Lessons from an Elite Tennis Coach
The Coach (2017) by Patrick Mouratoglou
From Sickly Child to Grand Slam Winning Coach
He was an ill child who was bullied. He started playing tennis at the age of six. He became an unruly teenager, ruining his formal education.
He had therapy to correct his behaviour and worked for his father, who mentored him. He discovered the discipline and motivation necessary to develop his tennis academy in the mid-1990s.
He began coaching famous and successful tennis players such as Marcos Baghdatis and Grigor Dimitrov, and since 2012 has coached one of the greatest female tennis players of all-time, Serena Williams. Williams has won a tremendous amount of tennis titles, including ten grand slams and an Olympic gold medal, since being coached by Mouratoglou.
Top Coaching Advice
With the enthusiasm of wanting to be the best tennis coach in the world, Mouratoglou sought the necessary advice from the top tennis coach of the 1990s, Australia’s Bob Brett.
He eventually became an independent coach after learning that to become the best tennis player, one must acknowledge their potential, be open-minded and trust the coach’s methods.
In return, Mouratoglou became obsessed with analysing opponents’ games by viewing countless matches and compiling extensive statistics. The use of notebooks was fundamental to his growth.
He is honest in why relationships with former players broke down, such as experiencing too greater emotional involvement, not sharing the same long-term ambitions, and clashing in personalities.
When he found Serena to have the same desire to dominate the sport of tennis, he used the following coaching principles to achieve outstanding success:
- Listen intently and think carefully before speaking.
- Research tactics and experiment endlessly.
- Focus on psychological conditioning (such as self-esteem and self-image), eliminating unnecessary stress in the athlete.
He is today the founder and president of one of the world’s largest tennis training facilities Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, and a well-respected sports commentator and author.
He has found his greatest achievement through pairing with Serena Williams, arguably the most driven and decorated female athlete in the world.