Professional Coaching: Who is a professional coach?

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Professional Coaching: Who is a professional coach?

Coach originally means "carriage" and has been used in the field of sport in England and the USA since 1885. In "The Bass Handbook of Leadership, Theory, Research, and Managerial Applications" (4th edition, New York, 2008, p.

1091), Bernard M. Bass defines coaching as "the guidance and feedback about specific knowledge, skills, and abilities involved in a task." There are few professions that are so unspecifically described as the tennis coach's profession.

Therefore, it may be difficult to define the profession itself, and it opens doors for non-coaches to act as professional tennis coaches, misuse the name coach, mislead the market, and therefore crash the professional tennis coach status.

Due to the wide range of issues and challenges that have to be solved around a tennis player, PBGs, boyfriends and girlfriends (PBGs), and others may feel like a professional tennis coach! But can PBGs be coaches? Does a caring person become a medical doctor or a nurse when they care for their sick child, PBGs, or husband/wife at home? Of course not!

The role that PBGs play in an athlete's sport involvement is receiving much scrutiny today. The confusion is that anyone can call themselves a trainer, coach, or consultant. Trainers, coaches, and consultants are (currently) not protected professional titles.

Basically, anyone can call themselves a coach and offer a corresponding service. But is it really a problem that people without specific education and background call themselves coaches? In fact, without PBGs backing their players, it would be very difficult to achieve high performance goals.

The PBGs are the foundation of the set-up for all education and behavior. A decent childhood set-up with good values makes it easier for the professional coach to achieve results with the player. Additionally, the emotional part is also extremely important for the player.

A solid emotional life and relationship can be the deciding factor for a long and successful career. The interactive person-centered tasks of the professional coach are obviously to teach all professional aspects of the tennis game, build mental and physical equilibriance and strength, promote awareness, responsibility, and self-reflection, and improve or expand perception, experience, and behavior.

Furthermore, the professional coach should professionally guide, promote, support, and advise the player, the PBGs, initiate individual development processes, and interlink all together as a professional team. However, professional coaching is limited in time and solution-oriented advice on a temporary basis.

The PBGs are long-term private relationships that shouldn't be jeopardized because of tennis. Therefore, it is critical that PBGs don't act as professional coaches. In fact, all the team members have an important role, and each role has the same value – just different.

PBGs have no "free" business relationships and it is more or less impossible to end them. It is a relationship full of dependencies. The same minute that the PBGs interfere in the professional process, they lose their PBG status-and that is not beneficial for the team.

It often creates personal vendettas and team mistrust. Therefore, the role of PBGs is paradoxical; it can be very helpful or destructive. The negative pressure can be a question of forcing a player to practice, take lessons, or compete in matches.

PBGs' expectations and over-criticism of a player’s efforts will nurture fear and more mistakes will be made. However, many top players are reported to have PBGs highly involved in their tennis experience who instil in them the critical values needed for tennis success, and the support has been associated with a player's enjoyment, performance, and self-esteem.

I have been on the court with players that range in ability from beginners to Grand Slam winners and Olympic medallists. Each player "ticked" differently. Different minds and mindsets, different body types and physical "engines."

As a professional coach, it is important to find the key to each player and to the involved PBGs and to define and communicate the pathway, build the structure, control the strategy, and educate the environment for the best of the complete team.

Finally, simply be a supportive and interested parent, boyfriend or girlfriend to your favourite person and family member. They need you as you are, and you are good and important as you are! You don´t need the title coach you are a VIP – you are a PGB. Allow the coach to do their job!