Book Review: Elements of Coaching Professional Tennis

Dec 8, 2022

In ELEMENTS OF COACHING PROFESSIONAL TENNIS, Robert Davis offers substantial proof that the difference between winning and losing a tennis match can be directly related to the quality of the coach.

Right from the beginning, Davis makes it clear that ELEMENTS OF COACHING PROFESSIONAL TENNIS is not an instruction book. At least not in the traditional tennis coaching instruction manual. Davis purposely omits chapters dedicated to the subjects of technical, mental, and physical training. Yet, according to Davis, there are other “basic elements” of coaching required:

“There are some basic elements essential to coaching professional tennis players. The more knowledge and experience the coach possesses on leadership, competitive integrity, match play, tournament play, strategy and tactics, and tennis history, the greater his ability to maximize his players’ potential.”

ELEMENTS OF COACHING PROFESSIONAL TENNIS is an expository study of men’s tennis that includes theories, case studies, profiles, interviews, and dispatches. The objective is to offer a glimpse into the world of coaching professional tennis players, as well as, encourage the reader to think and question the subject matter.

According to Davis, “Coaching on the ATP Tour is not an exact science. What works for one coach and player, may very well not work for another. There is so much more to professional tennis coaching than what is visible on the surface. The best coaches seem to have a sixth sense of knowing which buttons to push when.”

Through the 198 pages of his book, Davis takes the reader alongside him as he travels the professional tennis tour. Whether it is behind the baseline during practice sessions, into the locker room post-match, or inside the homes of parent coaches. Also included are several dispatches from the ATP Challenger Tour. These vignettes paint a portrait of life on the pro tour that many tennis fans may not have experienced.

This book is recommended for any coach or player who has a strong desire to fully maximize their abilities. It is also recommended for parents of performance tennis players who would like to have a better understanding and oversight of the journey which lies ahead.

To read the full article
More articles
Robert Davis / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

How an Island Outcast Became
a Tennis Champion

Jean Philippe Fleurian’s success can be broken down to three reasons. Geography, methodology, and tennis parent wisdom.


Q&A with Frederick Fontang

As a player, Fontang reached a career high of no. 59. As an ATP Tour coach, he has trained Vasek Pospisil, Jeremy Chardy and, currently, Felix Auger-Aliassime. Additionally, worked with Tennis Canada as Captain of the Canadian Davis Cup Team.


Q&A with Ronnie Leitgeb

Tour Coach of Thomas Muster, Andrea Gaudenzi and Juergen Melzer, Austrian Davis Cup captain, President of the Austrian Tennis Federation, and Tournament Director