his rivals; Roger Federer for the Olympic Gold Medal, and Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open.

And he’s earned some rave reviews in the aftermath of the U.S. Open triumph:

“The most important aspects were his resilience, both mentally and physically. He remained calm and was able to produce the goods and really it was Djokovic who was struggling at the end,” said Tim Henman, Murray’s predecessor at British number one.

“He’s made a staggering improvement to the mental side of his game,” said John Lloyd, Murray’s former Davis Cup coach.

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